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April 9th, 2014 MICHAEL MANNHEIMER | Music Stories
 

Show Preview: Schoolboy Q, Isaiah Rashad & Vince Staples

music_schoolboyq_4023Image courtesy of ICM Partners

[LOS AWESOME] It’s not a big stretch that Los Angeles rapper Schoolboy Q decided to title his major-label debut Oxymoron. Schoolboy, who rolls as part of the Top Dawg Entertainment empire with fellow Black Hippy members Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, lays out a seemingly never-ending series of contradictions—one minute he’s the life of the party, the next he’s contemplative and bashful, lost in a cloud of marijuana smoke and riding the shuffling beat of the slow-burning single “Collard Greens.” His flow is a wondrous, twisting thing, able to volley off an impressive list of collaborators, from Tyler the Creator to Raekwon to the ever-ubiquitous Pharrell, who gives “Los Awesome” the type of spare, futuristic bounce he usually reserves for a Clipse joint. “Hell of a Night” is even a convincing facsimile of Kanye’s “Hell of a Life.” Despite Oxymoron’s juxtaposition of current trends and cloud-rap leanings (“Man of the Year” samples Chromatics’ end-of-the-party anthem “Cherry”), it’s still a weird, pill-fueled beast that never forgets its place in L.A.’s gangsta rap hierarchy. You know the drill: I am a sinner, who’s probably going to sin again.


Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., 225-0047. 5 and 9 pm Sunday, April 13. $25 advance, $30 day of show, $100 meet and greet package. Late show sold out. All ages. 

 
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