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Schoolboy Q’s journey as a hip hop star has been interesting yet turbulent at the same time. He is one of the most talented rappers out there today but there came a time, not so long ago, when he gave serious thoughts about giving it all up. The reason was not lack of success.
Schoolboy Q had just come out with the smash-hit record “Oxymoron” and that put him right up there among the hottest rappers list. While a lot of people work their entire life for all that adulation and fame, Schoolboy Q began to resent it. The hamster race to fame took a lot out of him and he went on a hiatus without even informing everyone that he was thinking of packing it all up.
Then all of a sudden, something changed inside him and as a result he changed his entire music making process. Now he has come out with a new LP and is enjoying it a whole lot more. He is a sensational hip hop star and if you are a fan of the genre, then grab your Schoolboy Q tickets and watch him rap live.
The Early Years
Schoolboy Q’s real name is Quincy Matthew Hanley and he was born on a US military base in Germany. His parents had divorced by then and while his mother quit the military, his father stayed put. His mother took Hanley with her and moved to Texas. He spent the first three years of his life there before moving to Los Angeles.
Schoolboy Q used to live very close to the Staples Center and there was a time when it looked as though he would become a sportsman. After all, he used to play basketball, baseball and football when he was in high school. But instead of doing that, he got involved with the wrong kind of crowd and even spent some time in jail. That was a dark period and he had no idea what to do with his life, until 2007.
First Steps in Music
Schoolboy Q had been a fan of music from a very young age and began writing lyrics when he was only sixteen years old. He decided to turn to music as a way to escape and began to express himself through it. In 2006, he started to work at the independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment and as a result he collaborated with quite a few artists that were signed to TDE. It was however not till next year that he finally made up his mind to become a hip hop artist. His first mixtape “Schoolboy Turned Hustla” came out on July 29, 2008. He then signed an agreement with Top Dawg Entertainment in 2009 and then later on teamed up with Ab-Soul, Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar to form Black Hippy, a hip hop supergroup. His next mixtape was released on May 14, 2009 and it also marked the very first time that he had worked with TDE officially.
A Few Independent Records
Schoolboy Q spent 2010 touring and working with Black Hippy on “Setbacks,” his first studio album. It was released by TDE and was his first independent album. It was released via iTunes and received a lot of critical acclaim. It received four out of five stars from AllMusic while iHipHop thought it was good enough to merit three and a half rating out of five.
The record also went on to peak at the one hundredth spot on the US Billboard 200. Setbacks also went to the twenty fifth spot on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, to the twelfth position on the US Billboard Top Rap Albums and to the thirteenth spot on the US Billboard Top Independent Albums charts.
His next independent studio album was titled “Habits & Contradictions” and it was released on January 14, 2012. It was released exclusively through iTunes too. The album also featured names like Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Currensy, Dom Kennedy, Jhene Aiko and ASAP Rocky.
Habits & Contractions turned out to be another massive critical hit. It received four stars out of five from AllMusic and three out of five from Rolling Stone. XXL gave it a four out of five rating while at Pitchfork it was rated 8.4 out of 10. The album went on to peak at the one hundred and eleventh spot on the US Billboard 200 and at the twenty fifth spot on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It also peaked at the third spot on the US Heatseekers Albums chart.
Oxymoron and Subsequent Years
In the year 2012, TDE and Interscope Records ended their joint venture and that was the end of Schoolboy Q’s journey as an independent artist. He started to work on another album and that was to be his first big label debut release. But before that he went on multiple tours with other stars like ASAP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller and Wiz Khalifa. He also performed at the BET Experience Music Festival and appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
His album “Oxymoron” hit the stores on February 25, 2014 and went straight to the number one spot on the US Billboard 200 on its debut. It also peaked at the first place on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Oxymoron’s success was not just restricted to the US. The album also charted on prominent positions in countries like the UK, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia. It also went to number one in Canada.
It was the same story on the critical front too. It received three and a half stars out of five from AllMusic and four out of five from Rolling Stone. At Pitchfork it received a 7.8 rating out of 10 and Exclaim! gave it 8 out of 10.
Oxymoron was nominated for one BET Hip Hop Award and one Grammy Award as well. It was also certified two times platinum in the United States.
Schoolboy Q’s next studio album was titled “Blank Face LP” and it hit the music stores on July 8, 2016. It debuted at the second spot on the US Billboard 200 and went one better to go to the top position on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Not only did the record receive a Grammy nomination but it also charted in multiple countries around the globe.
Blank Face LP also received four stars out of five from AllMusic and three and a half stars out of five from Rolling Stone. Consequence of Sound gave it an A- while it received a B+ from Entertainment Weekly.
Schoolboy Q Tour Tickets
Schoolboy Q has already announced that he is working on his next album and by the looks of it, the record’s release isn’t too far away. He is slated to perform a few special shows to close 2017 and then there is a big chance that he will hit the road once again in 2018. Next year will be another very important year in the career of this hip hop superstar and you can watch him live by simply getting your Schoolboy Q tour tickets here.