By Kassie Junkeer
Schoolboy Q’s latest and fourth album Oxymoron is an artistic mixture of menacing vocals and melodic and often gentle loops. The fitting title of the album brings attention to the ominous tone of some of the tracks but also the contradicting styles presented. Q passionately explores a vast array of his undulating past including his experience with the dark and enigmatic world of criminality, drugs and corruption. In certain tracks such as ‘Prescription/Oxymoron’, the contrast of the lyrical content and soothing nature of the samples are delightfully satisfying and original. Throughout the album the reoccurring sample of what seems to be Schoolboy Q’s daughter is almost eerie as she innocently and proudly declares “my daddy a gangsta” to introduce the opening track. This opening track announces the general mood of the album with its rowdy hook and that ‘watch my lowrider hydraulics in slow motion while I smoke a blunt’ style beat.
Each of the feature artists (Tyler the Creator, Raekwon, Kendrick Lamar, Suga Free to name a few) bring a mix of their own background to add to the fusion of sub genres put forward. ‘The Purge’ which features Tyler the Creator has that distinctive odd-future/goth-hop feel to it given the sinister moog synths and Tyler’s characteristic deep voice. On the other hand, ‘Grooveline Pt. 2’ which features Suga Free is reminiscent of a seductive 45 inch. The combination of the funky beat, subtle female vocals and the contrasting flow of Suga Free and Schoolboy Q is a match made in playalistic heaven. ‘Blind Threats’ was another highlight given the unique percussion, not to mention Raekwon’s verse whose words rhythmically align to create a seamless flow.
Oxymoron is credited with artistic integrity but accessible enough to get down to with an agreeable variety of hip hop styles.
Download Oxymoron, which went #1 in the US and Top 10 in New Zealand from iTunes, HERE