Album Review | ScHoolboy Q – Habits & Contradictions

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This album was released on January 14th in 2012. I don’t know how it is for most people, but this album is kinda what made me notice ScHoolboy Q. I knew of him before it came out, but I didn’t really consider myself a fan. I didn’t think he was wack or anything tho; he was just another MC that I’d never really gotten into. I’ve never even heard this album tho. I’ve just heard a couple tracks off of it. I really liked what I heard tho. I’m pretty sure this album had Q’s first really big single. I’m expecting this to be much better than Setbacks. Almost everything I’ve heard from this album was dope. So yeah. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish this & Oxymoron before Blank Face comes out. I’m honestly not sure if that’ll happen at the rate I’m goin’, but I’m sure I’ll find a way to make it work.

Track 1: Sacrilegious (Prod. Tabu)

Right off the bat, he starts the album off with one of the worst songs I’ve ever heard in my life. Nah, I’m just playin’. I haven’t even listened to it yet. Okay, it’s starting now. This beat is dope af. Oh shit… The production on this track is already WAAAY more polished than anything on Setbacks. This is great. The first verse was dope af. This is no diss to Q, but the way he was rapping was much more poetic than I would normally expect from him. “As I clench down upon this trigger / Burn, fucker, burn / Every step to getting deeper / Survival my main concern / Marinating in Satan’s sweat / Take a sip of this holy water / Hoping God still keep me blessed / With a dark shield for my armor.” Sometimes when I’m listening to Q it feels like he’s rapping just for the sake of rapping. This feels like he actually sat down and decided to compose a complete song. The hook is pretty dope. It kinda sounds like there are some background vocals from Kendrick. Goddamn. The second verse was dope af too. “Feeling teary eyed / Thinking I’ve gone too far / Ask God for forgiveness / Shit, I doubt he heard me at all / They say clean your hands before you eat; rinse your sins with prayer / But I’ve done did some things I don’t think I could ever wash away.” Wow. This is probably one of the best ScHoolboy Q songs I’ve ever heard. I definitely fuck with this one. This is dope af. The music video was great too. 5/5

Track 2: There He Go (Prod. Sounwave)

There He Go

Goddamn. This beat is dope af. Seriously, the production has taken a big step forward on this album. It’s almost strange how much it’s improved. HAHAHA. This is gangsta as fuck. I guess this is the album on which Q started experimenting with his delivery more. “Ain’t got no jewelry on; still I’m shining hard / Ain’t got no bodyguard; walking solo through the mall / Bitches and the hoes know / They see me, they like, ‘There he go!‘ / They be like,’There he go! / Schoolboy, there he go!” It’s probably gonna be hard to understand why that line is good without hearing it yourself. His delivery is a big part of what makes it so dope. This shit is so hard. “Mothafucka, mothafucka, yeah / ‘Fucking‘ is my favorite word, reason why I’m fucking her.” I could’ve done without the vulgarity of the next few bars, but it thankfully doesn’t last too long. “She swallow my dick and balls; whatever occur / Purr, I love that kitty cat / Ass fat, throw it back, I can’t believe you wifing that / Deepthroat, seven or eleven, she’s a double gulp.” This hook is dope af too. Goddamn. This is some of the most gangsta shit I’ve ever heard. I fucking hate using this word, but it keeps popping into my head, and I apologize in advance, but I just have to say it. ScHoolboy Q sounds like he has so much fuckin’ swa- …Nah. Nah, I’m not gonna say it. That’s corny af. You probably know what I mean tho. This shit is just super dope. I guess it’s kinda weird that I have trouble saying “swag,” but I have no problem sayin’ dumb shit like “super dope.” Whatever. Wow. This album is great. I know I’m only two tracks in, but I actually have shit to say about this one. I feel like I haven’t really been writing very good reviews recently, but this one’s going really well. Jesus. It is REALLY hot in my room right now. I’m hungry, but we ran outta fuckin’ cereal. I don’t wanna eat the fuckin’ dust that’s always left at the bottom of the bag. Some dumbass just downvoted one of my suggestions on RapGenius. What a dick. Nah, I’m just playin’. I don’t give a shit about that stuff. Anyway, Q fuckin’ killed the second verse. Goddamn. This is really ScHoolboy Q at his best. “Y’all acting like that TDE don’t run LA / Coast ain’t been this hard since Pac, Death Row and Dr. Dre / Word to Dr. Dre, Detox is like a mix away / So go ahead and let the grown-ups work and go somewhere and play.” He sounded amazing on this shit. I could see Soulo on here too. Charisma. That’s the word I should’ve used. Not fuckin’ swag. He had an unreal amount of charisma on this song. He fuckin’ killed it. I love this shit. This is dope af. The music video was cool too. 5/5

Track 3: Hands On The Wheel Feat. A$AP Rocky (Prod. Best Kept Secret)

Hands On The Wheel

Wow. I’m actually enjoying myself. I really haven’t had fun writing a review in a long ass time. I guess there haven’t really been a lot of exciting releases lately. I’m really looking forward to Blank Face LP tho. Anyway, I think this is the first ScHoolboy Q song I ever heard. Actually, that’s definitely not true. This is the first song that really got me into his music tho. As I said in the preamble to this review, I’m pretty sure this was his first big single. It heavily samples a live performance of a Country artist’s cover of Pursuit of Happiness by Kid Cudi. Yeah, it’s a really obscure sample, but it actually works REALLY well. The beat is dope af. The subject matter isn’t what I would normally listen to, but Q has so much charisma on this track that I can’t help but enjoy it anyway. The fantastic beat from Best Kept Secret definitely helps too. He’s just rapping about smokin’ & drinking. This is just one of them tracks that you enjoy for what it is. I don’t drink or smoke, and I usually don’t care for music about shit like that, but I guess this song is just so good that I don’t really mind it. Rocky’s on the second verse. As always, his verse is very lackluster in terms of lyrics, but he makes up for it with a great flow. The final verse from Q was dope too. I fuck with this song. This is a song that I can listen to if I don’t wanna think too much. It’s dope af. The music video was nothing special honestly, but it’s worth watching just to see the final scene with Ab-Soul takin’ a shit and askin’ where the toilet paper’s at. 5/5

Track 4: Sex Drive Feat. Jhené Aiko (Prod. THC)

This beat is dope af. Seriously the production on this album is immaculate so far. The first verse was cool I guess. The subject matter isn’t for me, but I think he did a pretty good job with it. The hook is pretty dope. Jhené did a great job. The way they were listing Zodiac Signs was kinda corny tho. The second verse from Q was cool I guess. Lyrically, this song does absolutely nothing for me. It’s so good sonically tho. I enjoyed the song. It’s another song that I’d listen to if I didn’t wanna think too much. It’s dope. 4/5

Track 5: Oxy Music (Prod. THC)

Oh my gawd. I know I’m saying this for every track, but seriously, the production is fucking phenomenal. This beat is incredible. Jesus Christ. This song is so fucking good. YOO. This shit is so dope. I love the way he starts the first verse off with some pretty nightmarish lyrics. He even has kind of a haunting flow. “Blood on the wall / Death in the air / Birds on the ground / Pistols everywhere / Devils in the eyes / Babies always cry / Papa never home / Fuck it we all alone.” The first verse was dope. The hook’s pretty good. I can see how it could get annoying tho. He did his thing on the second verse. The final verse was great too. I really enjoyed this song. The beat from THC was fuckin’ bananas. I think this is a really good song. I don’t think I like it enough to call it dope af tho. The hook gets old pretty quickly, and kinda holds it back for me. The verses were all good tho. It’s a good song. I fuck with this. This is dope. 4/5

Track 6: My Hatin’ Joint (Prod. Mike WiLL Made It)

Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting to see Mike WiLL’s name here. This beat is actually pretty good. This is probably the least interesting song on the album so far lyrically. He’s just tryna bang this chick who’s already taken. I’m not really feelin’ this. I’m gettin’ Drake vibes. To be fair, this girl’s boyfriend was cheatin’ on her, so it’s not like he’s not justified when he says “fuck that nigga,” but still. It’s just not that interesting. I don’t think I’d wanna hear this more than once. The beat was better than I was expecting it to be, but nah. I don’t think this is a bad song. It’s just not that good to me. I wouldn’t wanna listen to it again. It’s alright 3/5

Track 7: Tookie Knows (Interlude) [Prod. Dave Free & Tae Beast]

There’s a sequel to this song on Blank Face LP. I’ve already heard it, but I’ll save my thoughts on it for the actual review of that album. Alright, this one’s starting now. This beat’s dope. This isn’t really a song. I don’t think I should rate it. It’s just ScHoolboy Q making his aggressive noises. If you’re familiar with ScHoolboy Q you should know what “noises” I’m referring to. I enjoyed the track, but it’s not really a song, so I won’t rate it.

Track 8: Raymond 1969 (Prod. Sounwave & Dave Free)

This beat’s dope. It’s really dark & grimy. Damn. This is probably the most gangsta track on the whole album so far. “My little nigga 12; said he with it / Gave him a sherm stick, and watched him while he hit it / Soon as he lit it, cuz was finished, now cock back the gat / Leave the mask and gloves; let’s get to business.” Goddamn. The first verse was dope. The hook was gangsta as fuck too. Seriously this is one of the hardest songs I’ve heard in a long ass time. The second verse was dope af. The final verse was cool, but he really went off on that second verse. This is the hardest shit… Well, I already said it earlier. This is unbelievably gangsta. I definitely fuck with this. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 9: Sexting (Prod. DJ Dahi)

This is the only song on the album from Hands On The Wheel that I had already heard before starting this review. This beat is dope. Q’s flow on the first verse is very dope. I’m not in love with the content tho. “You sexy girl, you sexy girl / Let me rock your world / Get real nasty and lick your pearl.” Yeah… Ummm… I don’t know if I can fuck with this one. The lyrics are just not my cup of tea. I guess he’s doing it well, but I don’t wanna hear shit like this. I’m not really feelin’ the hook. His flow on the second verse was pretty dope, but aside from that I’m not feelin’ this song. Well, the beat was cold too, but nah. I don’t like this one. This is wack to me. 2/5

Track 10: Grooveline, Pt. 1 Feat. Dom Kennedy & Curren$y (Prod. Lex Luger)

I’ve heard Grooveline, Pt. 2 with Suga Free, but this’ll be my first time listening to the original song. It’s starting now. This beat is smooth af. I don’t know if I like it or not. It’s kinda boring. I’ll be shocked if I don’t fall asleep during Curren$y’s verse. Again, the shit Q’s rapping about doesn’t interest me at all. I don’t like hearing Q rap about girls. I’m not really feelin’ Dom Kennedy’s verse either. “You only live once, and I know I got you soaking wet / Thirsty; is the liquor store open yet? / I need some Moet to pour it on your ass like a paint / Back shots leave the pussy shaking; this my open invitation.” I’ve never really been able to get into Dom Kennedy. To me he’s basically just a slightly less boring version of Curren$y. I don’t think he’s that bad, but I’ve never had the desire to listen to his music, and I doubt I ever will. Unless I become a stoner in the future. I doubt that’ll happen tho. I wasn’t feelin’ Curren$y’s verse either. Wow. I actually really don’t like this song. This is easily the most boring song I’ve ever heard from ScHoolboy Q. I don’t think anything about this song is bad, but there’s not a single facet of this song that I do like. I’m not feelin’ this one. This is wack to me. 2/5

Track 11: Gangsta In Designer (Prod. Willie B)

This beat’s cool. It’s not super amazing like a lot of the beats at the beginning of this album. This album seems to be going downhill slightly. Hopefully he picks things back up soon. Woah… Q just dropped an F bomb in the hook. That was not necessary… I’m not really feelin’ the hook. The first verse wasn’t bad. This song just isn’t really doing anything for me. It feels like filler. Nothing about it stands out, especially compared to the other shit on this album. I don’t think it’s that bad of a song, but I don’t really like it personally. It’s alright. 3/5

Track 12: How We Feeling (Prod. Dave Free)

This beat is very dope. Again, the subject matter isn’t really for me, but I’m still enjoying this sonically. The hook is dope. This feels more like an interlude than a full song. It feels like an intro to the next song. He’s not actually rapping. He’s kinda just mumbling and then sayin’ the hook. I fuck with the song, but I don’t know if I should rate it. Fuck it; it’s not labeled as an interlude, so I’ll rate it like an actual song. I fuck with this one. This is dope. 4/5

Track 13: Druggys Wit Hoes Again Feat. Ab-Soul (Prod. Nez & Rio)

This beat’s not bad. It’s not amazing, but it works I guess. Q did his thing on the first verse. It’s more of what he was rapping about on the first Druggys Wit Hoes. Sex & Drugs. The hook’s cool. Soulo’s verse was nice. Huh. I didn’t know that “extra pills” line came from this song. That’s cool I guess. The final verse with both of them rapping was dope. I’m not super impressed by this song, but I enjoyed it I guess. I think I like the first one better, and even that song isn’t that good. This is cool tho. I fuck with this. Honestly, I think I like How We Feeling better than this. Should I call this dope? I REALLY don’t know if I’d come back to this… Fuck it; this song isn’t doin’ much for me. I’m not really feelin’ it like that. This is just average to me. 3/5

Track 14: Nightmare On Figg St. (Prod. A$AP Ty Beats)

Does A$AP Ty Beats still make music? I haven’t seen any placements from him in years. Not even on any A$AP albums. This beat is very dope. Okay, this is the kinda shit I wanna hear from Q. He’s finally rappin’ about gangsta shit again. This album lost all it’s momentum once he started making songs about girls. The first verse was dope af. The second verse was great. The hook is awesome. I fuck with this song. I hope the rest of the album has more gangsta shit like this on it. This shit dope af. 5/5

Track 15: My Homie (Prod. The Alchemist)

This beat is dope af. The first verse was great. He’s rapping about his old homie who snitched on him. The hook’s dope. I just listened to the whole song. I don’t really have anything to say, but I like the song. I don’t really have any problems with it at all. Everything about it is pretty good. The second verse was nice. This song is dope. 4/5

Track 16: Blessed Feat. Kendrick Lamar (Prod. Dave Free)

Blessed

Huh… I’ve definitely heard this beat before. Have I heard this song? I think I have actually. This is probably the most emotional—not in a bitch way—song on the whole album so far. “To all my niggas I would die for load my pistol up, go out, and war for / To all my niggas that’ll never make it out the streets / Fuck it, keep goin’ hard; don’t let ’em see you weak / To all my niggas first time stepping in the pen / Read a book and exercise; keep your spirit in / To all my niggas that’s gon’ fuck around and die today / Take our hats off, bow our heads and let us pray.” The beat’s dope af. The first verse was great. He fuckin’ killed that second verse tho. I guess this song is dedicated to one of Q’s homies whose son died.

That's sad…

Kendrick’s verse was great. He had a better flow than Q, but I still liked Q’s second verse the best. I definitely fuck with this song. This is dope af. 5/5

Track 17: Niggahs.already.know.davers.flow (Prod. Nez & Rio)

This beat is dope af. The hook’s cool. I guess. Huh. He’s… Wow. Every single line in this song starts with “Niggas already know.” Every single line. For some reason it doesn’t even really bother me. I don’t know why. I guess it’s ’cause the beat’s really good. I can enjoy the song sonically. It definitely gets kinda annoying after a while, but I don’t think it’s bad enough to completely ruin the song. This is another song that I’d listen to if I didn’t wanna think too much. It’s dope. 4/5

Track 18: 2 Raw Feat. Jay Rock (Prod. Tae Beast)

Holy fuck, this album is long as shit. This beat is dope. The first verse was good. The hook’s not bad, but I coulda did without the line where he’s like “Face down, ass up.” Anytime a rapper says that it just sounds dumb to me for some reason. The second verse was dope. Jay Rock killed the last verse. I don’t really have any problems with this track. It’s just another dope ScHoolboy Q song. I don’t think it’s incredible, but I enjoyed it. This is dope. 4/5

Final Thoughts:

This album is very good. When it first started I thought it was gonna be incredible, but it really went downhill fast in the middle. It kinda recovered towards the end, but the final tracks still weren’t as good as the first few in my opinion. The production was really fuckin’ good especially at the beginning. I think this album is just way too long. If he cut out some of the filler songs this would probably be a great project. Q is at his best when he’s rapping about gangs. Anytime he starts rapping about sex or drugs I kinda lose interest. I started getting really bored in the middle of this album because he just had too many underwhelming tracks about sex. The production quality behind this album is really good. You can tell they had a lot more resources for this album than they did on Setbacks. One other thing that kinda annoyed me was how the intro sounded almost nothing like any of the other songs. It was way more introspective than anything else on the album, maybe with the exception of Blessed. It’s still a very good album tho. I wouldn’t quite say that it’s great, but I still enjoyed it a lot. If every song was as good as the first few then it’d be fantastic. It’s not quite that good, but I like it tho. It’s dope.

Favorite Song: There He Go

Least Favorite Song: Grooveline, Pt. 1

Verdict:

78%

HOTTTTT

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