Teetering between half-cocked and half-faded, and sounding like a futuristic blend of B-Real, Sean Price and Dru Down, the Crip's third full-length effort (if you haven't spent time with 2012's Habits and Contradictions, you're doing it wrong) shows the single parent son's vast improvement as both a writer and a vocalist. Rambunctious and irreverent, Oxymoron blasts bullet holes in the theory that gangsta rap can't sound fresh for 2014. Anticipation was already high upon hearing the quality of pre-released bangers "Man of the Year," Break the Bank" and "Collard Greens," but it's the album cuts that make Oxymoron — a double-entendre nod to the former Oxycontin dealer and current No. 1 dad's paradoxical lifestyle — an early favourite for Top 10 of 2014.
Q easily out-gleams 2 Chainz on the hypnotic "What They Want"; he laments his uncle bogarting his breakfast cereal on "Hoover Street"; and blesses us with a two-step banger worthy of the Clipse reunion we may never get on the Pharrell-helmed "Los Awesome." But perhaps it's the pimptastic bonus cut "Grooveline Pt. 2" that best shows Q's raw aesthetic: "You's a ho that's selling coochie/ No need to be actin' bougie/ Bitch, I give your ass a noogie/ And a chicken nugget and make you watch me at the movies/ I'm panoramic." Stop. You had me at "featuring Suga Free."
Read an interview with ScHoolboy Q from our April 2014 issue here. (Top Dawg)