Shit’s real and it just begun…
If you are oblivious to the name and sounds of ScHoolboy Q, then it is safe to say you’re living under a rock.
Within a little under a year of his Oxymoron studio and major label release, TDE‘s Quincy Hanley has become one of Top Dawg’s most famed member, securely standing side-by-side with label mate Kendrick Lamar. However, there is no comparison between the two. ScHoolboy Q has paved his own way, adopted his own style, and set his own rules, earning him the acclaim he holds amongst fans and music critics today.
I recall witnessing ScHoolboy Q for the first time circa ’11 at the Observatory OC (back when it was named the Galaxy Theatre) as an opener and hypeman for who was then an up and coming rapper- Kendrick Lamar.
A few months later into the new year, after gaining significant buzz for his mixtapes, Q returned to the Observatory’s Constellation Room for a show of his own, as he promoted his TDE independent release Habits & Contradictions. I remember this night clearly. The 300-capacity room was nearly full with enthusiastic supporters but I remember not being too impressed with Q’s performance. Aside from the moment in which he stepped off the stage to rap and jump around alongside the crowd, ScHoolboy gave your average rapper’s performance, you know the old- getting blunted while rapping and walking from end to end of the stage.
I caught him once again in Dec. 2012, this time as he opened for A$AP MOB on the Observatory’s main stage. This time around things, were a little different. Q was adopting his own performing style and getting more comfortable and creative on stage. That night I remember he performed as if he was the main act, to say the least, you get the picture.
In 2013 he came back again for a show of his own on that same main stage. Long story short, Q had the venue jam packed and was establishing the foundation for what was to come. Forward a year later, it’s 2014 and after the release of his major label debut with Interscope, Oxymoron, he took the show on the road and sold out two back-to-back nights as he made a tour stop at the Observatory OC in April. Eight months since then, we welcomed him back to our city last night for another sold out event.
You can bet the entire venue was filled with bodies- one-third of those accessorizing as if they were about to grab the bait and fishing rod, wearing bucket hats on their head, à la “Q” mode.
The time of anticipation to Q’s arrival was kept simple. DJ Cali and DJ Slim held it down for the crowd by playing nothing but bangers for 3 hours. There was some last minute openers about 30 minutes prior to ScHoolboy’s set time. A young rapper from Chicago (and I apologize for not grasping the name) and local rising sensation A$ton Matthews, who hails out of Lakewood, CA, rocked the stage properly. These two weren’t your average opening acts. Best believe, you’ll be seeing alot from these two artists in the near future. Just imagine, them being in Q’s shoes in 2011. Do you understand what I’m leading to here? Anyways, back to the topic at hand.
Shortly after the openers, a tall-slim dreaded haired dude with a TDE hoodie stepped on stage- you all already know I’m talking about Mackwop- and after seeing him step behind the DJ booth we knew it was about to be show time!
“Fuck rap, my daddy a gangsta!”– Joy’s little voice busted through the speakers and so did Q onto the stage sporting the signature bucket hat, along with a blue Toronto hockey jersey and some fitted 501’s to keep it G. The crowd jumped up and down into a frenzy.
ScHoolboy Q stepped on that stage and off the get-go had the whole building lit up in excitement as he recited into the mic “gangsta! gangsta! gangsta!”
After that followed the 2 Chainz collab “What they want”, along with other tracks like “The Purge”, and “Yay Yay”, off his latest and famed album debut Oxymoron.The crowd was so amped up, I’m talking mosh pits and the whole bits, that when Q decided it was time to take a break from it all he proceeded to serenade the ladies with that hit “Studio”. “Y’all gotta help me sing this shit, I can’t really sing” he said, of course all of the ladies served as backup singers not missing a single note.
Although Oxymoron has been the album credited by industry critics to have taken Q to great heights and recognition, the L.A. native has numerous hits under his belt and last night they were all counted for.
Fans were stoked to hear him perform early work such as “iBETiGOTSUMWEED” and “Druggys wit Hoes”. We thought at that moment Ab-Soul would chime in on the fun, but it didn’t occur as it has in previous shows.
Q also performed various tracks off Habits & Contradictions which included “There He Go”, “Hands on the Wheel”, and my personal favorite “Blessed”. It is always a significant moment in the show when Q performs “Blessed”. The three fingers spring up into the air and the room settles down a bit from all the excitement. Q shares some uplifting words and the reminder to stay up from all negativity.
ScHoolboy Q gave us an hour set and went out with a bang as he made his exit by performing “Hell Of A Night”, which of course was the perfect way to end the performance. It became more-so when dollar bills began to be thrown out one of the balcony boxes into the air and onto the crowd at the bottom.
If you didn’t witness last night, nor have experienced Q’s evolution, what I’m about to say might not be understood in mere words. There was a point in the performance of his last song where I looked down at the crowd and everyone was just going out of their minds with great energy and showing mad love and support through that ecstatic feeling. I had a moment where I was exclaiming “Wow!” under my breath-in joy and a bit of disbelief.
Santa Ana, CA and the Observatory OC has always shown mad love to the entire TDE camp since their humble beginning that it is easy to claim it as home by it’s members. From Kendrick, Soul, to ScHoolboy they always make sure to rock the Observatory stage as if it was their own city. Q said it best last night- “2009 I was in that spot right there (pointing to his middle-left), at this venue, watching Lupe Fiasco as a fan”. “Never did I think I’d be here on this same stage a couple years later, doing SOLD OUT shows!”, he continued as he gave his thank you.
Well Q, you best believe it!
ScHoolboy Q has been nominated for two Grammys this year with the success of Oxymoron. There’s no questionable doubt as to why this TDE member is the “Man of the Year”, last night was all the reason.