ALBUM REVIEW: ‘Oxymoron’ typical West Coast ‘Gangsta’ rap

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First Posted: 3/17/2014

Unlike friend and fellow Top Dawg Entertainment labelmate Kendrick Lamar, whose style is thought-provoking street poetry, ScHoolboy Q raps with a gritty edge that may not be for everybody. With his slightly angry lyrics and dark, personal stories of struggle told throughout his major label debut, “Oxymoron,” the image of a slightly less positive, scowling Ice Cube comes to mind.

Q’s daughter Joy is featured on a few tracks throughout “Oxymoron,” including the album’s opener, “Gangsta,” wherein a voice laden with a toddler’s innocence and a lack of knowledge for what’s coming from her mouth, she recites: “F—k rap, my daddy a gangsta.” The song also includes a flashback describing how the West Coast rapper came into guns: “My grandma showed me my first strap / my n—-a Rat-Tone always had the flyest gats / I finally got mine… dirt nap.”

“Prescription/Oxymoron” expresses the depression Q was afflicted with while battling an addiction to prescription pills. “My mommy call, I hit ignore / my daughter calls, I press ignore / my chin press on my chest, my knees press the floor.” “What They Want” featuring 2 Chainz is heavily laced with dirty lyrics describing gang life, suicide before prison, and selling drugs.

Nearly all the tracks on “Oxymoron” at one point or another indicate sexually aggressive material, in some cases overly so, allowing the album the exclusive listening crowd of rebellious youngsters and followers of West Coast gangsta rap. Women may find it hard to enjoy Q’s music with such regressive lyrics, especially when other rappers of today are beginning to become more progressive and conscience with theirs.

In typical West Coast fashion, “Oxymoron” was created for windows down, bass-thumping cruises after the sun sets. ScHoolboy Q may not rap to uplift the ghetto or about political or social issues, but his lyrics are clever, personal, and edgy, and there will always be a market for that.

ScHoolboy Q ‘Oxymoron’ Rating: W W