Top Dawg Entertainment is set to be the talk of the year, steadily releasing music to the masses. The month of January blessed us with the debut of Tennessee word-spitter Isaiah Rashad, and now, we are graced with the major label debut of Schoolboy Q with Oxymoron.
Oxymoron faced many setbacks, mainly in the realm of sample clearance, but was it worth the wait?
Let’s start off by saying this; if you were looking for Good Kid M.A.A.D. City part two, that’s not what you will find in Oxymoron. Q’s delivery is almost caustic at times, mixing gritty vocals over equally raw production, with wordplay that will make your mother blush.
Sonically, we get a mix of murky, down-tempo beats, reminiscent of Portishead’s acclaimed Dummy album (“Break The Bank”, “Blind Threats” feat. Raekwon, “His And Her Fiend” feat. SZA , drug-laden cloud rap (“Gangsta”, “Prescription-Oxymoron”, “What They Want” feat. 2 Chainz), tastefully mixed in with club bangers (“Collard Greens”, “Man of The Year”, “Los Awesome” feat. Jay Rock).
Lyrically, we are told a story of a young man’s experience in the realest way possible, musically transported into his world full of many demons, and his struggle to be better man for his young daughter, in which we are introduced to on the album’s first track, “Gangsta”.
The LP’s stand-out track by far is “His And Her Fiend” featuring label mate SZA. The song personifies OxyContin (which is a constant on the album) and tells the tale of how the drug can change the life of the user for a temporary high. Think Jay Z s personification of heroin on “I Know” featuring Pharrell for 2014.
Given the dark subject matter of the album, Oxymoron is not the most listenable rap album out there, but its fifteen tracks awaken our senses to the reality of Cali-boy turned man.
Andrea K Castillo is a freelance writer & blogger.