UPDATE (2/22): You can listen to ScHoolboy Q's Oxymoron in full at iTunes Radio right now! While you're listening, get all the details behind the Black Hippy member's major label debut with our Complete Guide below. Don't miss his 9 most important guest verses.
ScHoolboy Q began recording Oxymoron in L.A. sometime during 2012, often in the pool house-turned-studio at Mac Miller’s Hollywood Hills home that has acted as a hub for a number of rappers on the West Coast. In late 2012, he confirmed the album title on Twitter simply by typing "OXYMORON 13."
Talking about the album in the summer of 2013, ScHoolboy said it's heavily inspired by the gangsta rap he grew up on: “The real L.A., raw and uncut. It's not the watered down L.A." This, by the way, is where you forget the part about Mac Miller.
At the moment, it sees as if the process has worked out: TDE CEO's Anthony Tiffith tweeted Wednesday morning that Oxymoron has already sold 23,000 copies in pre-sale.
The first single was “Yay Yay,” a Boi-1da produced song that has since been relegated to “bonus track” status. But the album really started to take shape with “Collard Greens,” a buzzed love letter to weed with Kendrick Lamar (rapping partly in Spanish!) that was ScHoolboy’s first solo single to hit Billboard’s Hot 100.
Its follow-up, “Man of the Year,” was a Gothic strip club anthem that performed even better, peaking at No. 81.
The fourth single, "Break Da Bank," is the hardest of the bunch. It's a howling soundtrack to strong-armed robbery—both the real and metaphorical kind.
The newest single— or at least the newest song with a video— is "What They Want," which sports a haunted house beat and a particularly great verse from 2 Chainz.
ScHoolboy’s last album, the independently released Habits & Contradictions, had a curated group of guests, from his Top Dawg Entertainment crew to rappers like A$AP Rocky, Curren$y and Dom Kennedy. But for his major label debut, he’s predictably cranking up the wattage. Along with Kendrick, Oxymoron has guest shots from stars like 2 Chainz and Tyler, the Creator, but also nods to rap legends from both coasts (Kurupt, Suga Free, Raekwon) and a few underground R&B singers (BJ the Chicago Kid and SZA, an artist we're expecting big things from).
Although he hasn't revealed the full production credits, it’s likely that ScHoolboy stayed mostly in-house, relying on the knocking yet pillowy, playful beats from TDE producers like THC and Tae Beast. But ScHoolboy did work with big name Southern rap producers like Mike Will Made It and Lex Luger on his previous album, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if the full album reveals a diverse group of behind-the-boards collaborators. Q mentioned he's worked with producers like Pharrell and J. Cole in past interviews, but though time will tell if any of those made the final cut.
The Cover Art
The standard edition of Oxymoron shows ScHoolboy's daughter Joy wearing his trademark bucket hat. The deluxe edition is ScHoolboy himself in the same pose, but wearing a white ski mask. He has explained that Oxymoron refers to "doing all this bad to do good for my daughter. That's why I'm robbing. That's why I'm stealing. Whatever it is that I'm talking about in my album [that's] negative, it's always for a good cause, for my daughter."
2. Los Awesome ft. Jay Rock
3. Collard Greens
4. What They Want ft. 2 Chainz
5. Hoover Street
6. Studio ft. BJ The Chicago Kid
8. The Purge ft. Tyler, the Creator and Kurupt
9. Blind Treats ft. Raekwon
10. Hell of a Night
11. Break the Bank
12. Man of the Year
13. His & Her Friend ft. SZA
14. Grooveline Pt. 2 ft. Suga Free
15. F--k L.A.