Schoolboy Q is not cautious. His Interscope debut, Oxymoron, came out last month to a warm critical reception and the number one spot on Billboard, and Q didn’t get there by second-guessing himself. TDE’s Figueroa-bred id spends much of the album frantically and emphatically exploring his own psyche and how it was shaped by an upbringing fraught with drugs and crime. It’s a thorough, balanced recollection. As DJ Dahi explains, “it shows you why Q is who he is, but there’s an honesty about the life—it’s not something that should be celebrated”.
Q’s relentless pace is matched only by that of the production. Smartly resisting the urge to lean on more established, old-guard producers, Q employs a host of new names, up-and-comers, and next big things to flesh out his vision. We spoke to four of them about their contributions to Oxymoron, their relationships with Q, and their careers at large.