When a website asked Schoolboy Q to tell his 25 favorite music albums, he mentioned his major label debut “Oxymoron: "I'd call it a classic” in top. It goes while not locution that Oxymoron is not nearly as good as its author thinks. If it seems unfair to compare him to his fellow Black Hippy alumnus Kendrick Lamarr's wildly acclaimed Good Kid, MAAD City, it's a comparison Schoolboy Q virtually demands the listener make: "Tell Kendrick move from the throne," he suggests at one point.
The production is usually fantastic, from the wall of elastic electronic noise conjured by Pharrell Williams on Los Awesome to the reggae-influenced bassline of single Collard Greens, but guest verses from old hands Kurupt and Raekwon show up the star turn's limitations as a rapper: you're occasionally struck by the sense of gangster rap boxes being ticked. Still, when it hits home – as on Hoover Street's vivid depiction of his uncle's drug addiction, or Prescription/Oxymoron's saga of depression and painkiller addiction – it hits hard.