In the signature ScHoolboy Q brimmed hat and sunglasses, the Southern California rapper sits forward, pondering the notion presented. His ‘HiiiPower” tattoo, upon his right forearm is visible as he raises his hand up to brush the beard on his chin. He is good-humoured, relaxed and engaged, wearing a sleeveless Los Angeles Angels baseball tee. The 30-year old TDE artist is in a focused state these days, working on his next solo album and being a dad. The latter of which is of the utmost importance to him.
He picks up the CD case lying on the table beside him and moves it around in his hands for a second, as if the sight of it inflicts visions of nostalgia upon his mind, "I hated on 'Get Rich Or Die Tryin’,” he says, “I was hating on 50 cause I was so much into Nas. Once I got over that hate stage, 50 became one of my biggest inspirations to rap, if it wasn't for him no telling what I'd be doing. I related to damn near everything he was talking about. 50 to this day is still one of my favourite artists.”
In the last five years ScHoolboy, along with his notorious TDE label-mates Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, and Ab-Soul, have all been quickly elevated to elite status within the game. Together they make up the supergroup Black Hippy. The members are all frequent collaborators and have made notable appearances on each others solo projects, but have yet to release a full-length project as a group. "I'm already working on my next album, the chances of us getting into the studio together and working on Black Hippy is slim. I'm with it though, I wanna do it.” With the strenuous lifestyle and effort that goes into the creation of each piece of art, a rare break is more likely to be spent amongst family, then working on a separate joint album. “We not just gonna go into the studio and finish the album in a month. Maybe some of these other rappers do their music like that, but we don’t make our music like that. Everything we do over there, it’s like a concept. It’s just something we all done as an artist, and that’s why we click so much. We’re all pretty much the same mellow dudes, focused on our crafts and concepts and shit,” he explains. “Plus I’m a daddy, I love being a daddy. Anytime I can get to spend time with my daughter cause I’m always moving, I wanna spend that time with her.”
Despite no word of releasing a joint album, the TDE crew continues to dominate the rap world as solo artists and is undoubtedly the powerhouse in LA. “Every rapper that ever came to TDE that we was getting ready to f*** with, they always exit themselves out because they weren't humble enough. It was a lotta LA artists that could've been signed to TDE but they was just doing what they doing. Now everyone out there in that city is under us.”
But it’s not just the city of Los Angeles that is marked by this team's artistic ability, the entire country reveres them individually and the hopes of a joint project will likely never die out. ScHoolboy is acutely aware of the role him and his collaborators hold in inspiring the people and making effective change in the areas that call for it most. “People just getting killed left and right. You’ll have 400-500 people die in Chicago, every year. That’s fucking insane, how can that many people die in a year from…? N****s always wanna talk about that gangster shit, ain’t nothing gangster bout none of that shit,” he says.
The artist does not struggle to admit his purpose. “Kids are born everyday, people die everyday. I believe that’s what we’re here for, just to reproduce. That’s why it’s the best feeling in the world, it’s the one way you can bring somebody into this world.”
He has obviously grown over the years of his increasingly levitating career, but he keeps that childish glow and humour amongst him. He recounts losing his virginity, and admits that at the age of 12 he didn’t have too much of an idea of what he was doing. “I thought that’s what you were supposed to do. But I was wrong,” he says bursting out with laughter. There’s a heavy sense of maturity upon him as well. A sincere father who knows exactly where his fullest priorities lie, “I don’t know what love is, it’s just a word. I know how I feel when I see my daughter, or my mom, or when I hear about bad things about my homeboys. Love is just a word. You just have that feeling,” he thinks aloud.
ScHoolboy continues to invest diligent work into his follow-up to the Blank Face LP which is said to feature work from producer Zaytoven and has been hinted to drop by ScHoolboy himself after SZA’s CTRL on June 9th.