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Schoolboy Q @ The Regency Ballroom 

Wednesday, Jul 6 2016

Rapper Schoolboy Q, one-fourth of Black Hippy — the L.A. hip-hop supergroup that includes Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, and Ab-Soul — is an interesting dude. Though he's beloved for his squishy, nasal voice; drug-centric subject matter; and party appropriate anthems, he wasn't always a rapper. Far from it — a football player since the age of six, he played the sport through college, before things went downhill. He started gang-banging, joining the 52 Hoover Gangster Crips, because that's what his homies had done, and he became a drug dealer, peddling crack and weed, but mostly Oxycontin. "I was just lost," he told Complex. "I didn't know what I wanted to do." By luck, he met the masterminds behind the independent record label Top Dawg Entertainment, to which all the members of Black Hippy are signed, and was invited to the label's studio, House of Pain, where he met his future crewmates. That was back in 2006, and now, 10 years later, he's on the verge of dropping his fourth studio album, Blank Face LP (out Friday, July 8). In April, he shared the album's first single, "Groovy Tony," an eerie, bass-driven track overlaid with vocals from an angsty, cantankerous Q, but it's "THat Part," the album's second single, that takes the cake. With guest vocals and production from Kanye West himself, the pulsating, languid song has been played more than 3 million times on Spotify in the span of two months — an indicator that fans not only like it, but that they're hungry for more.


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Jessie Schiewe


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