ScHoolboy Q’s NYC sold out show last night– at famed hip-hop breeding ground S.O.B.’s–was at times, more comedy routine than a concert. Decked in a red Kangol bucket hat and trademark T.D.E. hoodie, the Black
Hippy rapper was in high spirits from the onset. “Do any of y’all smoke in here or what? We gonna smoke in here tonight!” he exclaimed, blunt in mouth, before jumping into the opener “Sacrilegious.” The rapper struggled through the song, claiming he forgot the lyrics, but it wasn’t a first-time offense; the fumble would prove a repeat occurrence on two other tracks including the druggy “Oxy Music.”
Lucky for Q, his sold-out crowd was more than prepared to jump in at times when he was too forgetful or too fatigued, reflecting the immense circulation his “Habits & Contradictions” mixtape has had since its 2012
Even luckier for Q, his onstage charisma served him well and helped bolster what would have otherwise been a disastrous set. He kept the mood light, name-checking his upcoming “Oxymoron” album, interacting
with the crowd (joking at one point, that A$AP Rocky had probably slept with Rihanna on tour) and being honest about the performance’s shortcomings. The camaraderie with the audience was palpable. He
shared how “thirsty” he was on Twitter before the show and his insecurities around his weight and not wanting fans to see his terrible haircut. He even singled out specific fans to help usher along the show. Before “Gangsta In Designer (No Concept),” Q brought up a fan from the audience onstage who happened to bear a striking resemblance to hometown rapper French Montana and asked who he dubbed “French Montana’s son” to serve as a hype man. Later, Q would do the same with a fan rocking a Danny Brown-esque haircut, but not before playfully ribbing him.
By the show’s closing tracks, the infectious “Hands on the Wheel” and his new single “Yay Yay,” ScHoolboy Q was visibly exhausted. It was incredulous to think that he would have to repeat the entire performance
all over again for the late set shortly thereafter, but after witnessing the rapper’s improv abilities and inherent charm, it was clear he’d figure something out. —Sowmya Krishnamurthy