Front Row

First Listen Live: ScHoolboy Q, 'Oxymoron'

Within Black Hippy, the Los Angeles-based crew consisting of Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q is the fun-loving middle child who taunts you with a straight face but can't always help cracking a smile. He's a wildcard who put out two highly-regarded independent albums and has become a reliable source for bracing guest spots. Sometimes he's incisive, sometimes he's callous. He's always charismatic and perceptive and forthright. His music is richly melodic. He's the guy who calls himself cold-blooded by saying, "My heart live where Santa stay," and put his daughter's face on his album cover.

On Feb. 23, the Sunday before he released his major label debut, Oxymoron, he took the stage at New York City's Le Poisson Rouge to perform brand new songs from it as part of NPR Music's First Listen Live series. The set was loose-limbed, spontaneous and unpretentious, including a singalong for surprise guest Ab-Soul. And even though the crowd had only a day or two to hear Oxymoron before the show, songs from it hit hard and low. They were received with open arms by a raucous audience that gave as good as it got.

Set List:

  • Banger (Moshpit)
  • There He Go
  • Nightmare on Figg Street
  • Gangsta
  • Druggys Wit Hoes Again Feat. Ab-Soul
  • Blind Threats
  • Collard Greens
  • Hands on The Wheel
  • What They Want
  • Yay Yay
  • Blessed
  • Break The Bank
  • Hoover Street
  • Studio
  • The Purge
  • Man Of The Year


Producers: Mito Habe-Evans, Frannie Kelley; Videographers: Alex di Suvero, Olivia Merrion, Christopher Parks; Audio Engineers: Kevin Wait and Garth Macaleavey; Hosts: Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Frannie Kelley; Event Coordinator: Saidah Blount; Production Assistant: Olivia Merrion; Special Thanks: Le Poisson Rouge; Executive Producer: Anya Grundmann

[+] read more[-] less

More From Hip-Hop

Mick Jenkins' new EP, The Wave[s], will be released this summer. Lawrence Agyei/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption Lawrence Agyei/Courtesy of the artist

All Songs TV

First Watch: Mick Jenkins, 'P's & Q's'

Watch the hydration-obsessed Chicago rapper's first video from his upcoming EP, Wave[s].

Maggie Starbard/NPR

Tiny Desk

Young Fathers

Intense, hip-hop-infused poetry is reduced to just the essentials in this two-song, four-minute set.

Compton rapper Boogie kicked off NPR Music's SXSW showcase at Stubb's on Wednesday, March 18, 2015. /Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption /Adam Kissick for NPR

Front Row

Boogie, Live In Concert: SXSW 2015

The Compton rapper's set included personal songs performed in order of increasing intensity.

Back To Top