ScHoolboy Q: Sippin’ Syrup Makes My Music Suck

02.20.14 4 years ago 40 Comments

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There’s no such thing as a bad interview with ScHoolboy Q. Almost any time he sits down in front of a camera or microphone to talk, he says something that will make you laugh and/or think about his statements.

I haven’t really determined what makes Q sound more believable than other rappers. Maybe it’s his deadpan way of speaking, the fact that he’ll laugh at himself or that he doesn’t pause to think before answering. None of his answers ever seem calculated or coached. Interviewers ask and he responds. Recently, he sat down with Angie Martinez and the topic of drugs came up. As usual, ScHool didn’t hold back when discussing his addiction, current relapse and consumption.

The conversation begins with Q explaining in pretty simple terms how he got hooked on Percocet and Xanax as well as he strong attraction to sippin’ syrup. One of the tales he recounts focuses on an experience at SXSW where “so much stomach pain” from pills and syrup left him curled up, physically unable to do anything. Instead of saying the alcoholic’s porcelain god prayer – the one where they promise not to drink anymore if a higher power stops their throwing up and laying on the cold bathroom floor – Q responds to Angie’s question of whether that was the moment he felt he needed to stop by saying “S***, that was the moment where I said I need mo’.”


“I don’t wanna sit here and talk about it in a good way,” he continued, “cause it’s not, but it is. I love it.” Habits & Contradictions, indeed.

The convo moves along to the downsides of syrup and pills and Q quantifies it as when you want them more than you do sex, saying if he had to choose between an ass-naked Jennifer Lawrence and the drugs, he’d take the drugs, lie and go get high. You really can’t front on the guy for his honesty, I’ll give him that much.

From there, the whole convo slowly keeps getting a little more – I don’t think depressing is the word, but I wouldn’t frame any of it as being hopeful. Q admits that he’s been back on lean frequently after supposedly being clean during the two-year period spent making OXYmoron. The weirdest part is when he admits that the codeine does have an effect on his music and personal life. “My sex life sucks right now,” he admits, to which Angie retorts “Well, there’s an anti-drug commercial.” He continues on, “When it comes to, like, making music…I suck right now…besides my album.”

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Again, I admire Q’s honesty. I truly do.

That’s why I can honestly say that nothing about his recent output – everything that’s released between “Yay Yay” and Wednesday’s release of “Blind THreats” – really made me want to hear OXYmoron. Nothing. And I say this from the perspective of a fan, not some quasi-critic trying to take shots at his music. As one of TDE’s next in line after Kendrick, I want to see him have crazy success just to stiff arm naysayers who say the roster begins and ends with K Dot.

But, that’s from March of 2013 to February of 2014 where nothing he put out made it to my iPod and none of the songs we know will be on the album really grabbed me beside the two aforementioned ones. Almost a full calendar year where his music felt and sounded stale to me. In fact, if he’s saying he was sober, I’m wondering if he needs the drugs to tap into his creative energies, kind of a like a Lil Wayne or Eminem. It feel selfish and enabling to sit here and be like, “Hey man, do drugs, risk your health so I can hear better music from you.”

But, then again, it brings me to Billboard’s recent profile of a rehabbed Chief Keef, who blames lean for his recent music sucking. As he tells the mag, “My last two mixtapes were mistakes. I was on promethazine, all drugged out. I was tweaking. I don’t sip the lean no more though.”

Granted, Sosa will never be confused with Nas. His interview statements were published around the same time the Young Chop-produced cut “War” hit the webs and it’s by far one of the most garbled pieces of garbage I’ve heard Keef record.

It’s not just limited to these two guys. Mac Miller was hooked for a bit, Soulja Boy Tell’em flaunts his bottles on Instagram on a frequent basis. Lean’s become the drug of choice in rap. Name any artist floating near the top of the charts or a young guy on the comeup – Young Thug, for example – and there’s plenty of references to drinking syrup…and a lot of shitty music.

So was it the lean or lack thereof that made ScHoolboy’s music stagnant? Is the syrup f****** up the sound of rap?

Watch Q and Angie’s interview below and check out the second clip, too, where he speaks on a much talked about collaborative record with 50 Cent not making OXY because it “didn’t fit.” Around here, we prefer to say “that shit sucked.”

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