The name Quincy Matthew Hanley wouldn’t look out of place on a law firm’s letterhead, but Hanley had no such aspirations growing up in Los Angeles. Gangbanging at 12 with the Hoover Crips, and selling Oxy, crack and pot, Hanley was also a B student in school and actually went on to play football at West Los Angeles College (he did just enough classwork to maintain his eligibility). Hanley wound up in jail on an undisclosed charge when he was 21, a six-month stretch that changed his life.
Having written at least a fragment of a song when he was 16, Hanley found a passion for music after finishing his sentence and began charting his Rap course, dubbing himself ScHoolboy Q (after his glasses-and-grades nickname and his distinctive first initial).
In 2009, Q signed with Top Dawg Entertainment where he met labelmates Ab-Soul, Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar; the quartet quickly formed the Hip Hop collective Black Hippy.
Within months, Q dropped his second mixtape, Gangsta & Soul, which teed up a solid year of touring, guest slots and studio work. In early 2011, Q released his debut indie, the presciently titled Setbacks (he was arrested at that year’s SXSW for marijuana possession), but a year later he returned with Habits & Contradictions, a harrowing autobiographical prequel to his debut.In 2012, Q and Black Hippy signed with Interscope (the deal led to Lamar’s platinum-selling 2012 album, good kid, m.A.A.d city). Oxymoron, ScHoolboy Q’s incendiary, just-released Interscope debut, has been incredibly well received by critics for its raw musical presentation and distinctive lyrics and delivery. At press time, chart pundits were predicting it would debut high on the next Billboard album chart, if not hit No. 1.
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