Mixing bud smoker's anthems with socially conscious numbers, rapper ScHoolboy Q spent three years in the mixtape underground before launching his career properly in 2011. The first mixtape, the autobiographical Schoolboy Turned Hustla, landed in 2008 and quickly caught the attention of Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg Entertainment. Lamar would form the Black Hippy collective with ScHoolboy along with Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, while Top Dawg would sign the artist to their label. His Gangster & Soul mixtape landed in 2009, and Top Dawg released his official debut, Setbacks, in 2011.
In 2012, Top Dawg announced they had signed a joint venture deal with Interscope and Aftermath, which saw fellow Black Hippy member Kendrick Lamar's debut album get a full release. Later that year, ScHoolboy Q announced he was recording his third album and would be the second member of Black Hippy to benefit from the deal. After a series of mysterious tweets in 2013, Q announced that the release would be called Oxymoron, but nearly a year passed before the dark and abstract album -- which featured a whole host of guest producers and vocalists -- was released in February 2014. Nevertheless, it debuted at number one on the pop charts and pushed the single "Studio" into the Top 40. ~ David Jeffries & Rich Wilson