The moral of Oxymoron, though, is that Q couldn’t have made a much better album being the rapper he is.
Make no mistake, Oxymoron is rather brilliant, and provides a perfect foundation to build upon in later releases. An exciting release from an exciting artist.
Rambunctious and irreverent, Oxymoron blasts bullet holes in the theory that gangsta rap can't sound fresh for 2014.
While real thinkers will inevitably crucify Ab Soul’s TDE brother for his lack of “conscious” content, there is no doubt that Q is definitely serious about his craft.
For its occasional low ebbs, Oxymoron is an impressive display of bleak wit: ScHoolboy Q pits image against reality and myth against misery, trying to make a space for himself among the densely tangled contradictions of existence.
Unlike his previous efforts Oxymoron picks a brand of momentum and sticks to it, avoiding the peaks and surprises that have so often signified a ScHoolboy Q project.
There isn’t a bad song in the bunch, but you get the sense that three albums in, Q’s readymade sense of what a Schoolboy Q album should sound like is as much a safety net prohibiting outright failure as it is a hindrance to true progression.
That tight focus is Oxymoron’s greatest asset, though its hour runtime might have benefited from a few more verses from lighter presences like Lamar, if only because it’s refreshing to hear from somebody who doesn’t rap like he’s robbing you at knifepoint from time to time.
This is functional, engaging music, even exceptionally so, but it never seems to have a real, vested interest in being anything beyond that.
The wonders never cease on this adventurous and street-tough effort, but they never sort themselves well, either, and with accessible highlights like "Blind Threats," "Break the Bank," and "Man of the Year" all bundled toward the end, this LP requires a surprising amount of patience
What it lacks in punch it makes up for in being a more focused effort than its occasionally mixtape-esque brother, and thus, Oxymoron isn’t so much a backpedal for Q and TDE as it is a solid side-step.
Given TDE’s ever-increasing appeal, Oxymoron isn’t quite an elite offering, but it meets the difficult task of attracting casual fans without straying too far from the formula that attracted ScHoolboy Q’s core audience.
Oxymoron, the rapper's third full-length and first for Interscope, is powered by the sturdy widescreen hedonism of Dr. Dre's The Chronic, full of well-rapped and witty lyrics about doing dirtbaggy things over top-shelf, endlessly fascinating, forever-morphing beats.
In truth, Schoolboy Q is neither a great lyricist nor a technically dazzling rapper. In his own words, he stays in his lane. His greatest attribute by far is charisma: he has a raspy, distinctive voice, and his delivery is energetic and pliant.