Habits & Contradictions
|Habits & Contradictions|
|Studio album by Schoolboy Q|
|Released||January 14, 2012|
TDE Recording Studio: House of Pain
|Label||Top Dawg Entertainment|
|Schoolboy Q chronology|
|Singles from Habits & Contradictions|
Habits & Contradictions is the second studio album by American hip hop recording artist Schoolboy Q, released January 14, 2012, exclusively on iTunes, under Top Dawg Entertainment. The album features guest appearances from ASAP Rocky, Jhené Aiko, Dom Kennedy, Currensy, Ab-Soul, Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock. The album's production was handled by American producers The Alchemist, Lex Luger, Mike WiLL Made It, Best Kept Secret and ASAP Ty Beats, as well as members of Top Dawg in-house production team Digi+Phonics.
On September 22, 2011, via his Twitter feed, Schoolboy Q announced the title of his second independent album to be Habits & Contradictions. He described it as a "prequel to Setbacks". On September 26, he released the first offering off the album, a song titled "Druggys wit Hoes Again" featuring Ab-Soul. The song was originally titled "Extra Pills", however Schoolboy Q said it reminded him so much of "'Druggys wit Hoes' times 10". The song was later released to iTunes on October 11, 2011.
On October 19, 2011, he leaked "There He Go", followed by "Oxy Music" on October 28. To keep promoting Habits & Contradictions he released "My Hatin’ Joint" on November 15, 2011, succeeded by a music video for a track titled "Sacrilegious" on November 29, 2011. On January 2, 2012, Schoolboy Q released another song, "Blessed" featuring Kendrick Lamar and announced the album's release date to be January 14, 2012.
On January 6, 2012, via Twitter, Schoolboy Q revealed guest appearances on the album would include ASAP Rocky, Currensy and Dom Kennedy. On January 6, Schoolboy Q also released a public service announcement for Habits & Contradictions, shot and edited by Dwayne LaFleur. Complex named the song "Hands on the Wheel" #12 on their list of the 50 best songs of 2012. Complex also ranked the album cover the tenth best of 2012.
The album opens with "Sacrilegious" a morose narrative following the contradictions of a killer seeking salvation. Aaron Matthews of Exclaim! noted "'Sacrilegious' and 'Blessed' bookend the album as dual statements of purpose; the former sees Q lamenting his gangbanging past, while the latter unites Q with fellow Black Hippy Kendrick Lamar to celebrate life and count his blessings." OnSMASH claims "The 17 track project, due out January 14, is a look into Q’s life, with tales of pill selling, life struggle, partying, religious hypocrites, his block and everything in between."
Schoolboy Q sat down with freeOnSmash, for an interview and spoke on some of the tracks from the album, the interview was released on January 9, 2012. In the interview with freeOnSmash Schoolboy Q stated "Blessed" and "Sacrilegious" are "basically the two title tracks".
He described "Blessed" is a record where, he's saying no matter how hard times are: "you can be straight. You’re blessed bruh. There’s no reason to be stressing the way you’re stressing. Like I don’t get this; I had somebody tell me they’re broke, they’re stressing with money, but how are you broke and you got your fucking cable on? It don’t make sense. How when we about to go to the store, you got on a leather jacket, you got some Gucci and Jordan shoes talking about how you’re broke? You might have to make better decisions, but at the end of the day, you’re blessed bruh. Every day you have more than somebody. Every day. Every day you’ll be doing better than somebody, so there’s no reason to be complaining or stressing over shit even though it’s gonna happen, but it comes a time where you gotta look at it like, “I’m straight.” Better luck next week. Better luck tomorrow."
His representation or account in words of "Sacrilegious" is: "It’s about a motherfucker that’s — he’s trying, but he keeps contradicting himself. He’s basically going to church and as soon as he leaves church, he’s going to kill somebody. He just can’t get over that hump with life and shit. With the video, I made the video to where at the end the nigga just killed himself going through so much trials and so much trouble in his life. Just wig yourself man, fuck it. That’s what it comes down to when you’re in that mind state and you just keep fucking up and bringing yourself down. All that shit just catches up and wears you down. People that are sacrilegious are the worst type of people man. They’re worse than a liar to me.
|The A.V. Club||B|
|The Boston Phoenix|||
Habits & Contradictions received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 78, based on 16 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". On the week of its release Stereogum announced Habits & Contradictions as their 'Album of the Week'. Jon Garcia of AllHipHop praised "his aggressive, almost angry, rapping style" claiming "there is no shortage of that here. 'Raymond 1969' sounds like something out of a horror film, with Schoolboy riffing about endless violent acts. The horror theme follows on 'Nightmare on Figg St', where Q makes a play on last year’s biggest hit." He continued to write "Two of the best tracks on the project come in the same brash manner in 'Sexting' and 'Druggys With Hoes Again'. When the album first leaked, many versions were missing the first of the two – which is a shame, as the lust filled flute-like sounds on the instrumental set the tone for Q to spaz on. The same goes for the latter, which features Ab-Soul and an insanely catchy, bouncy bassline. Violence and hoes – not the most articulate of ideas, but Schoolboy Q excels at what he’s good at." Nathan S. of DJBooth Called ScHoolboy Q "a versatile swingman with undeniable talent and the potential to become an All-Star in his own right" - referring to his Black Hippy cohorts Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar and Ab-Soul. Nathan S. wrote "a prequel to Q’s last album, Setbacks, Habits & Contradictions is a consistently dark and unrelenting album that puts Q’s trademark blend of aggression and relaxation on full display; the album often sounds like some Valium washed down with two cans of Four Loko." Nathan S. highlighted his versatility with aggression and relaxation saying "It may have its moments of aggression, but ultimately Habits & Contradictions is often a more quiet and thoughtful album than tracks like Druggys Wit Hoes Again might suggest (hence the Contradictions?). Opening offering Sacrilegious is a conversational exploration into the hypocritical world of religion, and those who so easily worship false idols, a topic that bleeds into the Kendrick Lamar assisted Blessed."
Exclaim! writer Aaron Matthews called the album's guest appearances "infrequent but well-chosen: 'Hands on the Wheel' reunites Q with ASAP Rocky over a moody Lissie loop to big up illegal substances, while 'Groovline Pt.1' boasts a surprisingly smooth Lex Luger concoction with verses by Currensy and Dom Kennedy." However Matthews ended with "Habits & Contradictions is a cohesive and compelling exploration of a man torn between his past and his present. Get the album." Shelz of PlanetIll wrote "There isn’t much more here from a thematic standpoint, but the range of production and Q’s deliveries make the lack of content variety palatable." She praised several tracks stating "The first half of this album would have served as a slick and concise LP. From the infectious bounce of volleying piano keys and animated vocals on 'There He Go' to the slick, retro bass and wood winds of 'My Hating Joint,' the first half is almost as intoxicating as all those drugs Q uses. 'Sacrilegious' stomps through with a slow simmer of blotchy synth and layered vocals as Q lays out the dark path he regularly walks, vocally toggling between a discomforting monotone indifference and an angry growl. 'Hands On the Wheel' cranks the energy with Lissie kicking out the title on the hook and ASAP Rocky riding shotgun. The wonderfully ominous 'Raymond 1969' tells a scary story about drug fueled murder that could easily make you want to keep your lights on at night. The title could very well be a nod to Crips co-founder Raymond Washington, who formed the precursor to that gang, the Baby Avenues, in 1969." Shelz concluded with "The great thing about Habits & Contradictions is for the most part, it doesn’t sound like anything else. School boy Q put together a unique and, at times, compelling album. When Q meanders into common areas it detracts from the album’s personality, but thankfully, he rights the ship near the end."
Ivan Rott of Hip Hop Is Read described Habits & Contradictions as "an impressively thorough project which further establishes [ScHoolboy Q's] trademark as a solo artist." Henry Yanney of SoulCulture wrote "ScHoolBoy Q definitely stands as the most animated of the quartet and H&C really brings to life his attention grabbing, wild styles. From residing in a mellow trance on 'My Hatin’ Joint' to breaking into somewhat scary hysterics on 'Oxy Music,' ScHoolBoy provides an energetic, eclectic listening experience. Yanney praised its raw sound: "Sounding very much like an underground album where the ‘rules’ are few and far between, ScHoolBoy Q’s second street album is unadulterated material – which at times is raw even to the most sternest of ears. But Habits & Contradictions is a mesmerising listening experience; mixing the anger, exuberance and passionate flow of its protagonist with an eclipsing score, making for yet another staple moment for the small West Coast outfit taking huge strides with each release." Jayson Greene of Pitchfork Media noted "Habits & Contradictions is, accordingly, a dark and moody listen, but it never bogs down in momentum or succumbs to despair".
Habits & Contradictions was named the fifth best album of 2012 by Complex. The album was listed 31st on Stereogum's list of top 50 albums of 2012. Pitchfork Media ranked it 25th on their Top 50 Albums of 2012 list In October 2013, Complex named it the ninth best hip hop album of the last five years.
The album debuted at #111 on the US Billboard 200 chart, with first-week sales of 3,000 digital copies in the United States. In early hours of release, the album moved up to iTunes Top 10 Albums chart and stayed over within days after release. With only two days at retail the Top Dawg Entertainment release scanned nearly 4,000 units to crack the Top 100, without any marketing or advertising. The album also debuted on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums at number twenty-five, Top Rap Albums at number sixteen, Top Independent Albums at number seventeen and at number three on the Top Heatseekers album chart respectively. As of February 2014, the album has sold 48,000 copies in the United States.
|2.||"There He Go"||Sounwave of Digi+Phonics||3:20|
|3.||"Hands on the Wheel" (featuring ASAP Rocky)||Best Kept Secret||3:17|
|4.||"Sex Drive" (featuring Jhené Aiko)||THC||3:22|
|6.||"My Hatin' Joint"||Mike WiLL Made It||4:15|
|7.||"Tookie Knows (Interlude)"||1:26|
|10.||"Grooveline Pt. 1" (featuring Dom Kennedy and Currensy)||Lex Luger||5:00|
|11.||"Gangsta in Designer (No Concept)"||Willie B of Digi+Phonics||3:48|
|12.||"How We Feeling"||Dave Free of Digi+Phonics||3:12|
|13.||"Druggys wit Hoes Again" (featuring Ab-Soul)||Nez & Rio||3:39|
|14.||"Nightmare on Figg St."||ASAP Ty Beats||3:36|
|15.||"My Homie"||The Alchemist||3:47|
|16.||"Blessed" (featuring Kendrick Lamar)||Dave Free of Digi+Phonics||5:10|
|17.||"Niggahs.already.know.davers.flow"||Nez & Rio||3:53|
|18.||"2 Raw" (featuring Jay Rock)||Tae Beast of Digi+Phonics||4:39|
- Sample credits
- "There He Go" contains a sample of "Wet and Rusting" as performed by Menomena and "One Man Band (Plays All Alone)" as performed by Monk Higgins.
- "Hands on the Wheel" contains a sample of "Pursuit of Happiness", written by Scott Mescudi, as performed live by Lissie.
- "My Hatin' Joint" contains a sample of "Image" as performed by Brian Bennett.
- "Raymond 1969" contains a sample of "Cowboys" as performed by Portishead.
- "Grooveline Pt. 1" contains a sample of "Feel Like Makin' Love" as performed by Marlena Shaw.
- "Gangsta in Designer (No Concept)" contains a sample of "Firth of Fifth" as performed by Genesis.
- "Nightmare on Figg St." contains an interpolation of "Niggas in Paris" as performed by Kanye West and Jay Z.
- "Blessed" contains a sample of "Fall Into You" as performed by Soulstice.
- "2 Raw" contains a sample of "Merlin the Magician" as performed by Rick Wakeman.
|US Billboard 200||111|
|US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)||25|
|US Top Rap Albums (Billboard)||16|
|US Top Independent Albums (Billboard)||17|
|US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)||3|
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- "Schoolboy Q's Hands on tHe WHeel sample of Lissie's Pursuit of Happiness". WhoSampled. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
- "Schoolboy Q's My Hatin Joint sample of Brian Bennett's Image". WhoSampled. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
- "Schoolboy Q's Raymond 1969 sample of Portishead's Cowboys". WhoSampled. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
- "Schoolboy Q's Grooveline Pt. 1 sample of Marlena Shaw's Feel Like Makin' Love". WhoSampled. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
- "Schoolboy Q's Gangsta in Designer (No Concept) sample of Genesis' Firth of Fifth". WhoSampled. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
- "Schoolboy Q's Blessed sample of Soulstice's Fall Into You". WhoSampled. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
- "Schoolboy Q's 2 Raw sample of Rick Wakeman's Merlin The Magician". WhoSampled. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
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