Friday at high noon, ScHoolboy Q took the stage at the Spin Magazine / Vans stage in downtown Austin. It was overcast and humid but the weather was hardly a concern when the TDE breakout star took the stage. Opening with “Gangsta, Gangsta” from his chart topping album Oxymoron, the SXSW crowd was promptly warmed up. Q, dressed in his signature bucket cap with an embellished black sweatshirt seemed a bit miffed about his position in the show’s lineup. Between “Hands on the Wheel” and “Collard Greens,” he lightly complained about not having the space to “do too much,” on the small stage. Nonetheless, he was enthusiastic and the crowd infatuated by his charisma. His gravelly voice was perfect on “Break the Bank,” and “What They Want” incited a mini mosh pit of arms and legs, even sans 2Chanz.
When it comes to access, SXSW hasn’t been as kind to Schoolboy as he’d like. He was denied entry into a concert headlined by 50 Cent, a fact both he and Fif lamented over loudly on Twitter earlier in the week. To that end, it was a bit delightful to watch his show go rap rogue as he launched into “Fuck LA,” much to the sound engineer’s chagrin. With a smirk and more than a bit of sarcasm in his voice he announced, “they said this was supposed to be the last song two songs ago,” before heading straight into “Man of the Year.” The audience was adoring as ever and turned this single into a pretty roaring rendition.
Despite the humidity and obvious heightened tensions over his impromptu elongated set, Q looked as cool as a cucumber as he boldly started the lyrics to “Studio,” before the sound-man pulled the plug. There was a collective groan from the arena as everyone realized their new up from the underground favorite MC was being interrupted mid-breath. He took it all in stride, though, deciding to crowd surf and give everyone high fives before exciting the staging area with his handlers and a big hefty laugh.
Words by Ru
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