Schoolboy Q has been cleaning up blogs and hip-hop heads across the webs’ recommendations this year, hasn’t he? After Kendrick Lamar’s superb 2011, Schoolboy Q was the next up from Top Dawg Entertainment to showcase his talents, managing to hold his own on January’s Habits & Contradictions. It was strange that by the end of June, he was already headlining a set at Houston’s Warehouse Live Studio, and brought along our friends The Niceguys and Dallas’ Dustin Cavazos along for the ride.
Hit the jump for the recap.
We’ve all been a huge fan of Dustin Cavazos for a long time. Sadly, the Houston/Dallas thing doesn’t work out in our favor much, so up until this point, we’ve been unable to watch our friend perform on stage. (Well, besides this.) Aside from being one of the most down to earth musicians we’ve ever come across, the fact that he’s insanely talented remains. Granted, a DJ and a microphone isn’t an ideal setup for a guy who thrives off of having live music on his record, but Dustin took this all in stride for his first performance in Houston. Cavazos is a natural performer, vibing off of a flat crowd and converting casual viewers into possible fans after a quick 20 minute set. Throughout his set, he managed to give away a handful of copies of his latest LP, which was a nice intro for what’s to come from his next LP, In and Out of Sleep.
[ed note: We definitely hope he's presented with the opportunity to perform more in our city!]
The worst thing about Houston rap shows is the fact that promoters can’t ever just have TWO openers for a show. Between the time of Cavazos’ set and The Niceguys, there were three other sets that – nothing personal – weren’t worth having around. It burns time off of Friday nights and just makes a drunk/high crowd drunker/higher, leaving 300+ people with drowsiness and impatience. But that’s neither here, nor there. The Niceguys came out without missing a step, taking their 30 minute set time to showcase new songs (“Casino Flow”, “Overtoast”) from the James Kelley LP, which is due out later this summer. Naturally, they’ll never shy away from bringing “Not At All” out for a night out, as Jack Freeman was also in house.
Two acts later, Schoolboy Q hit the stage to his album opener “Sacrilegious.” Having only one major album release under his belt, mostly single song performed was from Habits & Contradictions, with the exception of his feature on A$AP Rocky’s “Brand New Guy,” which were both set favorites. Donning an American flag t-shirt and his now-signature bucket hat, Quincy was damn-near incognito to the photographer’s eye, which was drowned out by weed smoke and spotlights.
Regardless, the energy was flowing. The crowd was teased with Kendrick Lamar snippets (Why, exactly? We all knew he wasn’t there) after Q performed verses from “Gangsta in Designer” and “There He Go.” An exciting moment came for a fan when he was called up by Q to perform Ab-Soul’s verse on “Druggy With Hoes Again,” in which the fan did quite the job. A Kendrick-less “Blessed” and an ASAP-less “Hands on the Wheel” brought out the best responses from the crowd, as they managed to muster up their energy to rap along well past midnight. For some reason, the end of Schoolboy’s set reminded me of a WWF exit after a wrestler wins a match. A song blared over the PA (Keef’s “I Don’t Like”) as Q and the rest of his crew jumped around on stage, en route to the back – fitting for a guy who is playing a string of successful headlining dates in Texas for the first time.