Influences

Schoolboy Q: “My influences are Nas, 50 Cent, Jay-Z, Mobb Deep, Kurupt, 2Pac, Biggie, Kanye West, Beanie Sigel, Wu-Tang Clan. But Biggie, Nas and 50 Cent [are my biggest influences].

“I got [my rhyme style] from Jay-Z though. If you really listen to Jay-Z, he has a new sound every time he raps. It’s never the same. He might use a little swag, but it’s always like a different flow. So that’s all I try to do.

 

A few months ago, I was up in the studio with 50, Dr. Dre, and Kendrick Lamar. We was all in there chilling. 50 said he wants to work with me—he likes my music—we just got to make time in the lab.

 

“But at the same time, its just a feeling I can’t really explain. You got to be wiser to stay on the track, but there’s no rules. When you start rapping with rules, it’s when you start sounding boring. You may hear me fuck with my voice, you may hear me do a two-bar pause, you may hear me do an odd 33 bars instead of 30. Give you 14 bars instead of 16.

“I’m a real big fan of 50. A few months ago, I was up in the studio with 50, Dr. Dre, and Kendrick Lamar. We was all in there chilling. 50 said he wants to work with me—he likes my music—we just got to make time in the lab.

“We talked about the industry, what to do and what not to do, and he gave me some words. 50 told me to keep doing what I’m doing. Do what you want to do, but at the same time, you have to make them records. Don’t get caught up in the bullshit. Get your money and do you. That shit was real inspiring. Made me want to get into the lab the next day. [Laughs.]”