Interview: ScHoolboy Q Talks Bucket Hats & Taking DMT

The self-proclaimed "gangsta in designer" discusses the L.A. rap scene and how 15 minutes can last a lifetime.

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Complex Original

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As the self-proclaimed “gangsta in designer” preps his major label debut, OxyMoron, he discusses the L.A. rap scene and how 15 minutes can last a lifetime.

This feature appears in Complex's April/May 2013 issue.

The L.A. rap scene is popping again because rappers stopped saying “West Coast.” Nobody says that anymore. Fans of L.A. music were reaching and saying, “This is West Coast music,” because nobody else liked it. Truth is, the music just fell off. It was time to restart the PlayStation and wipe the game. Now, we’re rappers who just happen to be from L.A. We ain’t trying to stay local and only get played on L.A. radio. We rap for the world, not just for the West Coast.

We rap for the world, not just for the West Coast.

I was walking through the mall, saw a bucket hat, put it on, looked in the mirror, and told my homie, “This motherfucker’s hard.” He agreed and I bought it. I wore it for a week, never took it off. I kept buying bucket hats. Next thing I knew, I felt like I didn’t look right without one. It’s 2013: Niggas ain’t wearing beanies and killing people like they used to in L.A. Niggas are getting fresh. But I’m already thinking about when I’m going to stop wearing a hat and introduce people to my lovely head.

When I was on tour in Virginia, I took DMT. Right before I took it, someone said, “15 minutes—that’s an eternity,” so that phrase kept playing in my head. I thought, “We waste so much time. You don’t die from a bullet, you don’t die from a car crash, you die from continually wasting 15 minutes.” No matter what you believe in, you’re going to die. Do what you’ve got to do. That gave me so much more drive. It showed me not to take my time for granted.

When I go to a show, I don’t want to see a nigga up there like it’s his job. A lot of rappers rap with their head down, as if they don’t even like their shit. You’ve got to be like a fan at your show, just wild out. I make eye contact. I get in the crowd and kick it with ’em, stage dive, mosh. I make ’em laugh. I go out there and turn up, have fun. There’s no set list; I don’t have rehearsals. Most of my music is about drugs and turning up anyway, so people at my shows are faded.

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