ScHoolboy Q: “50 Cent changed my way of thinking about music”

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ScHoolboy Q recently sat down with NPR for a one hour interview (you read that correct). In a heartfelt and in-depth talk, Q discussed his background story, how & when he started rapping, how he decided to pick up the mic after watching 50 Cent’s Beef DVD, relationship with fellow TDE members, his past addiction to drugs & how he left the habit and much more.


Q has often talked about how he was inspired by 50 Cent to start rapping and in this interview, he goes further into detail about it. Disappointing that their song didn’t make the cut on Oxymoron but hopefully, we will get to hear it soon.

MUHAMMAD: It’s crazy that you just started rapping at 21, like, “Oh, I’m just gonna …” It’s like — obviously the music is deep and branded into your spirit. Did you find during times of — I’ma call it the dark life, troublesome — was at any point music sort of this thing and it just — like a calling? As a backdrop to what you were doing?

SCHOOLBOY Q: Man. You know, it’s crazy. I say this all the time: I never thought about rapping. I had favorite rappers but I always thought the s—- rappers kicked was fake. You’d see n——s talking on YouTube, gang members and s—-, and you hear about s—-: this rapper said this, that rapper ran from this dude. That rapper used to get beat up back in the day. All these rappers you used to grow up listening to it in L.A., and you hear all these bad stories about them. Not saying it’s true — now that I’m an artist and I hear so much random s—- get thrown at me. Half of that s—- I know is probably just n——s talking, but at the same time that s—- made me feel like that s—- ain’t real.

Nas always been my favorite rapper, but 50 Cent, he changed my way of thinking about music cause he was so detailed in his music, I knew that wasn’t lying. I never felt Tupac that way, I never felt Biggie that way. I love Nas music, but I never felt and believed like, “This is for real.” Cause I grew up that gangsta lifestyle. And when I heard his detail in his music, that was it.

And then I watched the — I was out of jail, I got out of jail on house arrest and the homie — what homie was this? I think it was the homie Apollo. I can’t remember, but he came through and gave me some DVDs and s—- and gave me websites to go to. Cause I wasn’t big on the internet and I had to do like 60 days, two months, on house arrest, so I’m like, “I need some s—-.” So he came through and he gave me — that’s when I finally found out about . This is like ’07. I finally found out about Worldstar and I was so amazed by Worldstar. I’m like, “What?! All this s—- is on here?” Like, I didn’t get it. Like, “All this urban s—- on this one site?”

And I’m watching this Beef DVD — I never wrote a full song at the time — I’m watching this DVD, dog, and then 50 Cent says, “If you a felon, you gettin’ out the pen or you just gettin’ out of jail, you don’t know what to do, rap.” I started rapping. I swear to God, that’s how I started rapping — on house arrest. 50 Cent said it, and that’s when I was like, “I’ma really do this s—-.”

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