The crowd erupted with excitement as a familiar figure in a Michigan bucket hat emerged onto the stage of Hill Auditorium this past Saturday. Schoolboy Q graced Ann Arbor with his presence this weekend as part of his current trans-American tour. The Californian hip-hop artist has appeared on stage alongside the likes of Wiz Kalifa, A$AP Rocky, Danny Brown, and fellow members of record label Top Dawg Entertainment like Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul and Isaiah Rashad. Perhaps most importantly, he is also often credited as the founding father of the bucket hat phenomenon pervading the dress of American youth as of late.
Since the release of his latest album, Oxymoron, earlier this year, the 27 year-old rapper and notorious badass has been making a lot of noise among the hip-hop inclined. He made big waves in 2013 with the early release of "Collard Greens", the lead single on Oxymoron, and has since refused to disappoint with hits like "Man Of The Year", "Studio" and "Break the Bank". He's since put several award nominations under his belt, like "Best New Artist" by the Black Entertainment Television Awards, and "Artist To Watch" by the MTV Vieo Music Awards for his single, "Man Of The Year". He captivates critics with his stylistic eccentricity, citing influences like 50 Cent and Jay-Z, and frankly fits right into the righteous group of rappers that make up Top Dawg Entertainment.
On that cold October night, Schoolboy Q warmed the crowd right up with crowd pleasers from his new album, as well as with a rendition of label-mate Lamar's "m.A.A.d. City". In no time at all, the hundreds of shivering teenagers and college kids were rocking in their seats (which soon turned into a mosh pit on the floor of the auditorium), riled up and screaming along to tracks like "Yay Yay", "Gangsta" and "What They Want". Reports of corwd surfing and wild struggles for a high-five from the rapper himself were rampant.
The man is nothing if not smooth. Toward the middle of the show, he took a minute to thank the audience. "Every month you put my daughter through school", he told them, and urged by their cheers, continued on to finish a hell of a set list. Ending the concert on "Man Of The Year", Schoolboy Q reluctantly concluded his performance fairly early due to a "curfew" imposed by the auditorium - the effect of a notorious reputation, one could suppose.
We asked for a show and we got one. Yay Yay Yay.