Part of the Black Hippy rap collective, Schoolboy Q is one of the more fascinating rappers working on either side of the country. (Just don’t peg him to the West Coast, as we found out.) We caught up with him at last weekend’s Pitchfork Music Festival to discuss the NFL, Chicago rap, and what he’d do if he was president.
I know you played football in high school, right? What team do you support?
In the NFL? 49rs. Best team ever to do it. I love them to death. I’ma get a tattoo of them once I get over my fear of the needles. I hate tattoos, you know what I’m sayin’? They hurt. But once I get over the fear I’ma get it tatted on me.
How did you feel about them this year?
Aw man, it was good. But we need to tag in. We needed to tag in and return that pump and we would have been straight, we would have been in the Superbowl. But it’s all good.
I was wondering if you could talk about what it feels like to be in the new wave of this west coast rap movement? Do you feel like you have any responsibility?
Nah, man. I don’t care about the west coast, I don’t care about the east coast, I don’t care about the north, I don’t care about the south. I just care about good music. You know what I mean? They put all these labels on people, but we’re all just making music. I don’t care about the east coast music, east coast sound. If it’s hard, it’s hard. East coast n—as is hard, south n—as is hard, n—as up north is hard, n—as from the west is hard. All that name-dropping shit, like no, it’s just good music. I hate that shit. I hate when they say “west coast rap.” The fuck is that? I’m a rapper. They got it fucked up with Westside Connection. Ever since they came, they just threw the west coast on us. And that shit’s just been with us ever since. I think they need to stop doing that because we’re out here making music. Not just for the west coast, but for everybody.
It’s refreshing that you don’t need to feel tied to the past like that. Is this the first time you’ve been in Chicago?
Been in Chicago all the time. Just did a show at Reggie’s, too.
Are there any Chicago rappers you like?
Yeah, Chief Keef. I like all them little n—as. I like King Louie, too. I remember Bump J too, back then before he went to jail and shit. And you know, Ye, Common, of course.
You got any collaborations coming up?
Not coming up. Waka Flocka just hit me [laughs], I don’t know.
If you were casting a movie about yourself, who would you pick to play you?
If anybody, it’d have to be my son. I don’t think anybody could do it. I’d probably have to play myself. Straight Eminem. 8 Mile.
If you were president, what’s the first thing you would do?
In the Oval Office?
Yeah, but I wouldn’t try to be president. That’s too much. I don’t want to be in that position.