Since the start of his Blank Face LP Tour, Schoolboy Q and Joey Bada$$ have been known to put on one hell of a show. So when it made it’s official stop at the Criterion in Oklahoma City, RESPECT. was definitely in the building to check it out.
As the crowd, which was wrapped around the corner, entered the venue to fill the open mosh pit area and upper levels, MMG camp DJ and area resident, DJ Wayneindisthang opened the show playing crunk classics like Chief Keef‘s “Sosa” and Waka Flocka‘s “Grove Street Party”, “Hard in the Paint” and 2 Chainz “I’m Different”; the crowd was definitely hyped and ready to get the show started. Kicking off the show, the tour DJ arrived on stage and dropping Travis $cott‘s “Antidote” as the crowd began to cheer with anticipation.
After a 30 minute warm-up set with the tour DJ, Joey Bada$$ hit the stage and bodied through classics like No, 99 and Christ Conscious off of his album B4.DA.$$ . Lyrically killing the set, Joey let the crowd know that the energy level would need to be raised a few notches before the beat dropped and his Pro Era label crew arrived on stage as he closed his set with his latest single Devastated which blew the roof off the venue.
“Are you ready for Schoolboy Q?” Joey shouted as he prepared to leave the stage. The crowd answered with a deafening yell as Joey Bada$$ let fans know it was about to go down. In between Joey and Schoolboy Q, the DJ began dropping TDE bangers from Q’s labelmates Ab-Soul, Jay Rock and Kendrick Lamar. The crowd was hype as the DJ proclaimed “Oklahoma City we are shutting shit down tonight!” then the opening notes A$AP Rocky‘ and A$AP Ferg‘s “Shabba Ranks”, “New Level” and “Work” sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Sensing the crowd is at the perfect momentum, Schoolboy Q emerges from the dark, while neon lights spell out Blank Face LP Tour in the background on a simulated chalkboard. Q hit the stage with a hoodie covering his face, as soon as he pulled it back the beat drops for Oxymoron‘s lead track “Gangsta” and the crowd explodes. From the very first bar to the very last of his encore set, Schoolboy is 100% on point. Being a fan of the Blank Face LP and Schoolboy Q, it was dope to see him perform it live in a packed venue in Oklahoma City, which until recently hasn’t seen a lot of Hip-Hop acts over the years. Q addressed the skipping of the city on his last tour during the show.
“This is my first time in Oklahoma City,” Q said, “I didn’t come through here for the Oxymoron Tour, but I will be back. I fucks with every one of ya’ll because when I came here I didn’t know what to expect. But to see the line around the corner waiting just to see me, let me know I have to come back and fuck with ya’ll.”
It’s at this point Schoolboy Q takes a little more time to reflect on his career and the sacrifices it took to make it to his current level of success.
“I wanna thank you for your support, it means so much to me,” Q said. “Ya’ll just don’t know when I first started I had people doubting me, even my own mother, we’re good now but it wasn’t like that at first. I had homies in Lexuses riding past me walking, I was homeless sleeping on couches for this shit man; I remember my music used to have three likes, but it was those three likes that kept me going. Now those same homies that rode past me are calling me asking for a job. I have full custody of my daughter, I’m not depressed anymore, I’m not incarcerated and because of you I can send my daughter to the best private school in LA!” as the DJ drops “Blessed” and the crowd erupts into cheering rhyming along each verse with Q.
Despite only being contracted for an hour set, Schoolboy Q announced that show was nowhere near done, as the beat drops for Man of the Year gets the crowd fired up before Hell of a Night ignites an explosion of hands, strobe lights, and lasers. Despite a few technical difficulties outside of his control, Schoolboy Q gave a stellar performance and also treated fans to an encore performance of his smash lead single off the Blank Face LP, “That Part”, before ending the show and solidifying himself as one of the hardest working entertainers in the game.
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