Schoolboy Q

Still establishing his voice three mixtapes in—is he a moralist, a hedonist, or a knowing parodist of both?—L.A. rapper Schoolboy Q is a compelling presence nonetheless. There's a loping, quietly hysterical quality to the storytelling on Setbacks and Habits & Contradictions, as if the rapper is constantly struggling to gauge his own levels of credulity and commitment to hip-hop itself. Pal Kendrick Lamar may have a Dr. Dre co-sign to flaunt, but we'll take Q's half-blazed rope-a-dopes.
Wed., April 11, 9 p.m., 2012

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