TDE fans have been begging the label’s artists for a Black Hippy album, but in a recent interview with Real 92.3, ScHoolboy Q insinuates that fans shouldn’t get their hopes up.
Despite Black Hippy - the rap quartet of Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Q and Jay Rock - teaming up for a remix of Q’s “THat Part,” Q says there aren’t any plans to create a full-length album together. Many people would expect for scheduling to be an issue; each of the four members has his own successful solo career, and creating a group album has a lot of moving parts. But the brutally honest Q said it isn’t just a matter of time:
"We don't like rapping with each other no more.That's pretty old now, for us,” Q laughed. “We love each other.”
Q still gives his Black Hippy cohorts credit for helping him learn to rap. While he kept a foot in the streets, he says they told him to make music to speak about why he kept hustling and going back to the hood:
"Don't get it wrong. We don't like rapping with each other, but Kendrick, Ab-Soul, Jay Rock, they're my favorite rappers. They taught me how to rap. I came over there and I got inspired by them and they made me pick my pen up,” Q said. “...They made me progress to the point where now, they can't see me. I tell them all the time, 'Y'all can't mess with me.'"
While a Black Hippy album isn’t on the horizon, it’s tough to blame fans for lusting after one - whenever the crew teams up, the results are usually potent. Their remix to “Black Lip Bastard” on Ab-Soul’s Control System still sounds great, and “Vice City” was a highlight from Jay Rock’s 90059.
Rap fans are also likely just anxious for a good group. The years of timeless ensembles like A Tribe Called Quest, Wu-Tang Clan and Public Enemy are long gone, and most acts are opting for solo careers.
ScHoolboy Q said the Black Hippy remix of “THat Part” was put together at TDE CEO Top Dawg’s request. Top doesn’t make them collaborate, Q says, but he makes suggestions. With all he has done for Q as a mentor and an early supporter when he was down and out, he has trouble telling him no.
"He let me live and sleep on his couch, let me walk in on his refrigerator, take food out his kids mouth. I watched his kids grow up. So it's like it's deeper than rap music. It's almost like my pops. It's like he tells me something, I might not agree with every single thing he tells me to do or every single thing he say, but out of respect for what he done for me, it's hard for me to say no or put up a big argument about it."
Many fans will likely read those comments and beg Top Dawg for a Black Hippy album; after all, fans and LeBron James’ request for Kendrick’s live songs resulted in the release of untitled unmastered earlier this year. But with TDE’s winning record - which was just extended with Q’s incredible Blank Face LP - it’s tough to question their tactics. In the meantime, we should probably just assemble the previous Black Hippy songs in our own playlists, and add new ones whenever they pop up.
By William Ketchum III, aka @WEKetchum
Photo Credit: BilkEnt