How Kendrick Lamar Saved ScHoolboy Q’s Life

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ScHoolboy Q Narrates How Kendrick Lamar Saved His Life: ‘This Shit Make Me Wanna Cry Right Now.’ Taylor Hill/Getty Images | C Flanigan/WireImage

In a recent BACKONFIGG appearance on September 2nd, ScHoolboy Q delved into various aspects of his career, sharing insights about recording “Brand New Guy” with A$AP Rocky, his favorite album, and his recording process. Around the 1:20:31 mark of the conversation, the TDE rapper opened up about the profound influence Kendrick Lamar had on his life as a rapper.

“Dot taught me so much. Dot gave me so much confidence. Dot made me a rapper. This shit make me wanna cry right now. Dot saved my life. I owe a lot to Dot,” he began.

ScHoolboy Q revealed that Kendrick Lamar and Ali, along with TDE’s president Top Dawg, played a pivotal role in guiding him. “Kendrick & Ali, pulled me to the side [and said] you slipping, you ain’t on your game. [We’re] really about music around here… Top had an intervention, he wanted to get rid of me [at one point]. Dot saved me. He made me his hype man. He would tell me to come to the studio all the time, ‘We in the studio, we in the studio. You got your verse ready?”

Q went on to share how Kendrick often brought him to the studio with Dr. Dre, saying, “Dre was initially interested in Kendrick & then everytime he went to [work] with Dre, he would tell me to pull up. I was like his little sidekick. Next thing you know, Dre hearing my s—t. And then I get my deal because of Dre really. What I’m saying is, [Kendrick] just kept pulling me, kept pulling me & kept pulling me.”

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“He pulled me so long till he couldn’t pull no more and he let go and that was it. So I hit him in two months and I never left the studio since,” he added.

In another part of the interview, ScHoolboy Q explained why he takes extended breaks between album releases. He emphasized that for him and his fellow artists, music is more than just a competitive sport. It’s their life, a medium through which they share their personal experiences and stories.

“We never looked at the industry as a sport, this is our life. Like, me talking about our situations, the s—t we done been through, homies we done lost to the system, to the streets,” he said. “Like, me talking about my mama trauma from her own brothers, you can’t compare that to somebody that won an NBA championship [that happens every year].

He continued: “When it comes to music, I don’t look at it as like, ‘Oh, you have to drop every year.’ I’m like, no, your favorite rapper has to drop every year because he needs chilli. I do what I want because I move off peace, I move off my experiences.

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When I was in the studio with Rocky [in 2011] and we didn’t have no fans, no one cared when we dropped. And when we were making it you got ‘Brand New Guy,’ you got ‘Hands on The Wheel’ and then you got ‘Oxymoron.’ If I don’t bring anything [new] to the table, I don’t feel I should put it out.”

Q would go on to talk about how CrasH Talk, while being his album with the most certifications, is his least introspective album and still left him feeling empty: “I was in a space of transitioning to where I was at – I was super drug-free, [& a father], but I didn’t know how to get rid of the gangster image.”

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Watch the full interview below. 

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