Rapper Schoolboy Q came on stage at the Rialto Theater on Monday night and glared into the sold-out crowd from beneath his signature bucket hat.
He had the crowd in the palm of his hand from the start of the show after he asked, are there any Wildcats in the house tonight?
“I know y’all lost,” he yelled, “but fuck that.”
Q performed hits from his recently released major-label debut album “Oxymoron,” which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. He mixed in a few favorites from his previous albums and his verses from collaborations on other artist’s tracks.
Q’s DJ would stop the beat during songs to let the audience shout the words most knew by heart. Fans yelled out for him to play his smash single “Man of the Year.”
When their song finally came on, audience members needed no extra urging to dance.
Though the crowd was overwhelmingly pleased by the performance, it was impossible to ignore the at times awkward and perpetually curious dynamic of the relationship between performer and audience
Q has long been considered one of the most authentically gangster rappers in an industry filled with filler and fluff. Where some of his peers make “Maybach Music” or “woke up in a new Bugatti,” Q raps about committing drive-by shootings in Buick Regals.
The crowd was transfixed by Q’s gritty narratives of life in South Central Los Angeles. Audience members were ready when the beat stopped and prompted their assistance on the choruses of the Tyler the Creator assisted, “The Purge” and Kendrick Lamar’s “M.A.A.D. City.”
Q’s trademark ad-lib of “YAWK, YAWK, YAWK, YAWK,” intended to mimic automatic machine gun fire, sent the crowd into a frenzy when he preformed “Gangsta” as an encore.
Why Q is so popular across multiple demographics is mystery, but whatever the reason, bucket hat sales are sure to skyrocket in Tucson.