ScHoolboy Q begins the night unknown, ends a sensation

Rudy Celli

Quincy Hanley, popularly known as ScHoolboy Q (yes that is the correct capitalization pattern), took Hoops Mania by storm this past Friday. Using chart toppers such as “Collard Greens,” “Break the Bank” and MTV VMA nominated hit “Man of the Year,” he was able to excite and entertain the already ultra-pumped, basketball-crazed crowd.  

The artist, who derives the “Q” in his stage name from his first name Quincy, may not have been well known on campus Friday morning, but upon the student body becoming aware of his impending performance, his music could be heard throughout campus, as well as seen posted all over social media. 

This frenzy stemmed from the bubble that was the “secret performer of Hoops Mania” being busted very early by the artist himself, when he tweeted “Villanova Hoops Mania TonigHt,” using his typical H capitalization pattern. 

While at first some students were a bit miffed by the secret being revealed, others saw it as an opportunity to learn about the artist, and listen to some of his chart topping hits. At the same time, others took the opportunity to add bucket hats to their Hoops Mania outfits; a staple at the artist’s various performances.    

Following the final buzzer of the short 15-point scrimmage, Head Coach Jay Wright made the announcement for students to move calmly towards the stage for a musical performance. 

In the eyes of the students, this meant a full on rush in an attempt to be stage side, in the hopes of touching the well-respected rapper. These fans were not disappointed, as there were several moments when the artist was seen giving high-fives and shaking hands with fans while performing.  A founder of the label “Black Hippy,” ScHoolboy Q did not disappoint, creating a buzz throughout the arena from the second he opened his mouth. 

Players were seen dancing on stage prior to joining the crowd and students were seen swaying along with ScHoolboy’s every word. With almost the entire court full and students leaning 10-deep on the second level railing, it was clear Villanova wanted to hear the lyrical offerings of the Grammy nominated Artist.  

Unlike last year’s performer, Nicki Minaj, ScHoolboy Q was interested in not only singing, but also engaging the crowd in conversation, a dialogue welcomed by those in the first few rows. Along the same lines, the Los Angeles native seemed to have created a bond with the players, as many were seen hugging and joking around with the performer on stage as he began to address the crowd.  

ScHoolboy Q has noted in several interviews that one of his musical inspirations is 50 Cent, a former Hoops Mania performer himself, and much like “50,” his lyrical style could be described as slightly erratic, with imperfect bars and quick changes in pace and rhythm throughout. His versatility, something he also attributes to 50 Cent and Jay Z, was showcased with his use of “Man of the Year,” a song based around its chorus, versus “Collard Greens,” a collaboration with Kendrick Lamar, which has very little repetition and a lot more freestyle. 

At the same time, he slowed down with a song like “Break the Bank,” a song about his rise to fame off from humble beginnings on 51st St., between Hoover and Figueroa. Lyrics about Hoover and Figueroa were a constant in this artist’s songs, no matter what kind of rhythm he set during his performance. A final point about his versatility would be despite the varying styles of each song, they each fit within the story of his newest album “Oxymoron.”  

The versatility, interactive nature and lyrical medley of ScHoolboy Q formed a welcomed combination with the kickoff to basketball season. Parallel to many a Wildcat basketball season, many were not sure what they were going to get from this performance, only to be pleasantly surprised by the end product. 

Whether it was a basketball player on the court or a student in the upper most bleachers, the crowd definitely found the performance of ScHoolboy Q to be spot on.