We Got a Dad to Talk to Schoolboy Q About Being a Dad
"Fuck, we're such great fathers"—we imagine them saying.
All photos courtesy of Daily VICE
ScHoolboy Q’s new album, Blank Face, was announced this past February, and it’s honestly felt like forever having to wait for it to drop. There have been a handful of tracks shared—the brutally gangsta “Groovy Tony,” the Anderson .Paak-featuring “Am I Wrong,” and the Kanye-assisted “THat Part”—as well as a trailer, but the L.A. rapper has been pretty quiet about the record in advance of its release. Y’know, other than trolling us with both Crying Jordan and Donald Trump’s scrubbed face as prank covers. During a promotional stop in Toronto, Noisey had the opportunity to ask Q all about Blank Face—but we didn’t. Instead, we used the time to talk to him about, well, not music but life as the single father of a seven-year-old girl. Check any ScHoolboy Q media, and his daughter, Joy, is all over it. She appears on the records, she stars in the music videos, she pops up on his Instagram, and most special of all, she announces the record release dates. Q doesn’t shy away from talking about his daughter, but we thought we could go one step further and engage him in a real heartfelt dad talk.
NOISEY: On the new album you’ve got a song called "THat Part" featuring Kanye West. Did you and Kanye ever talk about dad stuff while you were making the video?
ScHoolboy Q: Naaah. Not really. We wasn’t separated, but we were around. We didn’t really have too much talk about being fathers, but we talked about fashion and just music, pretty much.
Your daughter Joy is a big part of your music. What does she think of that?
She don’t really care. I always say to her, “You tryin’ to do this for Daddy? You tryin’ to do that for daddy?” And it’s, “Yeah, I’ll do it.” I ask her. She don’t give a damn. She wanna play soccer and look at YouTube all day [laughs].
So did you encourage her to play soccer?
Yeah! I was like, “You gotta play soccer or do something! You can’t just sit in the house waitin’ to be 18.” So I decided to put her into different things. Soccer was just something she played and it clicked on. As soon as she touched the field she was just a natural at it. To the point where I even put her in track and she quit. She was just, “I don’t wanna do this shit no more. I just wanna play soccer.” Know what I mean? She chose her destiny real early with the soccer thing but we gonna see how long it lasts because you know kids. They’ll love something for a minute and then they like, “Nah.” I changed my career up so many times or what I wanted to be for the age 14 to 16, so hopefully she stays with it because she’s real, real good. But if she don’t, it’s all good.
My 7-year-old daughter is terrible at soccer.
She don’t wanna do nothing else. No basketball, nothin’ else. She just wanna play soccer. I’m just glad didn’t give me a fuckin’ girly girl, you know what I mean? Like cheerleader, all that. I’d be so disappointed. Well, I’d be happy, but at the same time I’d be so hot that I’d have to go to my daughter’s fucking cheerleading, uh… Cheerleading meeting? I don’t know what that shit called.
Cheerleading is actually a pretty competitive activity.
I wouldn’t know! I’m not watching that shit [laughs]. I wanna see some sports.
"Fuck, we're such great fathers" — we imagine them saying
How has having a daughter changed you compared to say, having a son?
I only want daughters now. I don’t want no sons. I’ll maybe have two more kids, but I want two more girls. You think about what you do now. Certain things I do in videos, I go to the extreme, but I won’t go to the major, major extreme where my daughter’s gonna look back at it. ‘Cause my daughter's gonna see all of the shit I’m doing one day. She may be in the room or even one day in college googling 'ScHoolboy Q' and she may see something that may throw her off. I don’t wanna do that. Know what I mean? Plus, like I said, with a little girl you think about what you’re doing. You gotta come home to see your girl. Girls need their daddies. More than anything they need their fathers. Boys too. Like men are the most important thing in a child’s life. A woman does her thing, y’know, but without a man it’s really tough on a girl and a boy. It’s really tough for them growing up.
You once said, “Whatever it is that I'm talking about in my album [that's] negative, it's always for a good cause, for my daughter.” Does she understand what you rap about?
Not really, you know what I’m sayin’? She asks me, “Daddy, I heard you went to jail before.” Shit like that. Like, “You was a gangbanger?” She don’t understand it yet. She don’t really know. She just hear the music… Or at least to me I don’t think she knows. She probably know. Because a lot of shit my mom didn’t think I know that I knew. So there’s a lot of shit she knows that I think she don’t know. I honestly can’t answer that question because I don’t know.
What do you and your daughter do when you have a day off together?
I live with my daughter, so it’s like, and I don’t have a job, you know what I’m sayin’?
Do you make her lunch?
Nah [laughs]. Fuck no! I’ve gotta pay somebody to do all that type of stuff. I can’t cook for shit. I fuck up cereal, you know what I mean? I don’t do hair or all that. I put dreads in her hair so I won’t have to do it no more [laughs], you know what I’m sayin’? And food? I don’t do that. I pay people to do that. Thank God that I get to pay people to do certain things because we’d both be in trouble.
Have you guys been to Disneyland yet?
Yeah, yeah. It’s tight. I always take a bunch of her friends because I wouldn’t want it to be just me and her. I want her to have fun. We spend so much time together and I live really far out in the valley, so she doesn’t really have a lot of friends in the area. So I like to bring some of her friends from school when we go to certain places like that. Like I said, she stays with me, so it’s always “daddy time.”
I’ve found that at age seven, my daughter is becoming independent way earlier than I expected. She even seems to take on the parental role at times.
It just trips me out seeing her read or just doing little certain shit, because I didn’t learn how to read until like the fourth or fifth grade, bro. So to be able to see my daughter read and sound shit out just trips me out. It’s just weird, man. At seven they understand a lot more shit. Like you said, they have an opinion now. Just a lot of shit that goes on. And more emotions. They learn about their emotions and when to do something, when not to do it. Seven is a real roller coaster. I’m just hoping she stays with soccer or keeps to being an athlete. I just see the joy in her face when she’s playing and it brings me joy, and it makes this bond way harder. So when she turns eight we’ll see if she wants to still play soccer. Because like I said, I’m never gonna force her to do anything. If she don’t want to do it, cool. I just want to see if she sticks with it. Because a lot of kids do stick with it. Some of the great athletes stick with it from six all the way until they’re in the big leagues. I just want her to enjoy herself and live the way I live, comfortably and travel and do certain things. A lot of things in this world that you get for a job and go to school, some times that shit ain’t even worth it.
So, who out of the Black Hippy Crew would you ask to sit if you were desperate?
Jay Rock, because he’s got a kid, and he has a daughter.
That sounds like a good play date.
Yeah, yeah. Kendrick, fuck no! I’m not giving him my kid. He’s weird. Soul is a fucking scumbag. He won’t get my kid. So fuck no. Jay Rock, he got a kid. He knows what to do with a kid, you know what I mean? He knows how to control the crying, the pouting, the “I don’t want to do this.” He can control that. Kendrick and Ab-Soul? You got a weirdo and a scumbag, I’m cool.
Cam Lindsay is a great father. Follow him on Twitter.