Today in Hip Hop History: January 11, 2011
Five years ago today, ScHoolboy Q digitally released his debut album, Setbacks, through Top Dawg Entertainment in 2011. It followed up Q’s two mixtapes, ScHoolboy Turned Hustla and Gangsta & Soul: The Mixtape, released in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Setbacks was recorded in Carson, California and contains production from LordQuest, Phonix Beats, Soundwave, Rahki and others. The album blended instrumentals ranging from West Coast gangster to funk jazzy to dark and gritty sounds.
Compared with his newer releases, the album stands as a significantly more funky and diverse project. The tape contains the usual suspects on its features: including other Black Hippy members Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, in addition to others such as Jhene Aiko, BJ The Chicago Kid, Alori Joh and Punch.
Q brought a new age twist to West Coast gangsta rap with Setbacks, but still kept true to his hip hop roots. The very first line of the album begins with a spin-off of one of Kanye‘s lines from “Get ‘Em High.” He also cited his life struggles that disallow him from making music as a large inspiration within the LP; his gang banging, playing sports, and women. As a result, Setbacks introduced the hip hop world to Q as an extremely personal record for the MC.
The album proved moderately successful for an independent, digital-only debut album from a relatively unknown rapper (at the time). It peaked at #100 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and sold several thousand copies.