Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul will be the first to tell you that Kendrick Lamar deserves every bit of his success, but the Black Hippy rappers also want to make it clear that that the group equally encompasses all four members. After their recent XXL cover story was revealed, Ab-Soul took to Twitter to express his displeasure with the cover line "With Kendrick Lamar and Black Hippy," and Q echoes the same sentiments.
"That's so disrespectful," Schoolboy Q told MTV News at Power 105.1's Powerhouse concert in Brooklyn on Saturday. "We didn't go into that shoot saying 'this is Kendrick with Black Hippy.' We went in there and said, 'This is a Black Hippy shoot,' so we expect a Black Hippy shoot."
With that said, the Q explained that he fully understands that Kendrick's success has catapulted him to the front. "Kendrick is way ahead of us," he said. "He's a platinum artist."
"I haven't dropped my album yet, [Jay] Rock's working on his major-label album, Ab-Soul's working on his major-label album ... We still haven't dropped our major-label albums, so at the end of the day, he is f---ing Kendrick Lamar. We're not signed to Kendrick, but he has that impact."
If y'all keep printing "Kendrick Lamar & Black Hippy" I will remove myself from the group. Thanks.— ab-soul (@abdashsoul) October 16, 2013
He drew parallels to some of his peers who experience a similar problem, pointing out that it's not an isolated situation. "If Big Sean gets an interview, they're gonna always ask him about Kanye, J. Cole they're always gonna ask him about Jay Z, Slaughterhouse they're gonna always ask about Eminem," he said.
"You just gotta fight your way up the ladder. Kanye, he stands alone now. I know they probably used to him all type of Jay Z questions. Now he's put that work in, and he stands on his own, and he's one of the biggest artists right now. Hopefully I can do that too.
"Black Hippy is us four, not Kendrick Lamar with Black Hippy. It's four people, not three." Jay Rock, cool and composed, didn't let the XXL cover line get under his skin, simply reiterating that it's all about crew love.
"[Black Hippy] is Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock —l or you can say 'formerly known as Black Hippy," Rock said laughing. "Personally, I never take offense to that, because at the end of the day, whether it's just Kendrick's name or 'Q and Black Hippy,' or 'Ab-Soul Black Hippy' — that's us, still, because we're all in this sh-- together.
"Real people know it's not just Kendrick Lamar and then Black Hippy. At the end of the day, we're all family. And with Kendrick's success, he deserves everything he's getting right now because that dude worked hard to get to where he's at."