Weed saved Schoolboy Q’s life


Schoolboy Q says smoking weed caused him to re-evaluate his priorities and improve his relationship with his family.

Rob Hoffman

“Man I love it. Can’t get enough.” Says ScHoolboy Q about marijuana in an interview with Pete Holmes. It’s true: Schoolboy Q has been one of the rap industry’s most vocal proponents of marijuana. But according to Q, marijuana isn’t just a love affair—his relationship with the plant is also responsible for saving his life.

Holmes asks Schoolboy Q to elaborate on this point, to which Q—a man of few words in interviews—responds, “I was a little too antsy, I would jump around, I wanted to go here, I wanted to be there,” Says Schoolboy Q. This doesn’t sound like a life-threatening condition, but it might be good to put this into context of Schoolboy Q’s life growing up. Schoolboy Q grew up in South Central Los Angeles, California, an area of the city nestled up to Compton and Inglewood, known for its history of crime and gang activity. This is something that Q talks about frequently in his music. Even Q’s stage name, “ScHoolboy Q,” is often stylized with a capital “H” to reference his affiliations with a gang known as the Hoover Crips. “Thug life nigga since ’96 I wanted to gangbang” He raps in Groovy Tony. In an interview with Complex, Schoolboy Q writes, “I was gang-banging at 12. I was a Hoover Crip. My homies were doing it and I wanted to do it. I can’t really explain that. I didn’t get into it with another hood or anything like that. I was just following the leader.”

Q’s dangerous and volatile upbringing reminds me of a line by one of Q’s colleagues at Top Dawg Entertainment, Kendrick Lamar. “I’ll probably die because these colors are standing out…I’ll probably die from thinking that me and your hood was cool, or maybe die from pressing the line, acting too extra.” Lamar, who grew up in the bordering city of Compton, points out in this song, FEAR, that something as simple as “actin’ too extra” can get you killed where Q and he grew up. This puts Q’s statement about ““I was a little too antsy, I would jump around” into context. Then, as Q says in his interview with Holmes,
“Once I started smoking weed I just wanted to stay in and play video games and rap.”

“You spend good time with your daughter, man, after you go smoke, you go chill with your daughter and you’re willing to do whatever she wants to do.” Q also says, claiming that his use of marijuana has improved his relationship with his family. “Like whatever, let’s go! You wanna go here? Let’s go!”

While non-marijuana using parents might look down on parents who smoke weed while looking after their children, a 2015 study on driving while under the influence of marijuana found that the impairment level was similar to that of one or two drinks of alcohol. Therefore, is there really a difference between a mother or father smoking a joint at night and having a few evening glasses of wine?

Earlier this year, a different study conducted by a medical marijuana delivery company called Eaze also found that 1 in every 5 marijuana users are parents, and nearly one-third of those parents are daily smokers.

Marijuana might not “save” everyone’s life like it did for Q, but it sure seems to help. 

Rob Hoffman