Setbacks (album)

Setbacks is the debut studio album by American hip hop recording artist ScHoolboy Q, released for digital download on January 11, 2011 under Top Dawg Entertainment. The album features guest appearances from his fellow Black Hippy members Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul, as well as vocals from singer-songwriters Alori Joh, Jhené Aiko and BJ the Chicago Kid. The album's production was handled by Lord Quest, Willie B, Focus..., Rahki, Phonix Beats, Tae Beast, DJ Wes, King Blue, Sounwave and more.

Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 11, 2011
TDE Recording Studio: House of Pain
(Carson, California)
GenreHip hop, West Coast hip hop, experimental hip hop
LabelTop Dawg Entertainment
ProducerLord Quest, Willie B, Focus..., Phonix Beats, Dae One, Tae Beast, DJ Wes, King Blue, Rahki, Tommy Black, Sounwave
ScHoolboy Q chronology
Gangsta & Soul
Habits & Contradictions

Schoolboy Q titled the album Setbacks, due to the limitations he experienced and endured before releasing the album. After the release of Setbacks, the album reached number 100 on the US Billboard 200, number 12 on the Top Rap Albums, number 25 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and number 13 on the Top Independent Albums chart. Only a few weeks after Setbacks was released, it already had 4,395 units and was praised by fans and critics alike.


In 2012, in an interview with Complex, Schoolboy Q spoke on the concept behind Setbacks: "The concept behind Setbacks was [to talk about] all the shit that’s the reason why I can’t rap. The reason I can’t accomplish what I want to accomplish is because I’m doing all this dumb shit. I put it all together on the album. Like, ‘Druggys Wit Hoes,’ I'm out here drugging and I'm not even trying to fuck with hoes. ‘Kamikaze,’ I'm not even trying to rap—keep going broke. Different shit like that, I sum it up all in one album. My life did a whole 180 after that dropped. A lot of people still didn't know the name though, but a lot of people did. It was weird. It just took me to the right spot. I made some fucking money off the project, it helped me see that I needed to do more positive shit in life, and it made me into the person I am now. All I do now is just chill. I'd rather just chill, work on my music, be with my two-year-old daughter, and smoke weed and shit."[1] Two weeks after the album's release ScHoolboy Q released it for free via his Twitter feed. The free version doesn't include "LigHt Years AHead" and is replaced with "Live Again" which also features Kendrick Lamar. The free version also features a new bonus track titled "Fuck Ya Hip Hop" featuring Big Pooh and Murs[2]


Commercial performance

The album debuted at number 100 on the US Billboard 200 chart and had sold 17,000 copies in the US as of February 2014.[3]

Critical response

Setbacks received generally positive reviews from music critics, who praised the album's production, features and lyrics. iHipHop gave it a 3.5 out of 5 rating mentioning "While Setbacks is a misleading title, ScHoolboy Q does leave room for critique. Despite his overwhelmingly impressive flow, Q rarely says anything worthy of raising an eyebrow."[4] Allmusic gave it 4 out of 5 stars commenting "Dividing his time between socially conscious rap and bud smoker’s anthems, ScHoolboy Q makes quite the impression on his debut “street album"". They called Setbacks polished, funky, well-balanced, and rewarding.[5]

Track listing

1."Figg Get Da Money"LordQuest3:59
2."Kamikaze"Willie B of Digi+Phonics4:03
3."LigHt Years Ahead (Sky High)" (featuring Kendrick Lamar)Focus...4:11
4."WHat's THa Word" (featuring Jay Rock)Phonix Beats3:51
5."#BETIGOTSUMWEED"Tae Beast of Digi+Phonics4:55
6."Druggys Wit Hoes" (featuring Ab-Soul)Tae Beast of Digi+Phonics3:50
7."Cycle"DJ Wes4:09
8."To THa Beat (F'd Up)"King Blue of Sore Losers3:47
9."Crazy"Sounwave of Digi+Phonics3:06
10."PHenomenon" (featuring Alori Joh)Phonix Beats5:01
12."Fantasy" (featuring Jhené Aiko)Tommy Black4:27
13."I'm Good" (featuring BJ the Chicago Kid & Punch)Tae Beast of Digi+Phonics4:57
14."Birds & The Beez" (featuring Kendrick Lamar)DAE ONE4:20
15."Rolling Stone" (Black Hippy) (Bonus track)Sounwave of Digi+Phonics3:36
Total length:62:36


Chart (2011)[6] Peak
US Billboard 200 100
US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 25
US Billboard Top Rap Albums 12
US Billboard Top Independent Albums 13


  1. Insanu Ahmed (February 3, 2012). "Who Is Schoolboy Q? – His previous independent album, Setbacks". Complex. Retrieved February 6, 2012.
  2. ScHoolboy Q Setbacks Album Free Version Archived October 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine,
  3. Ramirez, Rauly (February 26, 2014). "ScHoolboy Q Heading for No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  4. Album Review: ScHoolboy Q – Setbacks
  5. Setbacks – ScHoolboy Q