“Let’s move your ass to the back room,” ScHoolboy Q tells me. We’re on the verge of sitting down in the penthouse of his favorite New York hotel, the one where they let you smoke, but, as it turns out, the Los Angeles–based rapper is not in his preferred street-fronting suite. The hotel quickly makes good on the mix-up, and we begin the interview during a disorderly transfer of rooms—as a cluster of ScHoolboy’s own entourage, bellhops with luggage, and a video crew drag their gear across the hall. ScHoolboy, fresh off a redeye from Los Angeles and dressed in black sweatpants, slides, a black T shirt, and a recently acquired knit Gucci hat with a bug-eyed dragon on its crown, drops heavily onto a couch. (He’s just informed our senior market editor that, as of two hours ago, he’s sworn off bucket hats forever.) With his fifth studio album, CrasH Talk, the 32-year-rapper is making it clear that he is all about settling down—his version of it, at least. The album is a chance for him to show, as he recently told Apple’s Zane Lowe, “the father, the dude that’s actually happy, the dude that doesn’t be in the hood just hanging out.” His Instagram stories are a stream of golf course escapades and his daughter’s soccer matches. Newly settled into the right room, ScHoolboy has returned to a default state of blunted bliss. So what’s the secret to his chill? 36 holes of golf daily? Check. Designer sandals? Check. DMT to become at one with Joe Rogan? Uh, let’s see.
PEMBERTON: How did it happen that you put an Elon Musk impersonation in the video for “Numb Numb Juice”?
SCHOOLBOY Q: Honestly, I watch the Joe Rogan podcast all the time. I saw that shit, and we just ran with it. I thought it was pretty funny.
PEMBERTON: What do you like about Rogan’s show?
SCHOOLBOY Q: Shit, everything. Plus, anybody who’s done DMT before, we’re pretty much all one after that. I’m interested to hear what you got to say because, obviously, you’re here for the cause.
PEMBERTON: Do you think Elon Musk is smart?
SCHOOLBOY Q: Of course, come on. I’m a fan of his, honestly.
PEMBERTON: It’s a serious question. Some people don’t think he’s very smart.
SCHOOLBOY Q: Wow, who the fuck are them people? I think nobody thinks that. I think it’s you that thinks that, and you just tried to slide that in. I never heard nobody say Elon Musk is not smart.
PEMBERTON: Tell me about your sandals game. Those are strapped up.
SCHOOLBOY Q: These are by Last Year Being Broke. I do a lot of chilling, so I rock all that shit: Birkenstocks, Cholos, Tevas. I got, like, 50 pairs of sandals. I only wear four, though, I don’t know why. I got hella Visvims and some Jimmy Choo joints. It’s swag. [Schoolboy Q points at feet] You can put a whole outfit on with these shits.
PEMBERTON: What do you usually like to pair your sandals with?
SCHOOLBOY Q: It depends. I’m a guy that is pretty loose with the way I dress, so it all depends what I’m going for. It’s like my music. It just flows to me. I think the way people dress should be not an issue like their personality. You see some rappers dress, and it’s like Balenciaga this, Balenciaga that. Me? I like to look like my personality. I got an everyday outfit on with a Gucci beanie. It just says everything about who I am. You feel what I’m saying?
PEMBERTON: It’s pretty warm for a beanie right now.
SCHOOLBOY Q: When you’re cool as shit, you can pull this type of shit off. I can wear a robe in the summertime. I can wear mink in the summertime. If I want to, I’m going to pull it off. It’s not gonna look weird. This beanie don’t look weird. This is who I am.
PEMBERTON: Is that a dragon?
SCHOOLBOY Q: I don’t know what it is, this shit is hard though.
PEMBERTON: What’s your festival look for the summer?
SCHOOLBOY Q: I’m a guy that always looks at the forecast. That’s the only thing I pay attention to.
PEMBERTON: Do you use a weather app?
SCHOOLBOY Q: My iPhone. I see the temperature and shit, if it’s sunny or hot, and then I just put it together.
PEMBERTON: How much golfing do you have planned for the summer?
SCHOOLBOY Q: All summer. If you a golfer and you ain’t golfed in the summer, you a stupid bitch.
PEMBERTON: Did you watch The Masters?
SCHOOLBOY Q: Of course. That was crazy. Man, anybody that knows anything about anything, if you’ve ever had hard times or people counted you out, that’s a prime count-you-out story right there. Everybody counted Tiger [Woods] out. Everybody was talking about how he’d never win another title. He tuned all that shit out. When you’re Tiger, it’s so easy. That’s Michael Jordan. It’s LeBron James. It’s Kobe Bryant. You can’t walk down the street. It’s Jay-Z.
PEMBERTON: It’s next level.
SCHOOLBOY Q: Hopefully, I can get there, but if I don’t, shit, I might be happier. The pressure of being Tiger Woods is crazy. You’ve got to walk outside and be embarrassed because everybody knows who you are. You suck. You this. You that. That could have got to him, but it never did. He kept going. He kept working hard. He believed in himself. He’s doing this at 43!
PEMBERTON: When you play golf, do you usually play a full 18 holes, or do you just fuck around?
SCHOOLBOY Q: We do 36 holes a day, dog.
PEMBERTON: How do you have the energy for that?
SCHOOLBOY Q: You gotta fast, dog. I don’t eat until I leave the golf course. My first meal is when I leave the golf course.
PEMBERTON: What made you pick up golf now?
SCHOOLBOY Q: A homeboy made a bet that I couldn’t make a birdie within two years, and then I tried it, and I made a birdie the third time I putted.
PEMBERTON: What was the bet?
SCHOOLBOY Q: Ten grand. He thought I was never going to even go to a course. He found out I didn’t own a club. But it’s still stupid—he should have said six months.