Known for being one of the more introspective members of HipHop group ‘Black Hippie’, Schoolboy has been absent from the game for a while. Since the ‘Blank Face LP’ he has experienced many set backs preventing a potential flurry of creativity, the most significant being the death of close friend Mac Miller.
What is interesting about his new album though is, even with all of the personal issues Q has dealt with of late, this record is surprisingly optimistic and well-spirited. The enigmatic rapper claimed on Twitter that this album was the one he always wanted to create, diverting from the more lucid, lengthy tunes he’s made previously, but maintaining his signature psychedelic tones.
‘Numb Numb Juice’, the LP’s lead single, set the bar incredibly high on its release. The Travis collab ‘Chopstix’ only heightened the hype, and ‘CrasH’ had vintage hip hop tendencies that serenaded us into the drop of the album; full of anticipation and unrequited optimism.
With all the features on the project, I was least interested in Lil Baby’s on my first peep at the track list; I couldn’t comprehend that the two would be able to produce a track of any stature their contrasting solo work could. How wrong was I though. ‘Water’ boasts a spacious beat, filled with restless percussion, and moody melodies - complimenting the contradicting flows of the LA and Atlanta representatives.
Although short in length, barely reaching the three minute mark, ‘Dangerous’ is another tune that steals the show. The Kid Cudi revival is one of the big talking points in the American urban scene at the moment; he was one of the first to truly open up about mental health in HipHop, and the likes of Schoolboy, A$AP and Kanye are commemorating his legacy with a string of features. The track transitions seamlessly into ‘Die Wit Dem’, another playful tune despite its more sincere and misogynistic undertones.
Whereas ‘Blank Face’ needed a lot more concentration to really enjoy and understand, ‘CrasH Talk’ oozes bangers. Bar the Ty Dolla $ign and YG collab ‘Lies’, there isn’t a song I’d really skip.
If you’re looking for a Schoolboy album that is thought provoking, you are going into this with the wrong frame of mind. This project though, makes you really want to see him live, the thundering bass and restless rhythms are absolutely riotous. We will definitely be hitting up a venue if he comes to our Capital soon.