Like ScHoolboy Q promises, the project sounds happier
Title: CrasH Talk
Artiste: ScHoolboy Q
Genre: Hip hop/ Rap
Release: April 26
Quincy Matthew Hanley, better known as Q, can always brag about making Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) what it is today. Coming from the genre-changing collective Black Hippy, which includes rap powerhouses like Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and Ab Soul, Q has definitely shaped and influenced the current direction of the hip hop scene. Together, as well as individually, their music has been a reflection and response to social issues facing the society. And with every release, the world pays attention.
For an artiste of his calibre, we must admit he is obsessed with succeeding at any cost. He has already offered four studio albums, which have clearly shown steady growth in his creative process. The ScHoolboy Q of 2011’s ‘Setback’ is not the same as that of 2016’s ‘Blank Face LP,” and is certainly not the same artiste on his latest full-length release ‘CrasH Talk.’
With every release, he has certainly achieved something tremendous. In reference to a couple of interviews he’s had recently, before and after the release of his latest album, Q has expressed that this is the first major project he has done while happy. But the most important thing to note is the influence his comrades Mac Miller and Nipsey Hussle’s death have had on the release of his album, which he has delayed twice since 2018.
It’s an album with nothing else but time, and with 14 tracks to go, Q understands that he has to crash it the best way he can. He kicks it off with “Gang Gang,” a track heavily details his gang days, his drug-dealing days and the position he held in his old hood. For an album that truly incorporates the contemporary trap drum instrumentation, the second track, “Tales”, takes us back to a sound familiar with TDE and the rap community. The track details also extend the narrative of his drug-selling and gang-banging days.
Throughout this album, Q is a steady backbone, delivering essential lead tunes “Chopstix”, featuring Travis Scott, and “Numb Numb Juice”. While the former details his adoration of a woman whose legs he compares to chopsticks, the latter sees him highlight the tremendous growth exhibited in his lyricism and delivery. For an artiste who admits to having been a drug addict, he recruits 6lack on “Drunk” to express that despite not being intoxicated, he actually feels like he is.
Kendrick Lamar offers his vocal brilliance on “5200”, and 21 Savage joins on the banger “Floating” to discuss emotional well-being and the influence of substance use. Lil Baby offers a guest verse on “Water,” a track that explores success achieved and the lavish lifestyles the artistes now enjoy. The album closes out with Q dropping bars about his possession and his interaction with greats like Nas, Jay Z and Dr Dre.
The beautiful part about being part of the TDE family is that you will always guarantee your fan base brilliance. For them, it’s always about quality over quantity. “CrasH Talk” doesn’t fall away from that, and like ScHoolboy Q promises, the project sounds happier with banger after banger. It’s a project that rewards keen listeners who no longer want to exist in Q’s past depressive element. It might be too early to call, but this right here is a top contender for rap album of the year.
Star rating: 4 out of 5