ScHoolboy Q is accustomed to abortive studio sessions, but following Blank Face LP -- its grim sameness left him acutely unsatisfied -- he recorded and binned not one, not two, but three albums. Once CrasH Talk was completed, he withheld it, unprepared to enter a promotional cycle that would involve questions about late close friend Mac Miller, and then delayed its release a little longer in response to the murder of Nipsey Hussle. Dedications are made to both departed artists in the liners of CrasH Talk, an album that isn't without moments as bleak and bleary as anything in Q's back catalog.
Good news, ScHoolboy Q fans: he's still as menacing, off-kilter and creative as ever, maybe more so. But this time, he makes all those compelling elements easier to dance to.
Thankfully, any concerns that ScHoolboy Q might have stooped to awkward mainstream preening are quickly dashed, once you stop reading the track list and actually listen to CrasH Talk. Actually, ScHoolboy has surprisingly abundant chemistry with more pop savvy guests like Travis Scott and Ty Dolla $ign.
For instance "Drunk," which features Atlanta hotshot ….
Schoolboy Q has been branded a hip-hop party animal, though now the party is less "weed and brews" and more wine and cheese. In rap, few things are feared like turning 30 years old, but Q is 32 and embracing his Saturn Return--he hits the golf course daily and deserves rap's father of the year trophy. He is in the midst of a less extreme Snoop Dogg-like transition: once a premier voice in gangsta rap and now a West Coast uncle beloved by all generations.
After the breakthrough of Section.80, 2012 was definitely the year of the Black Hippy crew, with the excellent releases of Ab-Soul’s Control System, Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city and ScHoolboy Q’s Habits & Contradictions. Each rapper was so different in voice, flow and subject matter that it was fun for me to conceptualize them: Jay Rock as the gangsta, Ab-Soul as the intellectual, Kendrick Lamar as speaker for generation Y (or maybe just “human motherfucking being over dope-ass instrumentation”) and ScHoolboy Q as party animal.