Schoolboy Q ends hiatus with “CrasH Talk”

The South Central native returns with an impressive album after a three-year recess.

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Schoolboy Q ends hiatus with “CrasH Talk”

Courtesy of rapcurrent.com

Courtesy of rapcurrent.com

Courtesy of rapcurrent.com

Adam Pigott, Staff Writer

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With an aggressive style to pair his messages about partying, materialism, street tales and drug experiences, Schoolboy Q remains one of the most versatile gangsta rappers in Los Angeles. Released on April 26, his fifth studio album “CrasH Talk” exceeds expectations.

STREET LIFE

Out of his various messages, Q surely dominates in describing his gang tales. Tracks “Gang Gang,” “Die Wit Em” and “Tales” hit the “gangsta rap” mark right on the head. In album opener “Gang Gang, ” Q portrays his Crip background and the turf he defended during his time as a gang member. “Tales” further analyzes his motives and loyalty to the people he grew up with.

“I could’ve went D1, but like I wasn’t with it,” Q raps in “Tales.” “My SATs and grades was high enough, but I wasn’t with it. I couldn’t bring my dawgs with me so I wasn’t with it.”

Before Q turned to rapping, he played football at various colleges in Los Angeles. However, off-field issues wrecked his chances in the sport. Not only did he excel in sports, but also in academics, hence the name “Schoolboy.” As said in the verse, he had the grades and SAT scores necessary to succeed, but his loyalty to street life put him on a different path.

“Die Wit Em,” the most aggressive track on the album, cannonballs into the gang lifestyle Q was involved in. Witnessing death and gun violence, Q maintained his former status in his Crip set. Despite being surrounded by dangerous situations, Q had a “ride or die” loyalty to the life he was living.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Open with his struggles with substance abuse, the album sheds light on his problems in “Dangerous” and “Drunk.”

“Greet me by my hand until you teach me to float,” Q raps in “Dangerous,” “Head is in the cloud, with my stomach below. Something about this feeling, I felt it before. Took this pill and it swallowed me whole.”

Going in depth about his struggle with substance abuse, “Drunk” also reveals the pain Q has felt throughout his life. In the song, he reveals that his grandmother passed at a young age and his cousin was murdered, rapping about a system filled with alcohol and weed through poignant lyricism and slow beats.

SOMETHING NEW

The South Central native gives listeners glimpses of a different side of him in the track “CrasH,” as he raps about the things he has done for his family.

I got to find my way. Daughter need new shoes. If I lose, she lose. Then I ain’t getting used to losses. I’m going on until I crash,” Q raps.

“It’s more so my life after I made it to the point of ScHoolboy Q,” he said in a 2017 interview for Apple music. “Like I gave you me, but I never gave you the other side of me. The father, the dude that’s actually happy, the dude that doesn’t be in the hood just hanging out. The dude that is trying to put his homies in positions now. I am not a deadbeat father anymore… It’s just a whole different Q.”

Not only does the track give details to the thing that Q has done for his family, it also gives listeners a glimpse of what is at stake if Q does not succeed, showing his undying loyalty for his mother and daughter. The track also highlights his good sides and the newfound peace he finds in daily activities.

NOTABLE COLLABORATIONS

Schoolboy Q is known for having a notorious list of features on his albums, and “CrasH Talk” is no exception. The album is filled with heavy-hitting rappers such as Travis Scott, 21 Savage, Kid Cudi and many more. Q ensures that with every new album, the features are different. This adds new flavor to each album, and it does so with “CrasH Talk.”

Schoolboy Q maintains his status as one of the most influential faces in the West Coast gangster rap scene, while showing he is more than a former gang member and drug addict. The album reveals Q living his best life through his roles as a father and son. While the album does not reach the same level as his 2014 phenomenon “Oxymoron,” it takes listeners down a similar path by blending different themes into one album. “CrasH Talk” is an impressive body of work, reminding fans that Q is here to stay.