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Schoolboy Q Drops Blank Face
The wait is over
Schoolboy Q has finally dropped his long-awaiting new album Blank Face. Fans were waiting for a couple of years for this one and I had high expectations after hearing the lead single 'Groovy Tony'. It's one of the grittiest tracks on the album, where Q depicts a gangster with some imaginative lines and a great video. The album version of 'Groovy Tony' has been extended with a different beat and a second verse from Jadakiss. They both deliver on the track, especially Q with two solid verses.
'TorcH' starts the album off with Q repeating the title album and we hear the very first bass melody soon. There's a West Coast feeling to mot of the tracks on the record. 'Tookie knows Pt 2' is an excellent finish of the album, saving best for last. Traffic and TF are featured on the piano based song and they all manage to leave a mark on the cut. The video for the song represents a prison and all of the rappers trapped inside, wearing blue suits.
Schoolboy Q is very convincing on most of the tracks here and he chose some cool beats as well. There's an introspective side to the album, which is a standard topic for him to rap about. He's always mentioning his daughter (like Eminem), who's now around seven years old. Q had nothing before his rap career, which was not that long ago – he made a transition to the top level very quickly. So for the first two years of his daughter's life, he didn't have much to offer and could barely afford the rent and other basic necessities. He really hit it off five years ago and started making the deserved money on tours and by selling his albums. Smoking and rapping about it has always been his trademark and it makes him likeable, sort of like Snoop Dogg – and I'm not saying that's their essence; it's just a cool trait that they are proud of. This is a very common trait today, especially in hip-hop, so at least guys like them are standing out among millions of drug rappers.
There are many great guests on the album, rappers like Vince Staples, E-40, Kanye West, and Tha Dogg Pound, the latter of which is a pleasant surprise from the golden era of hip-hop. So there's a lot of variety on the album, influences from jazz, funk, electronic, grime and more.
The downside of the album is the quantity. There are 17 tracks on here, which would be great, if there would be enough effort in most of them. That isn't the case, though; there are a couple of club bangers, a handful of legit classics, and way too many mediocre songs, too. 'That Part' is a standard trap record for parties with an absurd freestyle from Kanye, which sounds very bad. It has energy, but it's too much and there is no excuse for such weak bars, even with a song like that.
The ambition that led up to the album seemed to bury the album in a way as there is just too much going on. I am sure he will perfect it on his next effort, because he can clearly rap as easily as he breathes.