ScHoolboy Q – “CrasH Talk” review

ScHoolboy Q is a 32 year old rapper from SoutH Los Angeles, California wHo came up at tHe beginning of tHe decade as 1/4 of Black Hippy. He released His first 2 albums Setbacks and Habits & Contradictions independently, but it wouldn’t be until 2014 tHat He would make His major label debut witH Oxymoron. THis would be followed up witH Blank Face LP a couple years later, wHicH I personally consider to be Q’s best work yet. However, 3 years Have passed & He’s now returning witH His 5tH full-lengtH album.

THe opener “Gang Gang” details His drug dealing past over an eerie trap beat from DJ Fu wHile tHe next song “Tales” takes a look back at Q’s criminal past over a somber DJ DaHi & Jake One instrumental. THe track “CHopstix” is a painfully boring “club banger” if you wanna call it tHat & even tHougH I do enjoy tHe gritty lyricism on “Numb Numb Juice”, it sounds unfinisHed & tHe beat is dime a dozen. THe track “Drunk” is a moody alcohol antHem wHile tHe song “Lies” witH YG takes a jab at tHe people wHo’ve said false tHings about tHem over an atmospheric beat from Sounwave. THe track “5200” gets murderous over a vibrant beat tHat doesn’t quite matcH tHe lyricism wHile tHe song “Black Folk” is a jab at an unnamed fraud over a cloudy beat.

THe track “Floating” witH 21 Savage talks about being on drugs over a murky beat wHile tHe song “Dangerous” describes the famous lifestyle over a psychedelic instumental. THe track “Die wit ‘Em” gets murderous over a monstrous Cardo beat wHile tHe song “CrasH” talks about going on over a Boi-1da instrumental tHat cHops & screws PRHyme’s “Boom”. THe penultimate track “Water” witH Lil Baby is an awkward brag despite tHe godly feeling in Cardo’s production & tHen tHe album finisHes witH “Attention”, wHere Q talks about praise & passion over a decent boom bap beat.

I don’t know what else to say, this is EXACTLY what I expected. It’s a lot more commercial which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it sounds just as forced as Jay Rock’s last album Redemption was.

Score: 2.5/5

Jay Rock – “Redemption” review

With Top Dawg Entertainment’s ongoing Championship Tour wrapping up this weekend, it’s only right for Black Hippy member Jay Rock to deliver his highly anticipated 3rd full-length album.

The album begins with “The Bloodiest,” where he reflects about growing up in Watts an eerie beat from Boi-1da, Allen Ritter & Jake One. The next track “For What It’s Worth” talks about murdering someone as well as having sex with this woman even though he knows that she ain’t right over a smooth beat from Sounwave while the song “Knock It Off” is a warning to everyone who’s trying to be him over a laidback trap beat. However, the flow doesn’t really do anything for me on this one. The track “ES Tales” talks about going back to the projects over a sinister beat while the song “Rotation 112th” grittily talks about gang life & the trap beat on here suits it pretty while. The track “Tap Out” is of course a sex tune with a generic beat & a decent Jeremih hook while the song “OSOM” with J. Cole & SiR tells the listeners that they’re living life like he’s runnin’ out of time over a gloomy trap beat.

The track “King’s Dead” originally appeared in the Black Panther soundtrack earlier this year & I’m actually upset they kept Future’s verse on there & removed Kendrick Lamar’s. On the other hand: the song “Troopers” brags about his crew, but the Cardo production sounds vaguely similar to his instrumental on “THat Part” off of ScHoolboy Q’s last album Blank Face LP. The track “Broke+-“ is of course about money over a somber instrumental while the song “Wow” makes up for “King’s Dead” by flawlessly displaying the chemistry between Jay & Kendrick over a bouncy woodwind-infused trap beat from Hit-Boy. The title track lyrically reminds me of “Start from Scratch” by The Game over a beautiful piano instrumental & the SZA hook is very pretty. The closer “WIN” has a triumphant trap beat & I do like the delivery, but it sounds half-written & the hook is very tedious. Also as much as I love Kendrick, his constant adlibs on this joint are too much.

I already knew going into this that it was pretty much gonna be Jay Rock’s DAMN. & while it’s not bad, it could’ve been much better. He sounds a lot more energetic on here than he was on his last 2 albums & the content is mostly on par as well, but a lot of these trappy instrumentals are hit or miss with me to be quite honest.

Score: 3/5

Kendrick Lamar – “DAMN.” review


With his magnum opus To Pimp a Butterfly celebrating it’s 2 year anniversary last month, Black Hippy member Kendrick Lamar has now delivered his 4th full-length album with the whole world watching. The opening track “BLOOD.” starts off with some harmonious choir vocals, but then we hear some dramatic strings & Kendrick recalling a story of a blind woman shooting him after trying to help her. The second track “DNA.” talks about his heritage & while the beat starts off with some heavy bass & a guitar that’s somewhat buried in the mix, it then changes to some hard hitting drums & a vocal sample. Seriously, hearing this will make you get wild. The track “YAH.” has a mellow instrumental & it sees Kendrick melodically talking about following his intuition. The blatant jab at FOX News reporter Geraldo Rivera at the beginning of the 2nd & final verse of the song was well deserved, too. The song “ELEMENT.” is basically about how he’ll always stand strong at what he does & the vocal sample on here is haunting as Hell. The track “FEEL.” vents about a number of different emotions over a wavy vocal sample & some keyboards. The song “LOYALTY.” is a duet with Rihanna about just that & the reversed, sped-up Bruno Mars sample that can be heard from start to finish was really cool. The track “PRIDE.” is Kendrick talking about what he would probably be like in a perfect world over a psychedelic instrumental from Internet guitarist Steve Lacy. We get some constant voice pitch changing during the first verse, but then second verse is just monotoned. The album’s lead single “HUMBLE.” sees Kendrick telling everyone to be humble to him over some ominous keys & even though I wasn’t all too crazy about it when it first came out a couple weeks ago like quite a few people were, I will admit that it has grown on me. The song “LUST.” has a melancholy beat from BADBADNOTGOOD & while it starts off by going into the mind of a woman living in the hood, Kendrick then gets introspective about post-fame life as well as how Americans protested & eventually went back to living their regular lives as a result of Donald Trump being elected our current president back in November. I can absolutely appreciate Kendrick dedicating the track “LOVE.” to his fiancé Whitney Alford, but the hook from Zacari sounds exactly like The Weeknd & it just comes off as very annoying. The song “XXX.” with U2 (albeit minus The Edge) starts off Kendrick aggressively going in while on the phone with a friend coming to him after his son died, but then he somberly talks about never doubting Barack ever again now that we have Donald Trump as our current president. I also really love how the beat during the first verse has some explosive bass as well as police sirens, but then it transitions into some drumming provided by Larry Mullen Jr. as well as some relaxing piano keys. Also, can’t forget about the beautiful Bono hook on here either. I’m not gonna lie, this song really makes me want U2 to drop Songs of Experience later this year. The track “FEAR.” vividly recalls 3 fearful moments when Kendrick was 3, 17 & 27 over a gloomy beat from The Alchemist enhanced by a soul sample. The penultimate track “GOD.” is basically Kendrick saying he feels like God with all the success he has seen over the years over some spacey production, but the delivery during the hook & the first verse was just alright. The album closes out with “DUCKWORTH.”, where Kendrick tells a story about Top Dawg Entertainment founder Anthony Tiffith almost killed Kendrick’s father over a soulful instrumental from 9th Wonder & the beat change about halfway through the track is NASTY! While I’ve been hearing some people saying they were expecting this to better or worse than To Pimp a Butterfly, all I wanted from him was to put out a good album & that’s EXACTLY what I got on here. The Kid Capri intros that you’ll hear on a few tracks give me a nice throwback feeling & while I’m not gonna deny that it’s more commercial than his last 2 albums, but there are only a few moments on the album where it actually bugs me. Despite these few weak moments, Kendrick has shown once again why he’s my favorite MC in this current generation

Score: 4/5