ScHoolboy Q shows where his loyalties lie on ‘CrasH Talk’

Dom Brazeau

California rapper ScHoolboy Q is back again with his fifth album, “CrasH Talk,” his first work since he dropped his critically acclaimed “Blank Face LP” in 2016. 

The artist took a break from music to raise his daughter and deal with the passing of Mac Miller and Nipsey Hussle, both friends of Schoolboy Q and well-respected rappers in the industry. After coming back to work on his new album, he reportedly trashed three other versions of it before releasing the current version April 26. 

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The first single released was “Numb Numb Juice,” a short but hard-hitting song. The beat features heavy kick drums that drive through the instrumental.

The second single was “CHopstix” which features Travis Scott. ScHoolboy and Scott have had success working together in the past on Scott’s song “OK Alright,” but “CHopstix” was not good. It has a catchy instrumental but the chorus by Scott is annoying and ScHoolboy doesn’t add any good verses.

“CrasH Talk” was released following the two singles and carries a short run time of 40 minutes in 14 songs. Featured artists on “CrasH Talk” include 21 Savage, Lil Baby, Kid Cudi and 6lack. Kendrick Lamar is also featured in background vocals but is not credited.

The opening tracks “Gang Gang” and “Tales” are meant to be played back to back as the songs end and start together. “Gang Gang” starts with a faster, bass-heavy beat that transitions into “Tales” with a slower beat. In “Tales,” ScHoolboy raps about being loyal to his gang and choosing to stay with them instead of going to college to play sports. He raps that choosing this lifestyle led him to sell drugs, and at the time, the only way he thought he would see age 30 is if he was in jail. The slow beat and repetitive tune on the bass reflect the themes in the song, making it a slightly darker track. 

The track “Drunk” featuring 6lack is one of the weaker songs on the album. The beat is too slow and doesn’t match ScHoolboy’s rap style. The verse from 6lack is good but it is hard to make it far enough into the song to hear it.

The song “5200” offers a catchy beat and chorus that you can’t help but keep playing. This is one of the better tracks of the album and I can’t get it out of my head. 

score: 7.5/10

Favorite songs: Water, 5200

Least favorite songs: CHopstix, Drunk

“Floating” features 21 Savage and sounds more like a 21 song than a ScHoolboy song. Despite that, it is still one of the better songs on the album. It has a laid-back beat with ScHoolboy’s voice meshing well with the beat. The song “Dangerous” with Kid Cudi is nearly perfect. Cudi does what he is good at and creates a chilling intro and outro that ScHoolboy ties together with a solid verse.

Songs like “Die Wit Em” and “Black Folk” are both forgettable and don’t make a huge impact to the whole album. Both have beats that are pretty normal and could have been a bit more experimental. To close out the album, the song “Water” with Lil Baby is eery-sounding until Lil Baby starts rapping. Baby delivers one of his strongest verses that makes the most out of the beat.

The final track “Attention” could have been a better end, but it is ScHoolboy’s most personal track on the album. He raps about meeting his idols and how rapping wasn’t a good decision at the time but it luckily worked out for him.

Overall “CrasH Talk” is not ScHoolboy’s best work but it is still a strong album that was worth the wait. 

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Dominic Brazeau can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @DomBrazeau.