VIP Reviews: Schoolboy Q’s ‘CrasH Talk’

When we were first teased with even the possibility of a new Groovy Q album in 2019, our ears perked up. It has been so long since we got the critically-acclaimed ‘Blank Face LP’, like J Hus returning to the stage or 21 Savage coming out of custody, this felt like a moment.

Don’t get us wrong, Q had big boots to fill with this new joint, following up tracks like ‘THat Part’ with Kanye and ‘Overtime’ with Miguel was always going to be a bit of a task and it seems it was a task just a little too great for Q this time around.

CrasH Talk feels like the kind of piece of work you would get from a guy who turns up to work, does his bit and leaves. We are still yearning for a gritty, slightly funk’d out Q even after 14 tracks from this LP.

That being said, there are some real standout points within the album which shows us Q has not ‘lost it’, but it seems whilst fighting depression and coming to understand his position in the game, he may have just taken the wrong path this time around.

Opening up with a real blast of energy and fight is ‘Gang Gang’, something that feels like a little bit of a shot at 6ix9ine but more importantly definitely gets you in the mood for some West-Coast goodness. The track is short, similar to ‘Numb Numb Juice’ which feels like a whirlwind of left and right jabs before you hit the canvas.

The rest of the first half of the album falls a little flat; notably tracks like ‘CHopstix’ which has a rather numbing Travis Scott feature, and ‘Drunk’ which promised to be unique with 6LACK’s vocals both miss the mark by quite a way, but I suppose if you’re listening passively, you probably wouldn’t even notice 6LACK’s involvement at all.

The second half of the album is where it starts to hot up and features from Kid Cudi, 21 Savage & Lil Baby really help to showcase Q’s grit and flow with some awesome production. Out the aforementioned tracks, it has to be ‘Dangerous’ with Kid Cudi, that is one of the shining stars of the LP and a bit of a saving grace for Q. Enchanting, engaging and just a touch mysterious, Cudi’s genius really helps to bring this alive and made Q step up too.

The final track offers a nugget of hope to Groovy Q fans and hip-hop fans with the rapper almost at his story-telling finest. You can definitely here confusion and sadness in Q’s tone but he also sounds proud, almost impressed at how his peers and role models have embraced him and his talent.

We want to say, we believe in you Groovy Q.

Overall this album isn’t quite on pace with Oxymoron or Blank Face, but it isn’t a failure. Tracks like ‘Dangerous’, ‘Attention’ and ‘Floating’ continue to give us a great look inside Q’s mind and struggles and hope for more Groovy Q back at his best.

Stream the full album below:

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