Album Review: CrasH Talk falls JUST short of being an actual CRASH

Christian Evans

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CrasH Talk is the fifth major album to be released by rapper Quincy Matthew Hanley, known mostly by his stage name, Schoolboy Q. Schoolboy Q announced he had started working on this album December 2016, 5 months after is wildly successful album, “Blank Face LP” had dropped. Originally scheduled to drop sometime in 2018, the album was delayed to an April 2019 release due to the untimely death of rapper Mac Miller (1992-2018) who was a longtime friend and frequent collaborator of Schoolboy Q’s. The album features a guest star line up of Travis Scott, 6LACK, Ty Dolla $ign, YG, 21 Savage, Kid Cudi and Lil Baby. Schoolboy Q also worked with Kendrick Lamar to compose most of the songs on CrasH Talk, and Kendrick has many uncredited appearances throughout the album.

The album opens up with “Gang Gang”, where Schoolboy Q seemingly sucks the listener into the world as he sees it through his perspective. The song is rife with imagery served under a low banging bass induced beat that will seem to hypnotize you in a way that Schoolboy Q’s music is known for. The second track on the album “Tales” takes a more subtle tone than ‘Gang Gang’, as Schoolboy Q talks about his lifestyle in his younger days when he was doing illegal activities to stay “afloat” and reflects on the grave repercussions of that lifestyle.

On CHopstix, with the help of Houston rapper Travis Scott, Schoolboy Q speaks about his infatuation for women. This song marks just the second time both Q and Travis have collaborated since Travis’ 2015 song “Ok Alright”. In the song Drunk, featuring 6LACK, written with the help of Kendrick Lamar and with uncredited vocals by Kendrick and Kid Cudi, Schoolboy Q explains to the listener the heavier emotions that he feels and reflects on the changes he and his family have had to endure. “Floating” which features 21 Savage, has Schoolboy Q change from the sober self-reflection-style rap to rap about the illicit substances he has taken and the feeling he has while he is taking such illicit substances. On “Die Wit Em”, Schoolboy Q returns to his signature take no prisoners, bass induced-beat rap style that he has been known for and that was present during the first two songs of the CrasH Talk, but slowly dissipated throughout the album. The final track of the album, “Attention” sounds like it belongs on the album “Blank Face LP”, but nonetheless functions as storytelling conclusion to end the album.

Overall, the album shows a slightly more matured Schoolboy Q still rapping about all the things he is known for rapping about in his music. This album is not as well rounded as “Oxymoron” or “Blank Face LP”, and as long overdue an album it was, it feels like Schoolboy Q came up short…. Just not short enough for this album to be considered a flop. On a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best, I gave CrasH Talk a solid 3.

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