Blank Slate

Unfortunately, rapper ScHoolboy Q has oft been overlooked, perhaps overshadowed by the highly lauded work of his label mate, Kendrick Lamar. And despite having some critical recognition himself, many have mistakenly written Q off as simply playing second fiddle to Lamar, deemed by the mainstream as the grand savior of hip-hop today. None of this appears to faze Q, content to stay in his own lane, further fine tuning his singular voice within the greater pantheon of emerging rappers. In many ways, the music of ScHoolboy Q has remained cold and collected in comparison to Lamar. He is occasionally self-deprecating and unapologetically messy. The point of view, as portrayed on his major label debut, ‘Oxymoron’ shows a man caught between disparate worlds, someone with one foot in and one foot out. His music exudes an innate tension. He never presents himself as content, almost as if he’s questioning to which world he belongs. He can sound playful, like on the song ‘Collard Greens’ and deeply nihilistic on ‘Fuck LA’. His artistry is based upon a consideration of life’s complications, the intermixture of beauty and tragedy, of transcendence and self-destruction. ScHoolboy Q spits rhymes from a psychologically grey area. He never depicts gang life glamorously, nor does he condemn it’s appeal. His most recent album, ‘Blank Face LP’ is Q at his best and most sober. A recent interview here, Your text to link… reflects a newly emboldened yet vulnerable perspective. This is his most personal, complex work to date. There is fury and contradiction here. From songs like ‘THat Part’ to ‘Ride Out’ Q displays a range rare for artists alike, including his label mates.

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