Schoolboy Q is back with his fifth full length record, another cut of rugged street flavored rhymes and slick urban instrumentals. At forty minutes it represents his leanest project to date, which I can't label as quality over quantity. Many of these songs fail to show themselves without dedicated listening. Nothing to be found like a Hover Street, the sort of song that grabs you by the neck and commands your attention. This records best song by a good stretch is Chopstix, coming from the mind of Travis Scott. His synthetic production style and chorus hook nails a intoxicating vibe that would fit sweetly into one of his own projects.
Q comes to the mic as a mean front man, bringing a range of vocal styles to his new project. Often he sounds slightly agitated with a confident demeanor. Keenly pronounced, he affirms himself with steady flows and lyrics that most wavier above mediocrity. With little making a mark the record hits some stiff jarring creative choices. The dreary interlude track Drunk hits a wall with Q rapping with the signature Drake "Ahye" crutch, its one of many aproaches and he changes up his style so often its hard to know who's who. The track Floating has one of the weakest spoken word slurred flows going, I think from 21 Savage. Floating takes an award for the weakest hook, "I got that water, Yea, I got that water". Its dull and a one to endure.
The instrumentals are hit and miss, a good mix of modern kits and sampling oriented vibes. Luckily it sounds like the best hooks land on the strongest instrumentals, yielding a handful of songs to go back on between many unfavorable ones. Handled mostly by three or so producers they conjure up a variety that doesn't have any particular flow across the forty minutes. The experience tends to drag despite short songs, most of which don't pass three minutes. This was all to run of the mill, no focus or arching theme, Q's words don't leave the page to often and its not to the last song that we get a wiff of his flair. Its not awful but Ive found myself expecting so much more from this talented artist.
Favorite Tracks: Chopstix, Lies, 5200, Die Wit Em, Attention