1000 Albums Project

ALBUM 187

Crash Talk, by Schoolboy Q
Suggested by Krystian Muzstafa

Over the last two months, this project has taught me a lot about myself.

For a start, it’s shown me that I can stick with a task for far longer than I’d have guessed. I chastise myself for starting things and never seeing them through, as, I suspect, do we all. But this is testament to endurance… three albums, three reviews, daily. Sure, a few have breached a midnight curfew, and one drifted to the following day due to illness, but I’ve largely nailed it. In future, I can look to this as ballast to raise my creative morale.

I’ve also learnt a lot about my musical tastes. Going in, I’d have said I was mostly about the Heaviness, but that’s been proved a lie as I’ve no-sirred a plethora of works for growly vocals and beyond. Another claim that now gives me pause is that I like a bit of Hip Hop… but, thanks to the seemingly voracious appetite for the genre displayed by the Randomiser, I’m now not so sure.

So. Another day, another hip hop album. Standard.

Schoolboy Q is a rapper from South Central Los Angeles, California. Like a number of his brethren, he has a chequered criminal past, and, like a number of his contemporaries, he like to inform us of this past through the medium of rapped verses over hip hop beats. He’s been rather successful at it thus far, and Crash Talk represents his fifth, and latest, release.

From the outset, Schoolboy Q proves himself to be a versatile and adventurous performer, with a strong style that conjures up 50 Cent and even Jay Z. Crash Talk is a laid back and almost slow record, but there’s still anger there, especially in songs such as the fiery opener Gang Gang and the menacing Die Wit Em. There’s a hint of Childish Gambino about the raps in places, in the use of repetition and accenting vocalisations. At other times, the rap is more fluid, almost droning in places. This is most evident in Tales, a hypnotic reminiscence with a military snare. My favourite track is likely Numb Numb Juice, which chronicles an apparent beef in a largely incomprehensible way (to my aging whiteboy ears, at least).

Musically, the album is standard if back-seated Hip Hop faire. Lyrically, it’s deft and witty, but again, it’s pretty generic. Mr Q has obvious talent, and if you’re down for more rap delivered in the modern style then sure, check him out. If you’re a big fan of the format, you’ll enjoy this. But me? I’ve dined at this table once too often of late. It’ll take something more radical or incendiary to rouse me from this hip hop malaise.

Crash Talk gets 5/10. It was okay. Just like all the others.

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