Blank Face LP Review
Blank Face LP
Top Dawg Entertainment
One of the more anticipated albums of the summer hip hop calendar, Schoolboy Q’s fourth studio album tells the story of the gang-ridden south central Los Angeles that he calls home. Using a new school sound with very rich production value to tell an old school story of the 52 Hoover Gangster Crips. The instrumentals on the album give off a very dark and eerie tone, which is what Q does best and really adds to the overall message of the difficulties and scary aspects of gang life. Q uses a variety of instruments on the album, with some guitar riffs on the track Ride Out and some traditional 90s G-Funk on the track WHateva U Want. In addition, the high hats throughout the album are crisp and the bass lines provide a tough and athletic tempo to the album.
The features on this album were also very strong. Anderson Paak, one of my favourite artists out right now, adds some soul flavour to the album’s title track towards the end. Vince Staples also killed it on the track Ride Out and even E-40’s goofy sounding appearance on the track Dope Dealer (which is the best song on the album btw) was a solid addition to the middle of the album.
The album only had one single (THat Part ft. Kanye West), which I found odd considering how much people were looking forward to the album. Q brought the majority of the album off as a surprise, which definitely hurt album sales off the bat.
One of the weakest points of the album are Q’s lyrics. While I wasn’t expecting the level of lyricism that Black Hippy group mate Kendrick Lamar usually delivers, there weren’t that many memorable bars on the album. I was hoping that Q would improve on this from his last album Oxymoron—but it wasn’t there on this album and that really made me sad. The album is also a whopping 17 tracks, some of which probably didn’t need to be there. While the album does tell a good story, it’s long and comes unraveled at some parts.
Overall, the album works when listened to all the way through. The instrumentals are strong and give a wide variety of sounds. While it isn’t perfect and something I probably won’t be listening to any of the songs in a couple months, I would recommend giving this album a shot to any fan of rap music.