ScHoolboy Q – CrasH Talk, Album Review

It’s good to see Q back on the track. Following the passing of Pittsburgh rap legend Mac Miller, LA native ScHoolboy Q pumped his brakes. The two were inseparable friends. Rather than profiting off of a posthumous feature, he took a step back to reflect on their relationship. During the making of this current album Q scrapped three others. He claimed them as “trash” despite having some of the most rap talent in the game today. His sound has a chest-pounding grit that few to none pull off as well as he. When I heard the two singles promoting CrasH Talk they greatly underwhelmed me. They didn’t have that same punch I look for in ScHoolboy Q songs. Pardon me as I rant about the song “CHopstix.” Travis Scott: the jig is up. While Q delivered two vibrant verses alongside an infectious instrumental, Travis decided to shit the bed.

Perhaps the song wouldn’t be at all what it is today without Scott’s participation. He is a master curator and producer, after all. However, his hook here is utterly lazy. He repeats the title of the song for almost the entirety of his time, likening a girl’s legs to pinched chopsticks. First time around, I wanted to smash my face into the nearest wall. As time went on, though, it seduced me. It’s just so damn catchy. In spite of the fact that I’m actually a huge Travis Scott fan, he pisses me off on the regular. This man clearly hasn’t put real thought into a feature since 2016. And it shows. At least 90 percent of today’s rappers — mumblers and lyrical technicians alike — could have come up with a more interesting hook. Is it so hard to give a shit about your job? I’ma chill on this for now.

But best believe I will continue to call Travis out on his blatant complacency. Moving on, the other single, “CrasH,” also bummed me out a bit. It simply felt like a lesser artist’s meal ticket. I mean, it’s not a bad song by any stretch of the imagination. The more I listened to it, the more appealing it became. Nevertheless, I’m not sure it should be one of the best songs on a ScHoolboy Q album. Some may say I expect too much from him, considering many rap fans seem split on his music. I do believe even if a fan doesn’t listen to him they still respect him. There’s no real reason to hate ScHoolboy Q. Dude does his thing and does it well. If you don’t like him, cool. I highly doubt he cares. With that said, CrasH Talk is not a memorable album whatsoever, in my opinion.

Yet it is far from a waste of time either. Although none of these 14 tracks stun or amaze, a handful of them are enjoyable to have on. I would recommend playing this album from start to finish. You can pick which songs you want to skip once you hear them. For me, they are “Drunk” and “Black Folk.” They easily could have been left off the record entirely. There are no strict themes or topics presented on this album. But each track gives off a particular vibe that will slide nicely into many just-for-fun playlists. “Lies” with Ty Dolla $ign and YG, admittedly, is super basic. The Bay-area bounce is somewhat played out. So I understand if you’re not a fan. However, I heavily fuck with the song. Ty Dolla snaps on the hook. Him and YG are humorous and to the point. It’s a solid windows-down jam.

Additionally, the third promo single I forgot to mention above is a quick little banger. “Numb Numb Juice” goes hard. I wish the song itself fleshed out into something compelling, though. That is essentially my biggest gripe with CrasH Talk as a whole. ScHoolboy didn’t force anything here, which is good, in theory. Yet here, in practice, the result left me with a feeling of emptiness. It suffers from a case of you-almost-had-it. Serious Q fans won’t mind this album nonetheless. “Water” featuring Lil Baby is hilarious. And Cardo and Juliano’s beat on “Floating” makes me want to cop a ski mask and start breaking shit — but in a cool, music video kind of way. This is a placeholder record, and that’s okay. Q has been through a lot recently. I do expect much more in terms of songwriting and beat selection the next time around.


Album Review: ScHoolboy Q - CrasH Talk
Carefree Vibe
Mostly Solid Guests
Intermediate Replay Value
Rudimentary Song Structure
Safe Instrumental Palette
Forgettable Material
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