ScHoolboy Q allowed three years to pass between the release of Blank Face LP and his fifth LP, CrasH Talk—and if it didn't feel quite that long to fans, he has the enduring power of "THat Part" to thank for it.
Rather than chasing the dragon of another club-burning smash, however, CrasH Talk is Q embracing his abilities as a storyteller.
The Los Angeles MC uses his gruff and impassioned delivery to paint pictures of the street life he grew up in ("Tales"), his purview as a Black man in America ("Black Folk"), and his adventures in courtship ("CHopstix," "Lies"), while doubling down on the G'd-up superhero persona he's embodied since the very beginning ("Gang Gang," "Die Wit Em"). Q's flow is naturally aggressive, and it can be hard for him to sand down that edge, even when daydreaming about building a future with a significant other on "Drunk."
Moments like "Numb Numb Juice" and "5200," where the MC is at his most ornery, sound almost cathartic in comparison. Q is comfortable across CrasH Talk regardless, declaring himself so on "Attention," where after rattling off the names of rap heroes who have given him props—along with friends and family who've had an influence on him—he declares, "I can easily tell my story now and climb from this moment."