Schoolboy Q - Dope Dealer (Ft. E-40)

1 year ago

Like Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle or Clipse’s Lord Willin’, Blank Face LP is gloriously, unrepentantly street, an album disinterested in crossover or concession.

Shadowy and ochre and starkly soulful, it dips low and knocks hard. Miguel, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Jadakiss, Vince Staples, and others drop in and out, but almost as soon as they’ve surfaced, dense plumes of figurative Cali weed smoke swallow them whole and you forget they were even there. The scenery-chewing Schoolboy Q won’t be faded or upstaged as he spits clipped, curving darts straight into your consciousness.

Redemption isn’t necessarily foremost on the South Central L.A.’s rapper’s mind here: For every “Let’s put the guns down and blaze a spliff,” there are eight or nine equivalents of “I was out here sellin’ dope at 14, what it do?/I was out here fu-Ckin’ hoes at 14, what it do?” Blank Face’s triumph lies in how it weaves these extremes into a realized, lived-in world, each vignette bleeding naturally into the next, and in Q’s lyrical and tonal commitment to a version of his youth that past releases only touched on.

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