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The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

Blue Lips: ScHoolboy Q’s Triumph

ScHoolboy Q’s new album has found the perfect median between West Coast rap and conscious rap, and has led the rapper to newfound acclaim.
Image Credit: Top Dawg Entertainment

ScHoolboy Q’s history in the music industry has been a clear example of growth, with him evolving his capabilities with his music every album. This was shown clearly with his new album “Blue Lips”. The album has a very similar subject matter to his older mixtapes, and maintains the very solid production, with soulful samples and strong, attention grabbing beats. Containing 18 songs, the album is not lacking in terms of songs and variety.

Before releasing the album, ScHoolboy Q released the single, “Yeern 101”. The single was somewhat misleading for what the album was going to sound like, with a beat that was barely representative of the contents of the album. Upon the release of the album, many that enjoyed the somewhat raw sound of the single were very surprised. Many of the songs on Blue Lips are more conscious than ScHoolboy’s old works, however it seems like for every song with deeper lyrics backing it, there’s a song like Yeern 101. This leads to the album falling short of cohesiveness.

Unlike ScHoolboy’s older works, Blue Lips does not contain features from mainstream artists, excluding Freddie Gibs on the song oHio. This leads to ScHoolboy exposing different artists to the mainstream. There is a strong 8 out of 18 songs containing features. Q is at his best playing off his peers, such as his 2014 hit Collard Greens with Kendrick Lamar so the lack of high caliber features is surprising. This leads to the album being much more focused on ScHoolboy’s performance, which in turn, allows the rapper to create more tightly knit songs.

One of the high points of the album is the production, as the samples used by ScHoolboy are often the highlights of the song, such as “Lovebirds”, where the sample is used in complete opposition with the beat, until they somewhat converge at the end of the song. Another example of this is the 12th song on the album, Nunu. The song’s instrumentation is unhinged, somewhat reminiscent of Kanye West’s “Yeezus”. The noisy and somewhat unfocused beat works perfectly with ScHoolboy’s vocals, as he knows exactly how to tune in his vocals with the instrumental.

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The album itself despite its lack of cohesiveness just shows Q’s ability. Whether he is telling a story, using punchlines, or just  he is one of the most skillful wordsmiths in hip hop. You can see his age affect his music, but in a way that reflects an aging poet and how he sees the world. He gets incredibly personal but in a way that is familiar: somehow blending the ScHoolboy Q we know with one we are just getting introduced to. There is this weird cohesion that comes with the incohesiveness, like he’s baring pieces of his soul with each delivery.

With Blue Lips showing Q’s expansive musical talent, it looks like ScHoolboys future in the music industry is solidified as a veteran who continues to show his range in the hip hop space, and his willingness to improve with age.

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About the Contributor
Jaylan Post
Jaylan Post, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Jaylan Post, senior, is in his third year of Journalism and hopes to continue his important work as an editor and writer. He uses the class as a way to refresh his knowledge on news and writing. He enjoys basketball, volleyball, and cooking in his free time. He also enjoys a large variety of music, TV shows, and movies.

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