Reviewed by Thomas Herron
CrasH Talk is very reflective of Q as an artist. Q, as a rapper, is like that person you know who is pretty good at literally everything they try, but they’re just missing that undefinable thing that makes them great at any one of those things.
Depending on your taste, that could be the furthest thing from a knock on Q possible. I’m one of the people who feel that way, Q is pretty good at everything and gives you a pretty good taste of almost every element of rap music in his work.
Schoolboy always showcases his versatility on his albums, sprinkling in sounds but focusing on a different element of hip hop at each time. For example, Blank Face, in my opinion, is Schoolboy choosing to focus on his own gangster sound and roots to make music that’s just straight up hard, regardless of who he brings on a song or if he treats a given record like a hit or a freestyle.
CrasH Talk is the pinnacle of Q’s versatility, this time focusing a bit more on himself than ever before, which if you listen to Schoolboy a lot, you know is saying a lot.
Tracks like Tales are definitive of what this album is all about, Q is reminiscing and making quality songs in the realm of real life music.
Drunk, Dangerous, the aforementioned Tales all serve to illustrate what Q decided to do with this album — be himself in every way possible and hide little, looking back and debating his own past life decisions.
Sonically speaking, I like the majority of what Q does on this album with a few throw away songs.
Floating is the classic Schoolboy style shining through like he does on every album, doing something a bit different and using elite production to compliment a pretty monotone flow, which 21 feeds off of pretty well, regardless of if the lyrical content is top notch, the flow is unusually complimented.
I’m a huge Lil Baby and Travis fan so I hate to say it but Water and Chopstix are the only two songs on the album that may earn a skip, but they’re listenable depending on your environment.
Dangerous is the best song on the album without a doubt, Schoolboy spits a bit, he keeps it real, the track uses a melodic sound, clearly influenced by the feature and world’s greatest hummer, Kid Cudi.
The next best song on the album is Drunk. So there you have it, Schoolboy’s best two songs on the album are him making a choice to pursue a melody and do something he’s never truly mastered before.
And he did it, so there you have it.
For the versatility Q illustrated, from a content standpoint, a sonic standpoint, and an emotional standpoint, I have a great amount of respect for what CrasH Talk is but Schoolboy’s choice to try and incorporate every element of the genre both helps and hurts him in extremely different ways.
To wrap it up, Schoolboy is hard and he’s a great song-maker, both of which came through clearly on this album, and both of which are key aspects to creating a good album, and the concept was there, but Q didn’t do much to really try and hide it.
Rappers can also learn one thing from Schoolboy’s latest project — being yourself and saying some shit real to yourself is a recipe for success.
P.S. Cudi and 6lack features help too.