Compton rapper and frequent Kendrick Lamar tag teammate Schoolboy Q is set to release his fourth album next month — the follow-up to his 2014 major label debut Oxymoron.
Oxymoron was a gritty, doped-up street album full of confrontation and self-loathing drug and gang-banging tales. It went through all the gangsta rap themes like a checklist — but with an insider edge from the former crips gang member.
Q has been drip-feeding teasers and hints about the LP Blank Face — going as far as pretending its cover was a riff on the ‘Crying Jordan’ meme, before settling on a real moody cover and news that the album will feature a blockbuster guestlist of Kanye West, Vince Staples, Anderson .Paak, Miguel, SZA and more.
By Any Means: (Part 1) is the biggest morsel from the new album yet — a nine-minute widescreen hood video with the song tagged on at the end.
The video opens with Q and his friends walking the streets, gatecrashing a dice game, running from the cops and into a pal’s house — before his mom kicks them out for smoking weed. So far, so teenage. But things get out of hand when they run a red light in their car — then it cuts to the track and we’re in familiar Schoolboy Q territory of woozy synths, trap hi-hats, bouncing homies and snarling rhymes about getting ahead “By Any Means”.
Compared with a lot of the introspective left turns on Oxymoron it’s a straight-up gangsta rap bruiser that’ll be a surefire live belter. Q’s last appearance was a hectic show at Vicar Street in 2014, when he did the classic rapper move of throwing on a Dubs jersey and mucking in. He swore he’d play a bigger venue next time, but let’s see how Blank Face does first. It’s out on July 8.