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Review: ScHoolboy Q "BLUE LIPS"

Few artists are able to age like fine wine especially in the rap game, and even fewer artists are able to make five successful albums (Setbacks, Habits & Contradictions, Oxymornon, Blank Face LP & CrasH Talk) over a 13-year span. Each of ScHoolboy Q's albums brings its own unique sound and includes great features such as Jhene Aiko, A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, and many more. The last time we received a full length album from this rapper was 2019, with his album titled CrasH Talk. Nevertheless, ScHoolboy Q has been able to solidify himself as a household name, and with the release of his sixth studio album titled BLUE LIPS, ScHoolboy Q is ready to take 2024 by storm.


 

ScHoolboy Q's "BLUE LIPS" album cover art

Released March 1st, 2024, the BLUE LIPS rollout was very creative thanks to what seems like a more focused, determined vision and the best version of ScHoolboy Q we have seen so far. After deleting every post on his Instagram, @Groovyq, fans and music goer's alike were treated to a pleasant surprise on February 1st with a post announcing a new album on the horizon. Youtube, X, and Instagram served as the places to find new information on the album and visuals. ScHoolboy Q released nine videos on Youtube, with five of those being songs on the new album: "Yeern 101", "Cooties", "Blueslides", "Love Birds" and "Back n Love".


The meaning behind the album's name is given at the start of almost every video. The definition of blue lips is stated as, "speechless, especially as the temporary result of shock or some strong emotion". After about a week of listening to the album, I believe that this is some of ScHoolboy Q's best work to date. The 19-song, 59-minute album is very unique when it comes to production. An emphasis on beat switches provides a listening experience unlike any other and gives a sense of listening to two songs, while in reality, fans are listening to the same track. This isn't the first time that technique has been done, but ScHoolboy Q executes it to perfection. In no particular order, my standout tracks from this album are "Blueslides", "THank god 4 me", "Movie", "Germany 86'", and "Smile".


"Blueslides" serves as the first song we heard during ScHoolboy Q's single releases a month prior to the album's release. The track serves as a look into the artist's mentality after his five-year hiatus. The lyrics are hard hitting, heart wrenching, and thought provoking: "lord, please forgive me for the day I finally fall apart".


"Lord, please forgive me for the day I finally fall apart"

"THank god 4 me", is another song that music fans heard a few months ago during Karl Banx's boiler room set in September of 2023. This early sneak peek made fans excited to hear new ScHoolboy Q music and happy when they saw that it made the album's final tracklist. Production is the champion for this song, as it is for many others on the album. The instrumental has a grand build up until a big explosion at the halfway mark in the song. from there, "THank god 4 me" is a head banger and toe tapper that will be saved in many playlists.


"Germany 86'" comes in at track 15 and is my personal favorite. The lyrics speak to me on a personal level and help me reflect on different times in my life and how they molded me into the person I am today. "I feel leveled I'm good, my head better I'm straight, my mom stayed working late, she taught me how to be great". Watching my mom work hard throughout my own life and making the necessary sacrifices to provide for her family has only instilled a strong work ethic in me and has truly shown me how to be great and overcome any adversity. This sentiment is reflected in "Germany 86'" and resonates deeply with me.


It's safe to say ScHoolboy Q has done it again, providing the people with music that will be enjoyed and listened to for a long time. The five years he was gone from the rap game is all forgiven thanks to his ability to stand out, the amazing production, and lyrics on BLUE LIPS that can make you either stand still and reflect or dance around your room.


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