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Ahead of its July 8 release, ScHoolboy Q has unveiled the tracklisting, guest features and pre-order link for his forthcoming Blank Face LP. There’s no doubt its one of the most anticipated releases of the year, but it’ll be more than just Q’s presence that will make it a must listen. Let’s be honest, when a tracklist comes out, all anyone really wants to know is, who’s got a verse on it?
Let’s all take a look at the tracklist together…
Lord Have Mercy
That Part [ft. Kanye West]
Groovy Tony / Eddie Kane [ft. Jadakiss]
Kno Ya Wrong [ft. Lance Skiiiwalker]
Ride Out [ft. Vince Staples]
Whateva U Want [ft. Candice Pillay]
By Any Means
Dope Dealer [ft. E-40]
Big Body [ft. Tha Dogg Pound]
Neva Change [ft. SZA]
Blank Face [ft. Anderson .Paak]
Overtime [ft. Miguel & Justine Skye]
Tookie Knows II [ft. Traffic & TF]
At quick glance there are both several notable features on the project and some glaring omissions, and after an intense dissection what looks to be a pattern developing throughout Q’s albums.
Let’s have a closer look…
Despite being raised in South Central Los Angeles, Q has always maintained his greatest rap influences hail from the east coast, even going so far as to call Nas his favorite rapper (the two would end up working together on the remix to Q’s “Studio”), so it’s not completely surprising to see a Jadakiss feature on here (see also: “Blind Threats” featuring Raekwon on Oxymoron). Remember, Q’s “Groovy Tony” found the TDE rapper spinning tales of drugs and murder under the guise of Tony Montana.
Given the title of the Jada-featured track, it’s safe to assume the record will be another drug-fueled rap fest as “Eddie Kane” likely refers to the actor known as Michael Wright who played the character in the movie The Five Heartbeats. Wrightstruggled with drugs throughout his life – it’s possible this track will act as the cautionary tale to Groovy Tony’s celebration of excess.
Where are Q’s fellow Black Hippy members at? While TDE artists Lance Skiiwalker(“Kno Ya Wrong”) and SZA (“Neva Change”) make appearances, Kendrick, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock are all absent from the album. This marks the first time in Q’s four album career that Kendrick and Jay Rock aren’t along for the ride. While most artists couldn’t afford a guest spot from Kendrick Lamar on their album, especially if they already spent a good portion of their feature budget on Kanye West (“THat Part”), it’s not like Q would have had to call in a favor here.
In what may become a theme for ScHoolboy Q albums, the rapper once again has called on West Coast rap legends to aid his project. On Oxymoron we found Qcollaborating with Suga Free, while Blank Face boasts work with Bay Area legend E-40 (“Dope Dealer”) and finds Q pairing up with Daz & Kururpt AKA Tha Dogg Pound (“Big Body”). How can a Q, Daz & Kurupt combination not be west coast hip-hop magic?
• Miguel is on “Overtime”? Not exactly the first guest vocal you think of when it comes to ScHoolboy’s brand of vivid, street hip-hop — was BJ The Chicago Kid on vacation? – but we’ll reserve judgement until we hear the record.
• It’s no surprise Aftermath signee Anderson .Paak is featured on the album’s title track – .Paak is quickly turning into the “must-have” feature for any west coast artist. Safe to assume this track was recorded before Paak decided to remove his services from the features marketplace? I have to assume it was done as an exchange for Q’s presence on Malibu.
Following the masterfully crafted viral campaign for the Blank Face album cover, Q has unveiled what looks to be on the surface a compelling follow-up to 2014’sOxymoron. Will Mac Miller once again proclaim Q’s album better than Kendrick’s?