By: Tommy Rodriguez
I’ve been waiting for West Coast rapper/Black Hippy Member Schoolboy Q to release some new music for a long time. Ever since I began touring through his discography to discover gangsta rap gems like Oxymoron, I’ve gained a real appreciation for his gruff delivery, hard hitting beats, and rock solid bars. The sequel to his great 2016 album Blank Face LP has been heavily teased by the Hoover Street artist, promoted by the short but wild “Numb Numb Juice”, and this new single, “CHopstix”. TDE is well known for pumping out some of the best rap projects of the 2010s, so hopefully this upcoming album will be good as a whole…
As of now though, “CHopstix” ain’t really doing it for me.
The track is a more commercial, soft-spoken cut. It features sunny trap keys, woozy synths, and a touch of auto tune vocal layering on Travis Scott’s hook. The hook itself is probably the best part of the song; as repetitive and meme-able as it is, the sound of Scott’s auto tune is intoxicating and very pretty, riding over the beat as easily as a pro surfer on a wave.
My problems with the track, however, lie more in the execution of Q’s performance over the beat. The beat itself is okay; it’s not particularly hard-hitting, but it isn’t exactly terrible either. The issues with the production bubble up when Q pops in on his two verses. His voice is much more subdued and quiet than normal, which could be fine if pulled off right, but it comes off more as bored and restrained by the instrumental. There aren’t any zany vocal inflections, nor any memorable lines or vivid imagery, things Q excels at. Without these tools being pulled from his belt, Q is left to be little more than background noise on his own track. The flow itself doesn’t truly stand out, which is something Q could’ve used to help push the wavy aesthetic of the track to the forefront, but as it stands it’s just forgettable.
Hopefully Q’s upcoming album isn’t as soft as “CHopstix”. Commercialized gangsta rap isn’t bad, so long as it’s done well. I guess we’ll have to wait and see if it’s executed right on Schoolboy’s next project…
Normie Score: 2/5
South Florida Heat Rating: Extremely Mild
What did you think about “CHopstix”? Love it, or hate it? How are YOU doing? Sound off in the comments below!