Fear and loathing in South Central Los Angeles. Against an orange skyGroovy Tony hurtles through the street, full throttle, in an old school Chevrolet. His round sunglasses and black fedora cast a shadow of humanity over his otherwise featureless face. The No Face Killer’s psychedelic excursion leads him off on a wild ride of prescription drug sales, debauchery and overblown action scenes that would require a Hollywood budget. At times the madness begins to numb, allowing for moments of deep thought, glimpses of a former life glimpsing out through the lucid ultra-violence.
ScHoolboy Q’s Blank Face LP is both sonically and aesthetically unique.It’s both a love letter to the hardcore street rap of the mid-2000s and a sprawling, blockbuster album crafted to be mass consumed via social media. It consolidates a position that he’s been developing for a while now, South Central’s premier gonzo journalist; Hunter S. Thompson if he’d grown up gang-banging with a soundtrack of 50 Cent’s Get Rich Or Die Tryin’. Like all great writing, there’s an autobiographical element to Q’s work. “It’s a lifestyle, you know?” he explained to Crack. “It ain’t as easy as just rapping about it.”
“Your favourite rapper broke, he don’t get this paper. But claim he got a kilo, been born in ’93 though,” he spits on Black Thoughts, showing up those rappers whose laughably preposterous lyrics aren’t to be believed. Q’s brand of vivid street storytelling has him agonising over the details – dirty jeans, a shattered wing mirror, orange shoelaces, pissy sofas and Pringles litter his stanzas – painting a vivid picture of the warts-and-all West Coast gangster lifestyle that we’re fed all too often in a glamourised fast-food fashion.