2012 feels like eons ago. The west coast renaissance was in full effect, and the personalities of Top Dawg Entertainment were distinct to an almost exaggerated level. The conspiracy theorist Ab-Soul, the hard-nosed Jay Rock, and the wise poeticism of Kendrick Lamar. They filled their niche potent effects, but there was always one rapper that felt beyond simple characterizations. ScHoolboy Q was a conflicted man from the start; Habits and Contradictions highlighted the distinct duality, Oxymoron blurred those lines. Now with the first single from his upcoming 2016 album, ScHoolboy Q is linking his identities with “Groovy Tony”, a song that stands as one ofhis best in his ten year career.
From the get go, tunnel vision is in full effect. This isn’t the family man you see on Snapchat. This is the gangsta constantly pushing further into insanity. The constant fluttering siren propels the song forward, and ScHoolboy Q is spiraling into this accelerated version of himself. The conveyor belt flow is constantly toppling over itself, but there is hesitation. ScHoolboy Q reels himself in multiple times, as the devil on his shoulder whispers a cold “Blank Face”, calming him again. Never has the conflict within ScHoolboy Q been so tense and verbose that the song shifts its tension and weight with such spine-shuttering results. All as Q rips verse after verse in a tone that is slimier than those that claim that title. Nothing else is known about his third album, but if Groovy Tony is a warning for what’s to come, then it’s clear that ScHoolboy Q is back with his most violent, verbose effort to date.
– T. Pennington