Top Dawg Entertainment is lucky to Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q, two names that bring excitement and head-bobbing hip hop in a crowded field.
A field that includes one of the most prolific rappers of the era, Drake. The established, Toronto-bred MC is currently hanging a treat above fans’ heads — a treat named Views from the 6, his upcoming album.
“Groovy Tony” – ScHoolboy Q
The song begins with a grimy bass line, then a familiar drum set from the South Central Los Angeles rapper. It begins and ends the way it started — with a punch.
Is there storytelling here? Um, probably not. With lyrics like this, ScHoolboy Q fans have grown accustomed to his rebellious flow:
Blank face, Tre 8
Kill everybody, **** an AK
Sell narcotics and step my dollars up to Bill Gates
The single carries a similar set of rhymes throughout, but the most important goal of this single is to create buzz for Q’s next studio album. which has no official title and release date.
You have to be a fan of ScHoolboy Q or grimy rap to look past these lyrics, but it’s a fun three minutes with enough material to skirt my appetite for the time being.
The Throne? Who in the — JAY Z AND KANYE WEST?!
Yes, I was just as surprised as the next person. Remember, hip hop heads, Jay and Kanye released “Watch the Throne” and title themselves together as The Throne. There’s your fun fact of the day.
There’s a good bit of production to be found on “Pop Style,” but for the love of God the lyrics are horrid. They fall flat with each verse (“Tell my mom I love her if I do not make it, do not make it/ Got so many chains they call me Chaining Tatum”) and Jay Z’s feature is … hardly a feature. It’s one or two bars, then West takes over for a full, forgettable verse.
I can’t get behind just a good instrumental without any quality wordplay — wordplay we’ve grown accustomed to from Drake.
“One Dance” is backed by a Caribbean dance hall beat, with — you guessed it — nothing memorable. It’s as if Drake’s feature verse on Rhianna’s “Work” changed the way he looks at music.
The word around the grapevine is that these two releases aren’t going to be featured on Drake’s next album, which allow me to exhale a tad.
“Pop Style”: 3/10
“One Dance”: 2/10