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Blank Face LP

by ScHoolboy Q

Released July 8, 2016 via Top Dawg Entertainment / Interscope Records

Reviewed July 15, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Groovy Tony / Eddie Kane (67%), JoHn Muir (58%), THat Part (33%)

When discounting Blank Face LP’s excessive length, at 17 tracks and over an hour and 12 minutes, ScHoolboy Q’s fourth album is a staple of 2010s gangsta rap. Bringing in a diverse cast of producers—from The Alchemist to Pi’erre Bourne to Tyler, the Creator, and of course TDE’s in-house producer Sounwave—Groovy Q’s take on the genre is one that’s multifaceted. It doesn’t always pay off, with a handful of tracks on Blank Face that simply drag on without propeling the energy of the record any further. But when ScHoolboy Q is at his peak, merging the spirit of ‘90s G-funk with modern-day trap, he’s unstoppable; his energy is infectious, his emotion is raw, and his charisma is impeccable. An emphasized focus on Q’s strengths could have launched this to near-classic status, but nonetheless, Blank Face LP provides clear reasoning as to why ScHoolboy Q was one of the biggest names in hip-hop five years ago. – Dominick (7.7/10)

ScHoolboy Q’s fourth album depicts a nightmarish account of coming up on the “Fig” side of Hoover street, with “Blank Face” being a personification of the night-dwelling creatures that spawn in environments like these. Blank Face LP cycles through a variety of moods and tones, but commonly emphasizes its balance of grit and beauty to define the album’s overall sound. A song like “Kno Ya Wrong” sandwiched between “Groovy Tony / Eddie Kane” and “Ride Out” demonstrates the hellish and heavenly strokes of this album’s contrast. Similarly, the album is bookended by a pair of Anderson.Paak assisted songs that clash in this way. ScHoolBoy’s previous album, Oxymoron, saw multi-level success behind its five singles, but Blank Face LP shows a clear bias towards making artistic and perspective statements on gang culture deep into the track listing. The “Blank Face” persona brings life to these stories in a way that breathes film-like reality into Q’s imagery. With just a few breaks in momentum, ScHoolboy’s fourth studio album rides like a rollercoaster from heaven to hell. – DeVan (7.5/10)

At the time of its drop, Blank Face LP was left underappreciated. As ScHoolBoy Q’s fourth studio album, which also directly followed the highly-acclaimed Oxymoron, an incomplete feeling existed; like something was left on the table. But, after some time has passed, this project reveals a complete display of his talent. Its composition, beat selection, and features, all provide a subtle and refined sound. While Oxymoron was raw, this album carries a heightened sense of composure. Several songs, including “THat Part” and “Dope Dealer,” have remained in rotation since 2016. While it took some time to grow, this album is an essential listen for any hip-hop fan and a testament to the quality of sound ScHoolBoy Q produces. – Daniel (6.8/10)

ScHoolBoy Q has been a staple in the contemporary West Coast hip-hop scene for a decade plus, but it wasn’t until Q dropped Blank Face LP that he finally delivered a complete project. For his standards, Blank Face delivers the best of Q’s honest brutality, taking his upbringing and pointing to the genesis of who he became. That honesty comes in the form of admitting his shortcomings as a father, friend, and rapper. This performance can be at times muddied by the bloated tracklist, which runs over 70 minutes. A few tracks are reminiscent of Q’s past instances of filler, and in those moments, he falls back on the subject matter that we all know him for, which isn’t nearly as engaging. But this album’s highs—"JoHn Muir,” “Groovy Tony / Eddie Kane,” and “Blank Face” in particular—soar beyond the effect of BFLP’s weaker tracks. The replay value of Q’s best work on Blank Face LP manages to overshadow the drag that it becomes when listening to it sequentially. It’s not the best of the contemporary West Coast scene, but still a damn fine effort. – Ben (Synth) (6.5/10)

Alan: 8.3/10 | Dominick: 7.7/10 | Pax: 7.7/10 | DeVán: 7.5/10

Enth: 7/10 | Daniel: 6.8/10 | Ben (Synth): 6.5/10

Cam: 6.5/10 | Peter: 6.5/10 | Jared: 5.5/10


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