Track Review: ‘Groovy Tony’ – ScHoolboy Q

Q makes his long-awaited return on this first single from his upcoming project


It’s been over 2 years since we’ve had a solo piece from Los Angeles-raised, Black Hippy member ScHoolboy Q. While he’s made a number of  feature appearances here and there since the release of his last full-length album ‘Oxymoron‘, his presence has been well and truly missed by many a hip-hop head. After much build-up from TDE however, we’ve finally been given Q’s brand new single; ‘Groovy Tony‘, a triumphant return to the game from one of its most underrated performers.

The aforementioned album; Q’s first major label studio project, solidified him as a name to fear within the hip-hop business. Achieving both commercial and critical success, even going so far as to get him a Grammy nomination, ‘Oxymoron‘ was the success he deserved. Saying that, it was significantly different to his previous releases, incorporating much more ‘trendier’ sounds and features from outside the respective genre. Some fans even went so far as to criticise his apparent compromise in lyricism, saying that he lacked the dark, gritty-type poetry found in ‘Setbacks’ and ‘Habits & Contradictions’ (his previous LPs).

It seems that ScHoolboy Q may have been aware of this criticism, as he comes back with a single full to brim of this ‘old-school Q‘ that fans say they missed, found in both production and his subject matter. ‘Groovy Tony‘ has the MC embodying the character holding that name; a gun-toting, blank-faced killer who shows no remorse or mercy. If the instrumental is anything to go by, the world he inhabits is just as relentless too. With a snare-filled drum line backed by some constant sub-bass that’s jumping all over the place throughout the track, it’s certainly a grim, harsh atmosphere we’re tossed into. On top of that it also throws in this creepy female vocal clip which incessantly repeats the phrase ‘blank face‘, fulling reinforcing this sense of turmoil and helplessness that Q’s trying (and succeeding) to put across here.

Groovy Tony himself (or Q, whatever you want to call him) matches this beat with a creative and off-kilter flow that describes the character and his actions in vivid detail. Opening with the straight-to-the-point: “blank face, tre 8, kill everybody, fuck an AK, sell narcotics and step my dollars up to Bill Gates” we instantly get a sense that this character is not someone you want to be an enemy of. Q uses some brilliant imagery here too, claiming he’s “got that white girl for you, and she swimming in fire water“, alluding to a metaphor of boiling crack cocaine. The whole track is a great introduction to a character that I hope we see frequently throughout the album, perhaps even with the overall concept being centred on him and his endeavours in the twisted world he belongs to. As Kendrick tweeted on the night of its release; “Q season” is here.


Listen (and watch the fantastic video) here:


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