ScHoolboy Q gives us food for "Black Thought" with release of his three part music video series.
A review of Schoolboy Q's "Black Thought" music video and what it may be saying in its understory.
It seems as though TDE has taken their direction from the art of storytelling and have set the bar for music videos and artists cut from the cloth of bandanas, khakis and chucks.
Waving a flag of homage to the streets while simultaneously giving the world a different side of him, Schoolboy Q has definitely taken the ‘gangsta’ persona and given it a new face, a blank slate of sorts to show the depth of himself as an artist versus his ‘groovy’ goon persona. The cinematography and storyline in the releases of “By Any Means”, “Tookie Knows” and “Black Thoughts” have definitely given all other aspiring ‘gangsta-gangstas’ something to live up to.
No longer will the rampant flurry of gang signs, bandannas flailing defiantly against mainstream opinion, dancing in the middle of the street and speeding mopeds popping wheelies be the accepted norm for the music of the streets. There is definitely a new level of quality and attention being applied to the polished package of dark synths, chunky bass lined, grungy bearded and raspy dope dealer anthems that is Blank Face.
Pause for Suga Free insert:
“In these times of (social injustice), hate and pain, we need a remedy to help us through the rain.” (Snoop Dogg. The Last Supper. Kokane, Suga Free. 2000. CD)
The remedy seems to begin with lyrics that are a three course meal to hungry ears eager for music with some form of sustenance. Lyrics like “…lets put our rags down and raise our kids, lets put our guns down and blaze a splif” from the song “Black Thoughts”, 1 of 3 music videos released by the label in early June, give hope that there’s more to the ski masks, bucket hats and diamond encrusted grills that meets the eye. Q speaks candidly about his ill feeling toward his father, friends dying early and the less than ideal memories growing up with roaches, gang bangin’ and the ever present reality of death by the streets.
One could say that the LA native is glorifying jail and celebrating the fruits of shenanigous behavior while others can see the depiction of an artist responding to misfortune, environment and circumstance. It seems to be that “Black Thoughts” is a reflection of the consequences of civil disobedience and a sober look at the path he choose over his potential, future and in this case, Q’s daughter. Quincy seems to deliver some solemn truths in this installment of mini movies.
In the 3rd montage Quincy walks his daughter, ready for school, out of a mansion doors and through prison-like, barbed wire gates. Hand in hand they stop at the corner and wait for what seems to be a school bus to take his daughter to school. Instead, a shocking and spirit wrenching depiction of a black and white bus pulls up, a numb yet ironically willingly ‘schoolboy’ boards the county jail bus and takes a sit, blank faced, as he’s hauled off to jail. His daughter watches; now alone. A symbolism of the current statistic of fatherless youth in the black community lost to jail, drugs and violence.
One could speculate that the message is for people to stop being numb to the reality of nonchalant disregard for responsibilities and on the contrary, reap the karma of what’s real. According to Kendrick Lamar’s father on a skit from GKMC real is “responsibility, taking care of your family and God”.