ScHoolboy Q muscles through the dominant “Yeern 101”, prepares new LP

ScHoolboy Q has been many things throughout his career: fatigued gangsta, troubled father, valiant strongman, Art rap connoisseur (leading to his masterpiece, Blank Face LP), and much more, but he’s rarely – if ever – sounded as focused as he does on “Yeern 101”, his latest single, which arrives ahead of his new album Blue Lips (out March 1).

With Kendrick Lamar having exited Top Dawg Entertainment, Q has found himself in a position one could argue he’s always deserved: his label’s, well, top dog. While 2019’s CrasH Talk was a bit of a stumble, Q has spent time returning to a place that feels urgent and vital. He explains himself: “I didn’t feel like my normal self anymore. I’d done so much in the industry, accomplished so much, checked off all these boxes. I’d won, but I wasn’t really satisfied.

So, then, his long awaited fourth proper LP, Blue Lips, dives headfirst into zones both thrilling and painful, ranging from dominant wallops to deeply emotional content dealing with the passing of his close friend Mac Miller and more. Birthed from a period of self-critical, painstaking reflection, Blue Lips, in many ways, deals with speechlessness, yet also, as “Yeern 101” triumphantly shows, barges its way into the upper echelons of Q’s most unrestrained statements to date.

The color within the album’s title itself is no mistake, either. Hearing the words Blues Lips one is likely to think of a corpse: Q may well have taken these confessions to his grave. On the other hand, while one can certainly picture “blue” and think of sadness, it also represents so much of our lifeblood: the water we drink and the very air we breathe. He says it himself: “It was hard some days, and I gave up at times. But it would just be one day, or two days. Then I’d get back to it.” The album all but promises a stark, striking duality.

Check out the stomping “Yeern 101” below, complete with a stuttering, in some ways almost lo-fi, yet absolutely dominant beat from Cardo, and look out for Blue Lips come March 1st.