With the recent rash of police shootings and violence spread across the country, the words peace, action and unity are among the many ways people — from celebrities to community leaders — are responding. On Wednesday (July 13), NBA superstars LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony opened the 2016 ESPYs with a call for change that was concluded by the telling message: "We all need to do better."
Echoing that same sentiment is ScHoolboy Q, who tackles similar issues about the social climate on his latest album, Blank Face LP. Interestingly enough, on the day of Q’s hotly anticipated album’s release, July 8, the boiling pot within America’s long-running racial tension once again overflowed after the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of law enforcement. "On a day I'm supposed 2 Happy I'm sitting Here f--ed up about everytHing goin'," he tweeted hours after the album dropped.
I understand bro, on a day I'm supposed 2 Happy I'm sitting Here fucked up about everytHing goin on myself https://t.co/MaHB4nXkGP— ScHoolboy Q (@ScHoolboyQ) July 8, 2016
In response to tragic news, he dropped a new verse alongside Black Hippy members Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar and Ab-Soul for the “THat Part” remix, which featured him rapping, “Gangbangin' like we stand for somethin'/When Alton Sterling gettin' killed for nothin'/Two cowards in the car, they're just there to film / Sayin' #BlackLivesMatter should've died with him." This social commentary by Q is also relayed throughout Blank Face LP, especially on poignant numbers like track 14 ("Black THougHt") and the title track. “Young nigga grew up on hate, but where's the love?,” he raps on the latter song.
Furthering his stance on the current social climate, Q talked to REVOLT after the Blank Face release during an in store signing event at Shuga Records in Chicago. While it was certainly a day for celebration because of his long-awaited LP hitting stores, Groovy Q made it absolutely clear that there is a much bigger topic at hand.
"As a whole community, we need to start protecting each other and stop letting people come into our neighborhoods," he said. "Don’t go around killing cops, don’t go around doing none of that. But when you see something going on that’s wrong, you need to speak up. Stop standing around and letting these things happen."
Q’s comments arrived as President Obama tackled the issue of race and policing in a town hall hosted by ABC News last night (July 14), in which he called for local law enforcements and communities across the country to come together. “It’s not us versus them,” he stated. "It’s going to require all of us not to close ourselves off and go to corners but rather require us to come together and listen to each other."
ScHoolboy Q’s Blank Face LP is available now.