Music Reviews

Track Review: Chopstix – Schoolboy Q ft. Travis Scott

The second TDE/Travis collab isn't bad but it leaves a lot of room for improvement

Groovy Q is back with single #2, “Chopstix”, from his upcoming, untitled album and this time he’s teamed up with the La Flame, the hottest rapper in the game. I’ve always been curious what a collaboration between these two would sound like. The previous TDE/Travis collab (“Big Shot” with Kendrick Lamar) was one of my favorite singles from the Black Panther soundtrack, but Kendrick is more of a melodic guy and Schoolboy Q is a straightforward, cutthroat savage who rarely tailors his style to match his collaborators. You know what you’re going to get with Q, it’s usually up to the collaborator to get in where they fit in.

First off, the beat on this thing is perfect for Travis. It’s got a simple ukulele melody with some spaceship atmospheric noises that give the track a nice groove. It’s a nice piece of production and I really like how Travis’ falsetto harmonies are laid in the background, they work really well when mixed with the spacey beeps and boops. It’s sleek and gorgeous.

Travis’ performance is solid as well although his lyrical content took all of 5 seconds to write.

Chopsticks, chopsticks, chopsticks (yeah)
I let ’em chop sticks, chop sticks, chop sticks (alright)
(Ooh) chop, chop, chop, yeah
(Ooh) chop, chop, chop, chop
Chopsticks, chopsticks, chopsticks (yeah)
I let ’em chop sticks, chop sticks, chop sticks (alright)
(Ooh) chop, chop, chop, yeah
(Ooh) chop, chop, chop, chop (it’s lit)

How does he come up with this stuff?

The feature is phoned in but it still works because the melody is so catchy. Schoolboy Q raps explicitly about sex the entire time and feels kind of in his element although this is not the type of song that suits him. It reminds me of “Studio” from Oxymoron. Great melody but it feels like Q was forced by his label to be more commercial and this was the result. “Numb numb Juice” is the superior of the two recent singles because creatively that’s Schoolboy’s sweet spot. He wants to rap menacingly and raw without any window dressings. Also, the collaborative nature of this song definitely sounds like it was recorded in two separate locations, the two artists don’t really play off each other at all and the chemistry is non-existent. Travis was clearly paid for the chorus and the marketing clout.

This is an enjoyable banger but the whole song feels more marketing-focused than creatively focused. This is 2019’s “Studio” for better or worse, and I hope Q goes back to the pure savagery he’s known for on his upcoming album. I also hope he drops it soon, we’ve had a Schoolboy drought since Blank Face and I’ve missed him dearly.

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