Schoolboy Q has not mellowed. The LA rap fireball has been quiet for a little while. His last album was 2016’s feverish and masterful Blank Face LP, and since then, he’s only showed up for occasional guest appearances. But now he’s heating up again. After teasing new music on social media, he has now come out with a deranged, hammering new single called “Numb Numb Juice.”
“Numb Numb Juice” works as proof that Q is ideally suited for a changing rap climate. It’s a ridiculously short song, clocking in six seconds shy of the two-minute mark. And it finds Q rapping over a beat full of concussive 808 explosions and rat-tat-tat hi-hats. (The credited producers are Nez & Rio, DJ Fu, and Hykeem Carter.) And it works as a reminder that Q has been issuing emotionally unstable death threats and proudly rocking a face tattoo for years. He was built for these times.
“Numb Numb Juice” is named after Cali slang for alcohol — E-40 has been using the phrase for decades — but it’s not an ode to hedonism. Instead, it’s a general rage-out full of violent tough talk: “The gun won’t jam, it’s on sight / I might get life, that’s on my life / The four-four-five, the go, green light.” This is some intense, unrelenting rap music, and you can hear it below.
“Numb Numb Juice” is out now at the streaming services.