Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

Schoolboy Q – Numb Numb Juice

We tend to like him best on his own


Alfred Soto: A steady if often uncomfortable defender of Schoolboy’s queasier moments, I recoiled from this on first listen: trap beat whose dependability obscures Schoolboy’s attempts to stress “bitch” in unexpected places. Time: 1:54

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: For the roughly one minute and fifty seconds in which he is rapping on “Numb Numb Juice,” Schoolboy Q is the only thing that exists in the entire world. He fills up the track with his voice– still defiant and jokey, still radiating poise among the clattering electronic chaos of Nez & Rio’s beat. Q, despite his obvious charisma, has always been an uncomfortable fit on pop tracks, and “Numb Numb Juice” provides an inverse proof– when stripped down to just him and his raps, he shoots his shot and hits every time.

Jonathan Bradley: In our post “Gucci Gang” world, pop brevity is not so remarkable — “Welcome to the Working Week” would barely earn the repeat play — but perhaps the most arresting thing about “Numb Numb Juice” is its concision: Schoolboy Q’s parsimony is violent in effect. He fits around five discrete movements in under two minutes over a disintegrating slasher flick loop, then closes with a head shot.

Tobi Tella: This is triumphant, goofy, weird, and brazen all at once, and is basically my platonic ideal for what I wanted the next Q album to sound like. I was so immediately and thoroughly on board with the song that even the fact that it’s called “Numb Numb Juice” didn’t deter me!

Joshua Minsoo Kim: I respect the decision to return after several years with a track so short. Still, it’s densely packed to have the semblance of something longer. I’ve never felt Schoolboy Q was as zany as fans proclaim, and “Numb Numb Juice” doesn’t convince otherwise. That we’re reminded of E-40/The Click doesn’t help.

Iris Xie: I like the cool danger in this track, how the stabbing bell-like echos buffer the snare roll into a damp, collected atmosphere. I’m also a big fan of the “okay, let’s get it, bitch, let’s get it, woo” extended syllables, that together with the clipped and crisp raps mimic and contrast rhythmically with the instrumentals. Together, they create an atmosphere that reminds me a bit of — and this is going to be the geekiest reference ever — whenever there are final battles in JRPGs or anime, and they take place in so-called sacred locations, like cathedrals or flower fields. Best played on repeat, it’s what Hamilton‘s attempt at menace with the “10 Duel Commandments” needed to accomplish, although that clarity of sound might be too scary for the Broadway crowd. But if you’re talking about having guns and being high on “numb numb juice,” or completely arbitrary rules about dueling, the expression should match the lyrics, no?

Reader average: [5.33] (3 votes)

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