Shove it, Pinhead. Move over, Leatherface. Right now Blankface is the only screen villain who makes us tremble in fear.
Who? That would be the monstrous figure introduced in Schoolboy Q’s new video for ‘Groovy Tony’, a battering rap track on which he assures us of his ability to fuck us up without the assistance of an AK47. “Blank face, Tre 8 / Kill everybody, fuck an AK.” Make no mistake, he’s saying here, I’ll use a run-of-the-mill pistol to riddle you with bullet holes and I won’t even flinch.
In the video, this is illustrated by a figure with shades and a hat – similar to those worn by Q – but no face, who sprays the air with bullets. And that’s not even the freakiest part of the brooding, deeply unsettling clip that sees the rapper stalking moodily around a junkyard. Hard to say what is. Strong contenders: the man crushed beneath a digger, bodies heaped in the jaws of a crane, a dude hanging from a warehouse ceiling, the tasteful decor inside a shipping container in which Schoolboy Q appears to live.
With three albums to his name, the latest being 2014’s Oxymoron, Q has been rising up through the hip-hop ranks, a long way from his day hustling in South Central Los Angeles as a member of the 52 Hoover Crips gang. In 2014, he told Rolling Stone: “School athlete, drug-dealing drug user, gang member work a good job – I done did it all. Rap was the last resort for me.”
Last resort or not, judging by the eerie, atmospheric ‘Groovy Tony’ and its bloodthirsty video, Schoolboy Q is killing it.