This time around things seems to have reversed - Q seems to have really stepped up his game with Blank Face, whilst The Sun's Tirade seems to lose its way a little.
A change in lyrics isn't to blame - there's still very little poetry being recited by either artist. Q does dip his toes briefly in political issues on 'Never Change' and 'Black Thoughts', but the remainder of the record is a hamster wheel of money and hoes. That said, Q's gangsta persona is so cartoonish that none of this matters - dumb lines like 'straight ballin like a biiiitch' are squawked out with such infectiously ridiculous emphasis you can't help but fall in love with them. In the end, it's the guests that offer the most embarrassing contributions - the uninspired 'I’m gonna fuck right now' hook on ‘Overtime’ sung by Miguel and Kendrick being one of them, Kanye’s ‘okay, okay, okay, okay, okay’ blathering on ‘That Part’ being the other.
That said, this could be more to do with the energy of Isaiah's bars, the rapper at times sounding like he just broke his xanax withdrawal. Whilst Q's creative hooting and cackling works like caffeine, Isaiah's experimentation with sleepy murmured flows on tracks like 'Bday' are sedative enough to lull a SAS sniper into a stupor. It's a shame, because on previous track 'Park' Isaiah shows he can be quite lively when he wants to be, spattering out each line with the truculence of a spitting cobra.
Both artists certainly feel like worthy Top Dawg inductees, both finding their own unique style and voice and running with it. It's just unfortunate Isaiah's lethargic persona is less compatible when taken to the extreme than Q's gangsta guise.