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Album Review: Vince Staples by Vince Staples

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Vince Staples is a rapper/singer and songwriter based out of Long Beach. While closely working with Odd Future in the beginning, he eventually branched out and released his debut project, Summertime '06 in 2015 which brought him to the spotlight. After some other big name projects, Vince Staples drops his fourth studio project titled, Vince Staples.

The first track from the album is ARE YOU WITH THAT? This was one of the last promotional singles for the album, but it was powerful enough to get me excited for this project. The wavy and distorted beat alone makes this intriguing. We also get Vince Staples on more of a singing/rapping style. The music video is also pretty interesting. Other than that, this track really lays the groundwork of what we'll see between Vince Staples and Kenny Beats for the rest of the project.
 
LAW OF AVERAGES was another promotional track for the album, but I didn't really check it out until the week before the album release. It opens up with some distorted vocals, but then opens up with some more minimal string instruments. Throughout the track, especially during the chorus, he name drops several different streets in his hometown of Long Beach and basically talks about how he won't waste his time or energy with average people.
 
SUNDOWN TOWN opens up a bit brighter than some of the previous tracks. We have some bright and flowy vocals from a sample. Eventually the vocals cut out and we get Vince Staples with the beat and guitar parts. On this track, Vince talks about how he was growing up and what life was like when he was younger. He talks about how he was sleeping on others couches as well as living in the streets from morning until night.

THE SHINING is another bright and flowy track. This time, the bright bell-like sounds keep on running for most of the track. This track just seems a little more relaxed and laid back, especially with the way Vince is rapping on this one. Lyrically, he talks about how anyone could be dead in a matter of seconds when growing up. He also talks about how he could move to anywhere he wants, but he could never do that.

TAKING TRIPS is quite a bit different than some of the other tracks, and the beat turns me off from this one right away. It opens up with a few bass parts, then opens up with a bright sound, which almost sounds like some cheap MIDI tracks. Despite that, Vince seems to be doing fine on this track, or at least enjoys the beat on this one. He talks a lot about his life during the summer, and how he hates the month July, even though this album dropped in July.

THE APPLE & THE TREE is the shortest track on the project, however, it's just an interlude, not really a track. There's a sweet piano and guitar part that is layered behind the vocals, which is Vince's mother speaking. Throughout the track, she talks about how Vince's father was in court for attempting to murder someone else, so she had to lie in order to give him a chance. It also shows the loyalty that's in his family.

TAKE ME HOME marks the longest track on the album, but it isn't saying much since it isn't even three minutes in length. Other than that, we get some similar instrumentation from the interlude, a guitar, piano part, and a drum beat. We also get a flowy chorus from artist FousheƩ which adds a different feeling to the track. Judging by the lyrics and title of track, he just wants to be brought back to a simpler time in his life.

LIL FADE starts out quiet with a weird laughing sound. There's also a lot of electronic features sprinkled in throughout the track. Other than that, the beat doesn't really change up that much through the track. However, I can say this is a fun and fire track from the album. He continues to go through some of the same stories and things he went through living in Long Beach. My only complaint is that it's short, which most of the album is.

LAKEWOOD MALL is another short interlude on the album. This is just a little longer than the previous interlude, but is still just over a minute in length. This track features a bit more of a beat, and it seems like some people have dug up similar tracks that have featured the same thing. Other than that, the skit starts out at the mall, then they ended up getting pulled over, and then it ends at a party that they decided to go to.

The final track we have on the album is MHM. To end the album, we actually get a somewhat of a banger track. We get the hard hitting drums and bass, and then there are some other electronic snippets thrown in there. We also have an outro to end the track where he basically talks about where all the hood lives and basically mentions some of the people that have died.

I'm definitely underwhelmed after this project. While there are several decent tracks on here, most of them just seem like a starter template since they're short. There wasn't a single track on here over three minutes so I'm just wanting more by the end of the project. The Kenny Beats production as nice, but I was expecting a bit more from this short of project.
Overall Rating: 6/10
Favorite Tracks: ARE YOU WITH THAT?, THE SHINING, LIL FADE
 
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