- 12 Jul 21
Rapper's eponymous album offers considerable insight.
It’s no mistake that Vince Staples’ first full-length release in three years is self-titled. The Kenny Beats produced album – which doubles as a love letter to his birthplace of California and an exploration of his own psyche – is the prolific rapper’s most personal work to date.
Meditations on mental health pepper the album, as on the mellow, sample-heavy ‘Sundown Town’, wherein Staples raps: “When I see my fans/ I’m too paranoid to shake they hand.”
He also frequently raps about taking responsibility for his actions, but nowhere is this theme more pertinent than on ‘Take Me Home’. “I don’t want a rebound, I just want to sleep sound/ Don’t wanna dream ‘bout the shit I done did,” Staples says, weaving rapidly in and out of discussions on relationships, atoning for mistakes, and looking hopefully toward the future. The track features a stunning vocal assist from Fousheé, and is layered over a rich, warm acoustic guitar.
On this triumphant return to solo material – he’s also a member of the Cutthroat Boyz – Staples showcases an innate chameleon-like ability. The young rapper is capable of biting personal observations and social commentary on tracks like ‘The Shining’; wry humour on ‘Law Of Averages’; and a relaxed yet somehow impassioned confessional tone. A home run on all counts.
Listen to 'Vince Staples' below.