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Vince Staples - Vince Staples Music Album Reviews

Vince Staples - Vince Staples Music Album Reviews
Produced entirely by Kenny Beats, the album’s reserved musical approach magnifies the blunt scene-setting Vince has used to build his name over the last decade. 

Vince Staples thrives on contrasts. His lyrics are filled with first-person accounts of a grim adolescence and isolated moments of anguish that feel both lived-in and distant all at once. And then, before you know it, he cracks a joke and reframes the whole experience. The beats on his last three proper albums—2015’s Summertime ‘06, 2017’s Big Fish Theory, and 2018’s FM!—jump from minimalist hyphy pulses to warbling UK garage tones with a concussive sense of whiplash. Even in the midst of chaos, Vince’s high tenor splits through these walls of sound like a hairline fracture.

The content of Vince’s bars hasn’t changed much, but his latest album, self-titled Vince Staples and produced entirely by EDM-turned-rap producer Kenny Beats, is more uniform in sound. Distorted samples and peppy 808s permeate nearly every track, creating an atmosphere somewhere between the glossy minimalism of his 2016 EP Prima Donna and the muddled gloom of his Michael Uzowuru-produced 2012 mixtape Winter in Prague. There’s no concept or alleged double album conceit at work, no grandiose beat experiments or Big Boy cameos to distract from the artist at the center. Though it’s far from his most exciting music, the album’s reserved musical approach magnifies the blunt scene-setting Vince has used to build his name over the last decade. 

For his part, Vince is still in the liminal space between mainstream fame and the business end of a .38. He’s been the face of Sprite campaigns and has an upcoming Netflix show, but death and decaying memories lurk around every corner. Parsing out the difference between the real and fake is hard enough when you’re not famous, but the paranoia lingers in the back of his mind. The end of “Sundown Town” dwells on the fear of meet-and-greets with fans turning into assassination attempts. “Taking Trips” features a striking bar about keeping a gun in his swim trunks when he goes to the beach. On “Are You With That?” Vince reminiscences on a childhood spent with friends who are now “under the ground” before disarming listeners with a hilariously blunt demand: “Fill these voids or fill my bank.” He’s still a smartass operating in a bad man’s world, and money remains both a motivation and a balm.

Stories like these have never been swallowed by any of Vince’s songs in the past. Horrific narratives like “Nate” and “Blue Suede” could bore into your memory without the banging arrangements that power them. This is a point Vince Staples makes often: The stripped-back production on these songs helps new revelations sting and tickle a bit more than usual. Lines like “Shoot cuz he was poppin’ hot shit/Now he on a Pro Club” from “Lil Fade” feel bolder in this context, even if the songs themselves aren’t particularly thrilling. Vince trying his hand at melodies on “Are You With That” or adopting a sputtering flow on “The Shining” are neat and inviting changes delivered with the energy of a shut-in turning down the thermostat. Vince Staples has movement but lacks velocity, which casts his words in the most intimate light imaginable.

Kenny Beats, ever the chameleon, responds by offering up some of his mellowest cuts. Mid-tempo synth chirps and drum claps propel both “Are You With That” and “Mhm” while a ghostly vocal sample gives “Law of Averages” the chill of a James Blake song. Some songs, like “The Shining,” veer into lo-fi territory. Even If you’re looking for the booming pastel energy of Kenny’s recent collaboration with TiaCorine or the breathless vibes of his work on Vince’s FM!, Vince Staples still has plenty to recommend. The sonic palette is grayscale without being boring, stoic without missing bounce.

Vince and Kenny Beats have easy chemistry in and out of the booth because both are consistently proving how adaptable they are to any facet of rap. There’s no beat that Vince’s bleak diarism can’t mutate just like there’s no regional style Kenny can’t add to his collection at will. They’re two unstoppable forces who would rather work together than fight each other. Vince Staples is a minor affair by design, proof that there’s fire to be found even in the duo’s quietest moments.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Vince Staples - Vince Staples Music Album Reviews Vince Staples - Vince Staples Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, July 16, 2021 Rating: 5

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