Misc. Day – Black And Blue            

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“Yeah, back and blacker than ever. Got sick of waiting for these actors to get it together. Still in them gutters, all my brothers is birds of a feather. Tried to get this money cause my people done struggled forever.” No these aren’t the words of a poet from the civil marches, but instead those of Long Beach native, Vince Staples.

On his 2014 project, Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2, Staples opens with “Progressive III,” a continuation from his first mixtape release Shyne Coldchain Vol. 1 where the rhyme schemes and instrumentation fit more for a rally than any track. Staples sits at a podium where all eyes and lenses are on him, cameras flash and the steady flow of bars comes through crafting a wade in deep depths.

Rather than gracefully floating though, the audience is cast away at sea, lost to teeter above and below the waves while saltwater begins to drag them down. Staples who appears as a predator describes, “Just sit and look at where they raised us at, seen blacks ain’t crack so they gave us that. Give us hope then take us back to the 1800s with these rap contracts.” He continues on to illustrate, “You got a right to the dream, whether it’s triple beam or Martin Luther’s, my chain heavy. Is you ready for that revolution?”

Later on the track “Nate,” Staples is able to reminisce on thoughts about his father and adapting to the early grasps at life. He describes, “As a kid, all I wanted was to kill a man, be like my daddy’s friends hopping out that mini-van. Chrome ’38 spinning like a ceiling fan, crying on my momma phone swearing he a different man.”

As the verse switches into the second section. Staples switches his demeanor and describes, “As a kid, all I wanted was a hundred grand, Uncle counting money while my daddy cutting grams. Made me promise that this shit would never touch my hands, and it never did.” The way that Staples is so detailed and graphic with his narration, it creates an emotional attachment to his story.

Even off the bombastic piece “Shots” that is one of the strongest tracks off the record, Staples is still a real threat even behind a microphone. The opening description of “Niggas die off of Poppy Street, bet my mama vouch. They drive by, we don’t run inside, bitch we shoot it out.” The first verse that follows is vital to his delivery and takes the ugliness of a street war to the headlines.

He begins, “On my grind Benz color of the crimes I’ve been committing, I’ve been fighting all my life and I ain’t stopping till it’s finished. Rapid firepower sound just like a helicopter engine, Hell ain’t threatening to niggas who ain’t never had religion.” While the subject matter is something that most listeners will never see or be able to relate to, the storytelling and way that Staples used the production from No I.D. here gives grenades to the speakers.

Before big fish came to swim or the Norf Norf was something that people were able to visit sonically, Staples was a different kind of poet. Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2 is one of the projects that has raw animosity but also the refined ability to take the listener right to 3230 Poppy St.

Listen To Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2 Here!!! – DatPiff/Youtube

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