Growing up in a world of confusion and gunpowder, Staples is prolific on his self-titled album that spans only 22-minutes and two seconds. Forming a similar run-time to his other project, FM! which also featured Kenny Beats as the main producer and beatsmith on the record. Vince Staples is less about the fun of FM! and more about the danger of summer.
Opening with “ARE YOU WITH THAT?,” Staples is more direct than his previous recordings but still does not let the audience get too close. Describing with a closed fist instead of an open palm, Staples is far enough where he becomes this enigmatic narrator with small peeks into his life. Illustrating, “Niggas better hush, remember growing up, All I wanted was to be a thug. Wanted me a plug, to get a lil bread, shoot a couple niggas in the head.”
One thing about Staples is that his choice in production and keeping the attention to the instrumentals are always fantastic. Even going back to his mixtapes with Shyne Coldchain Vol. 1 + 2, or to the EP Hell Can Wait, Staples can always capture this method of danger through the sonics. Never forming to be too dark of a picture, his image is burned in the film negatives and seems to have this tired vibrance that is as deceiving as it is deadly.
Especially on the single, “LAW OF AVERAGES” where the stuttered production is able to be leaned from side to side in rhythmic, but still hypnotic steps. Kenny Beats who seems to produce just about everything that is intricate and interesting forms a symbiotic relationship with Staples on Vince Staples.
The way that Staples can orchestrate a story that is both personal and often times otherworldly begins to bleed into Beats’ production and formats almost as if it was the perfect storm.
The storm brews on “LIL FADE” which is about the closest thing to a club hit that Vince Staples holds. The writing from Staples is intimidating but reminiscent of his gap-toothed braggadocious nature. Rolling up like a tank to war, Staples illustrates, “Lil fade, trippin’ get ya whip sprayed. Choppa where my bitch stay. Shoot shit, pocket full of blue strips, blow it and I’m still paid.” As the production ramps up to become more and more gripping, Staples pushing into the second verse describing, “Wall calls, homies on the four-year. Running up the scorecard. Death threats, I ain’t lose a step yet, still hanging like a Warhol.”
The 10 tracks are a dedication to Staples and are his monument where the puzzle pieces of 3230 Poppy St. are starting to connect. While the mind still can’t fully grasp on who or what Staples embodies, he never seems to forget where he is from and why he is here.