“I’m The Only Conversation If You Speaking Up On Long Beach…”

Vince Staples – Summertime ‘06(Def Jam & ARTrium Recordings/2015)

Vince Staples is not a West Coast Rapper and states he’s never seen low riders except at car events. This strikes most as odd  since Vince hails from Long Beach,California and is a short trip to Los Angeles but don’t let the location fool you as these are two different worlds and on his explosive studio debut Vince weaves tales from his youth in Long Beach into a compelling narrative. The album features production credits from one-time Kanye mentor NO I.D, DJ Dahi, Christian Rich and blog darling Clams Casino who delivers standout tracks in the form of gritty “NorfNorf” and the hard hitting “Surf” where Vince delivers quotables such as “More black kids killed from a pill than the FEDs in the projects/In the planned parenthood playin’ God with ya mom’s check, you ain’t even been to prom yet”

Vince’s crippin past is on full display on tracks such as “Street Punks” where he states his contempt for fake thugs and street punks.His gangbanging past is on full display on “NorfNorf” where in his rapid fire delivery he declares “I ain’t never run from nothing but the police” as well as acknowledging that he is part of the problem.There are a few missteps with the production in tracks such as “3230” where the maximal nature of the instrumental drowns out Vince and neutralizes an otherwise great lyrical display.

Summertime ’06 is a narrative held in place and time and Vince curates an impressive unapologetic release that will stand the test of time.

 TCW RATING: 8.4/10



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