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Written Before Listen

Vince Staples is a rapper from California known for his conscious lyricism and ambitious beat selection. Personally, he was a person who got me more into hip hop, as “Blue Suede” was one of my favorite songs back when it came out. I continued to be a fan overtime as well which made me excited for this new release. With that being said, let’s see what Vince has in store for us.


The production of this record is entirely by EDM/Trap producer Kenny Beats. Kenny Beats might be one of my favorite trap producers due to his brand, drum choice and overall bounce of his music. On this record, he matches Vince’s style but not in the best way. The mixes of these beats are off-putting and usually ruins the aesthetic of Vince’s lyrics. There are some good beats like the beat for “Take Me Home” and “Taking Trips” but it’s only occasional when he matches the mood of Vince.


When it comes to Vince, he is more substance than anything else. This album is no exception either as Vince Staples reminisces about his past with emotional and metal struggles. The only thing that brings it down is the delivery he chooses. Vince sounds so uninterested and apathetic throughout the album that it makes it hard to pay attention. His delivery is almost as poker-faced as the cover itself. He sounds lazy despite being 22 minutes. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the lyrics are good but everything else isn’t.


Speaking of the 22 minutes, maybe we should talk about it. There are 10 songs and 2 of them are skits. If you take those two skits away, the album is less than 20 minutes. The album is incomplete. Some of the best EPs of all time sound more cohesive than this record. There is not a single track under 3 minutes which makes it hard to believe that Vince and Kenny gave their all on this album.

Past Discography

One thing about this album is that, you cant shy away from his past work because even if you just got introduced to his work, you would just consider him as generic. His music is far from generic. Big Fish Theory is so much more personality filled and way more left field. Even FM! Had more energy and vibrance throughout. Vince Staples just sounds expressionless now. There is not a story or a beat that catches you by surprise on this album whatsoever. The closest thing to it are the songs “Taking Trips” and “Lil Fade” but thats more in a negative aspect. “Taking Trips” is a good beat but the 808s overbear the mix as well as the little zap sounds. “Lil Fade” is easily the most experimental beat but the beat itself is like making a trap beat for a lyrical rapper. I usually don’t reference someones past work, but its really hard not to for this record.

Favorite Tracks

Maybe im getting a little too negative. There were multiple tracks I enjoyed to an extent. I liked “Law Of Averages” and liked its lyrical standpoint. The song “Take Me Home” had a great beat and a good flow surrounding it too but my absolute favorite has to be the final track “MHM”. The beat is hard and Vince’s flow matches the ferocity. Other than those few tracks though, This album was a disappointment.


Vince is a great artist and I still have hope for his future, but I just wasn’t a fan of this project. I can see why people enjoy this project and I don’t really mind it. When it comes to being honest though, this album is easily his worst.



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