Vince Staples is a challenging listen for the average rap fan. His strength comes from a sense of wisdom beyond his years, the product of growing up fending for himself in the streets of Long Beach, one that allows him to tell cold, brutal truth about society in his lyrics. Consider his guest appearance on the song "Plottin" by A$ton Matthews. Taking the first verse, Vince starts off by saying, "Hug the hammer like a proud parent/'Cause I done heard more gunshots than crowd cheering/Followed up by loud sirens, moms crying/Nonviolence just means you're scared, nigga." (Yikes!) Powerful stuff.
This is what separates Vince from his peers who've grown up in similar environments. Where some try to sugarcoat and create a facade through braggadocio, Vince's descriptions of past exploits are tinged with regret. Not only that, he has thus far refused to change up his content to offer listeners a false sense of optimism. All three of his projects—including the Mac Miller produced Stolen Youth—are notable for their cohesive starkness. This project is a testament to how committed Vince is in sharing his vision: Who else would use a collaboration with Mac Miller to say things like, "Now his oldest bastard son sitting in that casket young?"
Vince's music has been somewhat inaccessible to most thus far, which might explain why he has not attained the same level of buzz as some of his friends in the Odd Future crew. However, after his show-stealing guest verses Earl's Doris, and Jhene Aiko's Sail Out, and with his own Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2 on the way, his profile should be growing in the months ahead. —Dharmic X