Esteemed hip-hop artist Vince Staples debuted his self-titled album today via Blacksmith Recordings / Motown Records. His first full-length release since 2018’s critically acclaimed FM!, the 10-track LP delves not only into Staples’ upbringing in Long Beach, but his psyche as he learns to cope with his yesterdays and strides toward new tomorrows, picking others up along the way. Staples also unveiled official lyric videos for every track on the LP, which are available via his YouTube.
Ahead of the album’s release, Staples gave fans an early preview of the project sharing the first two singles off the LP — “LAW OF AVERAGES,” and “ARE YOU WITH THAT?”. “LAW OF AVERAGES” was released alongside a companion music video featuring a montage of voyeuristic moments in Long Beach, CA, and imagery that embodies Black joy and highlights the beauty within the fringes.
“This project really gives much more information about me that wasn’t out there before. That’s why I went with that title. I feel like I’ve been trying to tell the same story. As you go on in life, your point of view changes. This is another take on myself that I might not have had before.”Vince Staples
Throughout the LP, Staples ropes in recordings of intimate chats with loved ones for poignant interludes that provide insight into who he is. “THE APPLE & THE TREE” features his mother recalling moments she let anger push her into a situation, hindsight now tells her succumbing to anger did nothing to serve her. “LAKEWOOD MALL” stars one of Vince’s best friends Pac Slim remembering a night where Vince decided not to go to a party that ended in gunshots. Other standout tracks include “ARE YOU WITH THAT?” and “TAKE ME HOME,” which showcase his dynamic musicality and knack for layering hard-hitting bars over infectious beats that push the creative envelope.
Elsewhere on the album, we discover that Staples deals with the anxiety of not being able to decipher friend from foe at times as who cruises through streets he grew up on. Moreover, the tug of war between the music star life and staying planted in the soil he bloomed from doesn’t seem to gnaw at him as it does with others as fortunate as he.
The celebrated rapper’s latest body of work is also just the beginning of his busy 2021. He is currently working on a number of creative projects with additional details to be announced throughout the year.
“I’m a mind more than I am an entertainer to a lot of people,” Staples says, adding, “I appreciate that my fanbase is willing to go on this ride with me. I’m ready to diversify what we’re doing and see how we affect the world.”