Introducing possibly the most unoriginally named album, AKA Vince Staples’ latest…
When it comes to hip-hop, I won’t aimlessly play any artist; I’m picky. The quality of this guy’s 2015 record, ‘Summertime ‘06’, was belting. So much so, I really rinsed it while wrapping up my degree. But I can assuredly say his recent material is just as decent.
In short, the rap game is strong. The verses are piercing, the hooks are fierce and it’s an instrumental box-ticker. While video gamers and YouTubers will know Staples for ‘BagBak’, that really is just one track in his arsenal. And that’s further evidenced now by the whopping streaming tally ‘LAW OF AVERAGES’ has on Spotify already! That piece is the second song on this new album, and it nails a steady hip-hop beat, chopped-and-skewed sounds and samples, and a tight rhetoric. Sure, reviewing this one is interesting when you’re up against some questionable female-centric language, but that’s just what you get with rappers, annoyingly. And the lyrics here also provide a who’s who of designer bags and general governmental distaste. All sorts, but it’s just so good.
The major single aside, Staples has wedged plenty of other winners into the album. It opens with ‘ARE YOU WITH THAT?’, a softly flowing melody that sets the pace for much of the drums that follow in each track. It’s one for the chilled rap fans — a token to remember throughout.
Skipping to the third, there’s a distinct funkiness to ‘SUNDOWN TOWN’, with its medley of muffled lyrics and softly strummed strings in parts. It’s another that isn’t trying hard, and that’s how Staples has always behaved as an artist. He’s just vibing with the music.
You’ll notice a harder-hitting ferocity behind ‘THE SHINING’, which has a bit more of a baller’s arrogance compared to some of the more laid-back offerings. One of the standouts for me has to be ‘TAKE ME HOME’ though, thanks to it incorporating soothing Spanish guitars and soulful female vocals from Foushée.
As the record runs its course, you’ll hear a few snippet-style recordings that fade one song out into another, too. It’s a fun way of breaking up this quite short, succinct album that’s so delectably easy to listen to. There to end it all in one neat package, ‘MHM’ is a thriller that can’t be knocked.
If you only download one track, let it be: ‘LAW OF AVERAGES’ or ‘TAKE ME HOME’