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Album Review: Vince Staples – Summer ’06

2 min read

“Summer of 2006, the beginning of the end of everything I thought I knew. Youth was stolen from my city that Summer and I’m left alone to tell the story.” Vince Staple’s Summer ’06 is a dark narrative about an even darker time in his life. Hailing from Long Beach, Los Angeles, Staples tells tales of gang-banging and his criminal past in a 20 track, hour long story from the state of California.

Vince Staples Summertime '06There is no doubt that Staples is excellent at conveying his message. His sharp and brutal lyrics often cut right through painting a bleak picture of hopelessness and despair. Multiple collaborations on the album provide a little more variation with Orlando’s Kilo Kish appearing on two of the tracks and Snoh Aalegra, Joey Fatts, Jhene Aiko, Dj Dahi, Daley, and Desi Mo all lending their talents.

The album is generally stripped back and driven by the 808s – standard practice for the genre, but there is something more to these tracks. Its a gritty and honest story of the real world, an element that is refreshing when you consider similar releases that have made their way on to the shelves this year so far.

The album is practically wall to wall with great tracks, Norf Norf, Loca and Surf are highlights for me and in my opinion i believe that they are as good as many of the tracks released by the genre’s leading artists. Although there is nothing too unique in terms of musicianship, Staples’ proficient lyricism and rapping ability carry the album through the plethora of tracks without the listener growing tired of the repetitiveness.

The narrative of Summer ’06 is a familiar one. A coming of age through trials and tribulations. Growing up and learning from mistakes made by not just you, but those around you. The difference is; this time its coming from someone who really started from the bottom, and now they here.