Vince Staples: Summertime ’06 | Album review

Summertime '06
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Artist: Vince Staples
Genre: Hip-Hop & Rap
Label: Def Jam

Life in Long Beach, to judge by Vince Staples’s debut album, is not all sandy beaches and lazy sunshine vibes. The summertime sensations that the 21-year-old deals in on this superbly detailed, narratively rich and musically dark work involve run-ins with police, gangs and dead bodies.

Throughout, you can see Staples grappling with the desire and compulsion to be one of the crew (see Get Paid for his take on the hard-knock life) and the more complex reasoning around what it takes to be a man and eyeing up different paths.

As Staples muses out loud or recounts another ghettoside encounter, producer No ID and his galley fill the spaces with intense riffs, tense atmospherics and twists of the fabric, especially on Jump Off the Roof and CNB. A remarkable album, full of vibrant characters, real- life drama and questions in search of answers.