Release Date: Nov 10, 2014
Record label: Def Jam
Genre(s): Rap, Gangsta Rap, West Coast Rap
Over the course of a couple years, Vince Staples has crept into the spotlight on the strength of a sometimes-unclear association with Odd Future and a full-out mixtape produced by Mac Miller. This year has been his legitimate breakout, though. A more polished sequel to his Shyne Coldchain mixtape was delivered in March and then a pair of scene stealing feature appearances on Common’s album over the summer added Vince’s name to the short list of “who’s next.” Both followed his well-noticed spot on Earl Sweatshirt’s single “Hive” last year, one of three contributions to Earl’s own stunner Doris.
“School couldn’t get me into heaven/And heaven couldn’t get me in a bitch bed,” raps Long Beach rapper Vince Staples on “Fire,” the first song of his major-label debut. As deceptively simple as these lines are, in his typically oblique manner, Staples is actually making quite a mission statement. Shunning the deceitful simplicity of school as a path to grace and grace as a path to happiness, pleasure, Staples chooses to be a menace, throwing on a blue Yankees hat and embracing his ancestry: “a bloodline of crips.” Hell can wait because heaven, especially the heaven that he wants, is impossible given his circumstances.
West Coast gangsta rap has enjoyed a lasting revival in the wake of Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city, with albums by Schoolboy Q, YG, DJ Mustard and others following its lead in advancing the quality and chart traction of narrative-intensive gang-life dispatches. good kid’s unblinking austerity went missing, though, as the infectious levity of Mustard’s airtight party anthems went national, inspiring even Kendrick to inch over to the sunny side with his studiously motivational comeback single “i”. The lesson of good kid—that you could make radio without catering to it—seems lost as L.A.
It appears the saying "genius takes time" doesn't apply to Long Beach rapper Vince Staples. Despite dropping his mixtape Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2 just a couple of months ago, Staples returns more than willing to step outside his comfort zone, sonically and lyrically, on new EP Hell Can Wait.
Busting out on his own, Cutthroat Boyz member Vince Staples makes it official with Hell Can Wait, his Def Jam debut. Coming in at 24 minutes and with seven cuts on the track list, this is EP-sized and not long enough for the full artist picture, but that said, there's no filler, either. "Blue Suede" is the hallucinatory highlight, giving the impression its a drug trip curated by Dr.
It’s one thing to come across someone who’s seen more at a young age than most people see in a lifetime. But the way Vince Staples lays out his adolescence in his gripping debut EP, “Hell Can Wait” — from a drug-dealing, then addicted father slinging in the alley, to the police knocking at the door, to a mother doing her best to duck them — it seems like he saw things no one would want to see. Staples is a 21-year-old word-bender (think Earl Sweatshirt) who doesn’t waste a syllable telling a story — over crisp and focused production from No I.D.
For little over a year, Vince Staples’ growth as a MC has been a sight to see. The Long Beach MC has always been a young rapper with talent, but it seemed something has clicked now. After a scene-stealing verse on Earl Sweatshirt’s “Hive,” releasing his impressive 10-track project Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2 and two guest features of Common’s latest album Nobody’s Smiling, Hell Can Wait is another notch on the belt for the West Coast MC.