By Staff Writer James Mellen III.
Vince Staples has been alternating between dropping EP and albums since his debut EP Hell Can Wait in 2014. This project isn’t officially and Ep , since Vince Staples is Vince Staples. Instead Vince called it a “special project dedicated to my biggest fan and supporter since day one”, in reference to himself obviously. This project exists to build anticipation for his upcoming full length album Poppy Street Sinners, which will come next year.
The project plays like 22 minutes of ad free radio, with breaks and interludes with radio DJs taking phone calls and advertising new music. Musically, the production is very eerie, dark beats that back Vince’s cold hard lyrics.
Starting off the project with “Feels like Summer,” describes summertime in Vince’s hometown of Long Beach California. The song juxtaposes the partying that comes with being young in the summer with the gang violence that Vince typically raps about. While the song isn’t that strong outside of the context of the album, it makes a very strong introduction. Following the song is a Radio DJ interlude titled “Outside.”
Don’t Get Chipped is what has been perceived as the main single of the album. This song is nothing less than a banger. Jay Rock does the hook on the track, which is tied between two verses.
The next song Relay is my favorite on the album, the production relies mostly on a drum beat to push the song along, but interjects with these dark alternating synth tones. The hook on this song is incredibly catchy, Vince does an incredible job of delivering what would be mostly uninteresting lines otherwise. The lyrics on this song are a cold description of the outcome of a life of crime. With lyrics like “He gon’ have to raise his baby from the visitin’ room”
Next Earl Sweatshirt comes out of near hiding to deliver the best 8 bars he’s delivered in 8 years. This is the first time since then we get to to hear Earl rap over a beat faster than 100 bpm and probably the last time.
Run The Bands is a very hook-centric song, he must repeat the words “run the bands” 100 times in this song.
FUN! Is a song about how Vince doesn’t want to hurt anybody, he’s just here to have fun. The production on this track is unreal, the bass is extremely cool, and Vince does a good job of riding the beat.
No Bleedin’ is another Vince song that is repetitive. Vince needs hooks to have more than 7 words
Next is a Tyga short Tyga interlude and it’s annoying Tyga isn’t talented. Following this is another radio interlude.
The last song on the album “Tweakin” offers a very depressing look on the way gang life impacts people who have been through it like Vince. He raps about his dead friends, and his alive friends putting him prison. Overall this project is probably Vince’s best work 8/10
Sun Kill Moon- This is My Dinner
Somtimes it’s easy to get lost in how good his music is and forget how obnoxious of a person Mark Kozlek is. This is not one of those albums.
This album is an hour and a half recounting of Mark’s recent European tour, and literally anything that he got reminded of on this tour. When I say anything I mean there are rants about Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and how his dad didn’t let him light candles in his room.
Every song on this album is basically the same, Mark delivers a 10 minute spoken word story over some type of background music.
Mark Doesn’t let you forget how terrible he is at any point in the hour and a half of the album (for the uniformed, this is the type of guy who literally said that all female music journalists want to have sex with him when one asked him for an interview)
Until the song “Copenhagen,” where Mark sings about writing the song he is singing, I thought the album was completely improvised. It’s literally just Mark rambling about Scandinavia.
There are a few recurring themes on the album, one that really sticks out to me is the fact that Mark Kozlek reads book. On the first song “This is Not Possible,” Mark really goes out of his way to explain that The Catcher in The Rye is his favorite novel. In that song he also makes sure to list a bunch of music he listened to. The last song on the album Chapter 87 of He is Mark reading Chapter 87 of He by John Connolly.
Another recurring theme is being mean to fans but it being okay because the tour was so stressful.
He also does covers of Come on Get Happy and Rock n’ Roll Singer.
Honestly this albums annoying because Mark’s annoying, but it’s interesting listing to someone who is so out of touch with regular people talk for an hour, so I’m going to simultaneously recommend that everyone listens to this and give the album a 4/10.