Vince Staples – Ramona Park Broke My Heart review
I’ve been a fan of Vince Staples since 2014’s Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2. The growth Vince has shown since then is remarkable. No two projects sound the same and he makes it a point to push his limits. He consistently experiments with different production and rapping styles. Vince has never been one to get trapped in his comfort zone. Every time he drops it’s a unique and fresh listening experience. Much of the subject matter Vince focuses on centers around his years growing up in Long Beach, California, and the gang affiliation that shaped him into who he is today.
Vince’s stories are both intriguing and heartbreaking, to say the least. Last year Vince released his criminally underrated self-titled album “Vince Staples”. It was short but incredibly raw and different from anything Vince dropped previously. This most recent record “Ramona Park Broke My Heart” takes cues from Vince’s earlier work but doesn’t display the same vigor in execution when it comes to lyrics.
It’s a great album, but for the majority of the project, Vince’s writing doesn’t go deeper than surface level. The album is performed in a very laid-back style. Self-titled had a similar monotone delivery as well, but it was mixed in with energetic cuts that flexed more personality than many of the ones on this album. It’s possible that the lackadaisical vibe of RPBMH is a reflection of Vince’s current state of mind. Regardless, Vince’s pen is one of the most impressive in modern rap.
His lyrics are visceral and intelligent- painting pictures of the realities of poverty, gang violence, and survivors’ guilt. He raps about relationship troubles on this album which is somewhat rare for Vince. He mainly focuses on the melancholy realities of his day-to-day life. Vince’s words evoke emotion even if you can’t personally relate.
The production on this album is really good, but it is repetitive. The beats range from having an upbeat bounce to being dreamy and euphoric. Half of the songs sound like California and feel like summer. The other half offer a smooth and intoxicating vibe that meshes well with the lethargic flows Vince employs. I enjoyed this album but I prefer self-titled more. RPBMH is not as intimate and well thought out as Vince’s music usually is. However, it’s still cohesive and well-performed, with more highs than lows.
Listen to Vince Staples Ramona Park Broke My Heart