Vince Staples dropped one of the best albums of 2015 with Summertime ’06 a month ago. It’s one of the best hip-hop albums I’ve heard in years, up there with Kendrick and Killer Mike and Future and anybody else who’s had a mad flash of love on the internet in the 2010’s.
I’ve already shared the full album and the stunning (and fucking gut-punching) Señorita video, but a short drive today convinced me that Lemme Know needed to be singled out. Listen:
I just shared the Señorita video, but realized that everyone needs a chance to listen to the whole brilliant album. So here’s a Spotify full album stream of Summertime ’06. It’s not just one of the best hip-hop albums of the year; it’s one of the best releases of any genre.
Vince Staples impressed me last year with his brief but fiery Hell Can Wait EP, but in no way prepared me for the brilliance on display with this two-disc (but only 1 hour) debut album. Nothing really can. It’s brazen, intelligent hip-hop with a hard swing and a deep heart. It’s surprising, exciting, dangerous; it’s some of the most fun listening I’ve had all year.
I’ll let it speak for itself. Here’s the full album stream:
Thanks to my music friends, I was tipped off to Vince Staples just before this album dropped. One of them stated that it was better than To Pimp A Butterfly, the funky hip-hop masterpiece from Kendrick Lamar that’s quickly become one of my favorite albums in years.
That’s a ballsy statement. I clicked play.
The video is one of the most subtly powerful images I’ve witnessed all year. It’s a visual treatise on the way that myriad subcultures and “others” are only seen by suburban white America through screens, the tangible life and death struggle rendered impotent or entertainment by the separation of glass. An indelible final shot delivers the death blow; I won’t spoil the surprise. You’ll know if you watch it.