Vince Staples – Summertime ’06

I just shared the SeƱorita 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.

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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:

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Kendrick Lamar’s arresting new video: Alright

Watch this right now. Just do it. You don’t need to thank me.

If you want to see an artist at the peak of his powers absolutely nailing the zeitgeist, click play.

Kendrick Lamar dropped To Pimp A Butterfly just a couple months ago, and it’s already one of my favorite albums of all time.

The brazen mixture of politically, socially, and psychologically aware lyrics with an incredibly nuanced and evolved delivery; the dark and deeply funky production, shot through with an entire jazz band’s worth of all-star live players; the live-wire theatricality of the entire endeavor… all of these parts coalesce as Lamar’s ambition and talent meet in in the stratosphere.

It’s both incredibly audacious and earnest to a fault. The album feels embarrassingly personal at times, the rapper spilling his demons in a drunken crying jag. At the same time, everything’s wrapped in a sense of universal struggle, the intrinsic knowledge that we’re all in this together. There’s no wonder that it’s proven as divisive as it is beloved.

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