Vince Staples – Stolen Youth

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Spend 30 minutes elsewhere. Mac Miller – who produces this entire mixtape – continues to be a fucking joke (“She butt-naked swimming, I’m paying her no attention / Workaholic”) but taken seriously anyway. All the beats here are a pose; they aren’t atmospheric (as say the woozy “Norf Norf”) though they aim for darkness, which means it works fine as background blear. The fact that they’re all simple loops (for the most part; I think he sneaks a drumroll in the midway point of “Thought About You”) repeated through the lengths of each song with no variation means he doesn’t – can’t – juggle more than one rapper per song; especially when a song goes on for 5 minutes (“Back Sellin’ Crack”). The jump from Stolen Youth and Hell Can Wait to Summertime ’06 is equivalent to that of Pablo Honey to The Bends; though I suspect it wasn’t a question of Vince Staples’ talent but who he hung out with.

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