Def Jam / US
There are mc’s and then there are MC’s, and from his first rhymes onwards Vince Staples has proven himself a capital talent. To start with, and this is intended literally, there’s no-one else who sounds like him, thanks to an unmistakable voice, and a flow that’s at once light and dark and seemingly effortless. Add to this the elegance of his rhymes, the straight up realness of his delivery and his preference for challenging, electronic beats that push at the staid limits of rap, and you have one of the most singular artists of recent times. From his breakout release Summertime ‘06, through to last years FM, Staples has remained immediately identifiable, while unafraid to take musical, and lyrical risks.
Authenticity can’t be faked, or at least not well, and it’s hardly surprising to discover that Vince Staples’ roots are firmly in the underground, self-releasing his first mixtapes without favour or support from major labels or industry figures. The hustle would pay off eventually with a co-sign from Common in 2014 and a deal with Def Jam, on which he released the monumental Summertime ‘06. Since then he’s won support and respect from artists as diverse as Flume, Gorillaz and Earl Sweatshirt, who guested with an unreleased track on “FM!”. Indefatigably true to himself on and off (the) record, Staples is a talent we’re honoured to welcome to Sónar for the first time.