A 30 year old rapper might feel caught between the genre’s past and future, but not Vince Staples. The Californian artist (he was born and raised in Ramona Park, a neighbourhood in Long Beach which lends its name to his latest album) is equal parts innovator and genre custodian; a dextrous lyricist who’s unafraid to push the musical envelope. With the help of producers like Kenny Beats and Mustard, he’s updated the blueprint of West Coast rap for the 21st century. Possessed of a remarkable emotional honesty, he tackles themes that range from personal strife and romance to past trauma and societal ills with effortless eloquence. On stage he’s a charismatic and magnetic presence: it’s a pleasure to have one of hip hop’s truly great live performers back at Sónar in 2024.
West Coast rap’s finest