Vince Staples rhymes with the chilly detachment of a teenage hitman. His no nonsense cynicism (“I just wanna get my bread/and talk my shit ‘fore I end up dead.”) and monotone voice are on full display on his new album Stolen Youth. Mac Miller (aka Larry Fisherman) is behind the boards for all ten tracks, and provides a varied soundscape for Staples to paint his often depressing, but endearing pictures.
The album also features strong lyrical performances from collaborators including TDE’s Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q, Miller himself, and Joey Fatts. Still, this is very much Staples’ album and vision. Stolen Youth is at once a bleak narrative of a young LA native trying to figure out his place in the world, and a promising early exhibition from an already solid artist with a limitless upside.