After partnering with longtime collaborator Michael Uzowuru for the acclaimed Winter In Prague mixtape in 2012 and Mac Miller (under the alias Larry Fisherman) for the revered Stolen Youth mixtape in 2013, Vince Staples returns to his musical roots. With the release of Shyne Coldchain II, the gifted Long Beach, California rapper delivers the type of introspective reality- based street lyricism that has made him one of rap’s rising stars.
“It’s been a minute since I’ve really been 100 percent hands-on me, myself really going all the way in, deciding everything,” explains Vince Staples, one of the latest signees to the legendary Def Jam Recordings. “So it’s more personal this time than it has been with the last two I dropped. It’s more of a complete vision for me. I feel like it’s always going to turn out better that way.”
Case in point is the powerful “Nate.” Produced by Scoop DeVille and featuring James Fauntleroy, the hard-hitting selection features Vince Staples reflecting upon the influence his father had on his life, even though he was incarcerated. “I never looked at my father like he was wrong,” Vince Staples reveals. “Growing up how I grew up, people would often would say, ‘It’s no fathers. It’s just deadbeats.’ But in reality, it’s just a bunch of dudes who never had something trying to figure out how to do it. If you ain’t never prepared a meal before, the first time you cook, it’s probably going to be bad. That’s just how it is.”
Elsewhere, Vince Staples drops the third installment of his “Progressive” series of songs with the Evidence & DJ Babu-produced “Progressive 3” and revisits the pain he caused his mother when he joined a gang in the remarkable “Trunk Rattle.”
Writing such stirring songs, ones where Vince Staples turns the microscope on himself and his family and reports upon the good and the bad in honest, unflinching ways, is part of what makes his music among the genre’s most remarkable. “Ain’t nothing realer than the truth,” he explains. “Ain’t nothing better than the truth, like I really did all that. I really seen all that. I really been around that my whole life.”
The rest of the 10-cut Shyne Coldchain II features production from trailblazing producer and Def Jam Recordings executive No I.D. (Jay Z, Big Sean), as well as guest vocals from Jhené Aiko on the Childish Major-produced “Oh You Scared.”
Fresh off Earl Sweatshirt’s Wearld Tour, Vince Staples is featured on the domestic dates of ScHoolboy Q’s Oxymoron World Tour. “Me and Q come from a very similar upbringing,” Vince Staples says of ScHoolboy Q, with whom he collaborated on the Stolen Youth selection “Back Sellin’ Crack.” “It’s just a good opportunity and I mess with his music, so it’s even better for me.”
With a string of potent mixtapes, extensive touring opportunities and a spot on the roster of a legendary label, Vince Staples remains focused on making magnificent material. “I’m just working on music,” he says. “That’s my life now, so I’m giving it everything that I got.”