The first time I heard Vince Staples at a School Boy Q show I was so thoroughly unimpressed I could not believe it when I sat down to listen to Summertime 06 for the first time. My hopes were so low I couldn’t figure out why I was even wasting my time. And then “Ramona Park Legend 1” started and it was a little spooky. It was a little weird. And I was intrigued. Then “Lift Me Up” came on and it was even spookier. Even weirder. That’s when I decided to see who produced the album and lo and behold Clams Casino and No I.D. were the main producers. It all clicked and as I listened through the album I kept becoming more and more surprised and more and more engrossed with what I was listening to. It was dark, creepy, curious and above all really good. Each song had its own attitude and feel yet they flowed so perfectly together. When I listen to rap these days I really want and expect something a little different to be happening if it’s going to catch my attention. I think the combination of my surprise with this album plus the spooky feel hooked me and then was able to keep me returning again and again. Rap rarely feels this spooky, because it wasn’t horror core or anything like that but simply, foreboding. At first the only thing I really even bothered vibing with was the actual feel of the album but the more I listened the more I finally started trying to listen to the lyrics as well and if anything they were even darker. Vince Staples has see some shit, plain and simple and he is nothing but honest and straight up about his life experiences. His ability to not trivialize gang life is impressive and refreshing to not hear a rapper obsessed with guns and violence and trying to paint them in some sort of positive light. Staples really understands what he went through and I think he understands that there really was nothing glorious or superficial about his past life. It was just real and this album does a perfect job of portraying that message.