Vince Staples - 'RAMONA PARK BROKE MY HEART'

8/10

Throughout his tenure, Vince Staples has been more of an enigma on the US rap scene. While usually one to pursue the same bold and driven aesthetic as many of his contemporaries, it still comes across as someone on the fringes of the scene, usually adopting personal experiences within his lyrics rather than something more generic. It is this raw and intimate energy within his music that has made him one of the most compelling names doing the rounds right now, and he now returns with his fifth full-length 'RAMONA PARK BROKE MY HEART', a record that is about showing the true him.

Written as a companion piece to his self-titled LP last year, 'RAMONA PARK BROKE MY HEART' looks to add more context to that deeply personal release. Essentially his new material is about showing the true side to what growing up in poverty between Compton and North Long Beach was really like. With no hint of glamouring or romanticising his past, we get to see him at his most brutally honest to date, yet somehow still warm and inviting at the same time. Although the goal of this album was to be as real as possible, that hasn't dampened his humour or flair for smooth and engaging cuts throughout.

These last two releases have clearly had a cleansing effect on Vince Staples as he comes across more comfortable than ever. 'RAMONA PARK BROKE MY HEART' is yet another strong release from an artist that seems to do no wrong, and sees him growing personally and professionally from start to finish.

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