This slaps. For those who have been awaiting California rapper Vince Staples’ EP, you will be satisfied. Although mainly known for his collaborations with artists like Mac Miller and Earl Sweatshirt and most recently heard on the Larry Fisherman–produced “Stolen Youth,” Vince has been releasing solo mixtapes since 2011. This is his first for–sale project and no other rappers are featured, making “Hell Can Wait” a focused example of Vince's unique style. On most verses he delivers a nearly constant, rhythmic flow, with the end of each bar melding into the beginning of the next. The momentum of the project is driven by his lines, with the instrumentals left as a simple backdrop.

The real appeal of this tape, and of Staples in general, is his voice and authenticity. On tracks like “Blue Suede” and “Hands Up,” when he describes the life of a gang member (which he claims to have had from a very young age) you can feel the intensity in his words. He can then turn around on “Limos” and put out a compelling, cynical love song without missing a beat.

To be fair, this project does leave something to be desired in terms of production. A bit more sonic diversity would have gone a long way towards moving these songs from simply enjoyable to absolutely fantastic. As for the subject matter, most of this EP expands on ideas Vince has already explored in his earlier work. But with seven solid new tracks, fans won't be disappointed.


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