Vince Staples stays committed to deep raps and impressive storytelling in “RAMONA PARK BROKE MY HEART.”
5. EAST POINT PRAYER
I swear, Lil Baby can go to any hood in America; including Vince’s.
The interesting thing about “EAST POINT PRAYER” is that the song is so f**king lethargic. Matter of fact, Vince Staples sounds like he just finished getting his vaccine shot before he made the song. Featured guest Lil Baby does add some energy to the track by hitting us with an emotional verse. At the end of the day, the song has an intoxicating feel that I strangely adore (Well, I’m an alcoholic, so, yeah).
Honestly, I’m just thankful for a Vince Staples and Lil Baby collab.
4. DJ QUIK
In “DJ QUIK,” Vince is in a pocket that I really f**k with.
I think “DJ QUIK” is one of the tracks on this album that you will nod your head to from start to finish. The semi-melodic/semi-grungy hook that Vince drops in the song will definitely get stuck in your head very quickly. Also, the way Vince straddles the line between a stone-cold killer, a loverboy, and an obnoxious flexer is intriguing to listen to.
Mustard brings out the Tyga in Vince Staples in “MAGIC.”
Over a beat that sounds too chill for its own good, Vince hits us with smooth bars that indicate that he’s a smoker, rich, an anti-snitch, and a playa all at the same time. Though the song sounds somewhat sluggish, I think it’s good enough to extend Vince’s winning streak when it comes to releasing singles.
As I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Vince Staples song in the club… Damn, DJs are trippin’!
2. ROSE STREET
“ROSE STREET” might be the most playa track that I’ve ever heard.
Over a beat that combines 808s with soulful vocal samples, Vince drops bars that highlight his heartbreak ways. What I love about his lyrics in the song is that they sarcastically/cleverly tackle the stereotypical approach that men who are in the streets take when it comes to falling in love.
“Only bringing flowers to the homies’ graves” has to be the hardest line that I’ve ever heard. It’s also tough how Vince closes the song out with a phone conversation between himself and a flower shop worker (He cracked!).
1. WHEN SPARKS FLY
“WHEN SPARKS FLY” makes me want to watch Poetic Justice again.
Everybody talks about the street records from the 90s, but the rap love songs back then were just as good. With that being said, “WHEN SPARKS FLY” sounds like a 90s love song. Not only does it feature a silky-smooth hook that boasts a soulful sample that would make Luther Vandross proud, but it also features a raw rap style by Vince that makes his lyrics about kicking it with, protecting, and missing his woman beam. Oh, by the way, the storytelling he does in the song is fantastic.
SONG BY SONG RATING
1. THE BEACH (4/5)
2. AYE! (FREE THE HOMIES) (4/5)
3. DJ QUIK (4/5)
4. MAGIC WITH MUSTARD (5/5)
5. NAMELESS (N/A)
6. WHEN SPARKS FLY (5/5)
7. EAST POINT PRAYER (4/5)
8. SLIDE (4/5)
9. PAPERCUTS (4/5)
10. LEMONADE (3/5)
12. MAMA’S BOY (4/5)
13. BANG THAT (4/5)
14. THE SPIRIT OF MONSTER KODY (N/A)
15. ROSE STREET (5/5)
16. THE BLUES (4/5)
The power of listening to lyrics is highlighted on this album. If you don’t listen to the words on RAMONA PARK BROKE MY HEART, you might f**k around and end up being bored. Vince Staples doesn’t rap with much energy on his songs, damn sure doesn’t toy with melodies much, and almost sounds uninterested on the mic. With that being said, his lyrics are nothing short of powerful/clever/genuine/gangsta/riveting/dramatic/emotional/fascinating/gutter/romantic. I had so much fun deciphering both the surface-level and deeper meanings of his songs. S**t, maybe his complex personality is the reason we give his raps second, third, and fourth chances. Moral of the story: Let people know that you are a complicated individual every chance that you get so they won’t judge you so quickly.
I really enjoyed the production on RAMONA PARK BROKE MY HEART. The beats give off everything from old-school hip-hop vibes to club vibes to simply chill vibes. What I love is that they all seemed to compliment Vince as opposed to stealing his shine.
Vince does it again! Maybe he can win some album-of-the-year awards as opposed to underrated albums of the year awards this time around.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.