Home > News & Reviews > Vince Staples

Vince Staples - Dark Times (Album Review)

Tuesday, 28 May 2024 Written by Tom Morgan

Few might have foreseen it at the time, but Vince Staples has gone on to forge one of the most interesting and consistently great discographies of any rapper once affiliated with Odd Future.

Having been a supporting cast member in the collective, his forward-thinking 2017 masterclass ‘Big Fish Theory’ is one of the best rap albums of the past 10 years, while subsequent, largely more straightforward, releases have all contained moments of startling originality and flair.

These descriptions make Staples sound like a flamboyant, avant-garde rebel. But his greatest asset, which ‘Dark Times’ possesses in bucketfuls, is his effortless sense of chill.

His compelling music matches his voice, never raising its volume beyond that of a stoned wisecrack even as he consistently digs into visceral, traumatic subject matter.

Staples has a great sense of humour, but ‘Dark Times’ is a serious beast. Themes of guilt and anxiety abound, highlighted by the moody Government Cheese. Staples turns a familiar ‘successful rapper reflecting on his upbringing’ story inwards, encapsulated by the poetic bars “I know if I prayed more/ I could probably save more/running through these banknotes/stressin' as the waves roll by.”

Low key but eclectic production choices match these uneasy lyrics. Shame On The Devil is bright and slow, like a chopped and screwed Mac Demarco instrumental, Nothing Matters channels UK bass music, imagining Burial doing trip-hop, while Little Homies is almost a house track infused with Sampha-esque emotional weight.

The closer you look at the seemingly laid back ‘Dark Times’, the bleaker and more unusual it gets. It’s rare to hear an album that’s both calm and on edge, but the ever-unpredictable Staples has pulled it off with fascinating aplomb.

Vince Staples Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue June 11 2024 - LONDON Roundhouse
Wed June 12 2024 - MANCHESTER O2 Ritz
Thu June 13 2024 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute

Compare & Buy Vince Staples Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


We don't run any advertising! Our editorial content is solely funded by lovely people like yourself using Stereoboard's listings when buying tickets for live events. To keep supporting us, next time you're looking for concert, festival, sport or theatre tickets, please search for "Stereoboard". It costs you nothing, you may find a better price than the usual outlets, and save yourself from waiting in an endless queue on Friday mornings as we list ALL available sellers!

Let Us Know Your Thoughts

Related News

Tue 04 Jun 2024
Vince Staples Announces Black In America North American Tour For Fall
Mon 20 May 2024
Vince Staples Announces Eighth Studio Album 'Dark Times' With First Single Shame On The Devil
Mon 26 Feb 2024
Vince Staples Confirms London, Manchester And Birmingham Shows As Part Of Black In Europa Tour
< Prev   Next >