Vince Staples has released his second project of 2014, Hell Can Wait. If you are into slick, witty gangster raps told by an actual gangster then you will love this. The No ID influence on this project is very evident throughout, this album was very cohesive, every track followed the theme and was placed perfectly. The album begins when he was about 13 going to high school, gangbanging and eventually dropping out of high school. A conceptual album some will say is reminiscent of GKMC’s theme of wild nights spent dodging cases and caskets.
The EP starts off with Fire, a smoldering introduction into the hell Vince is trying to escape. The hook is “I’m probably finna go to hell anyway” which is telling us when he was growing up getting into heaven seemed like a long-shot. He makes reference to that when he raps “you dig your own grave when you fuckin’ with the lord, catch a fade, probably finna go to hell anyway“. Vince also said he felt like Young Dro in the summer of ’06, that’s exactly how I felt, doing my shoulder lean from June to September religiously. He recently dropped the video for this which alludes to what I was saying and it was reviewed by our own Jay Lopez, you can read that here.
65 Hunnid is the next track and it is the smoothest track on the surface but is actually the track you hear him exhibiting his gang ties the most on. The title is a reference to his album cover 6500 was the address on it which may or may not be his actual residence. The jazzy production makes you feel as if you just entered a 1920’s speakeasy. Then you realize you’re actually in North Long Beach circa 2006 and you justifiably panic. The first verse is filled with double entendres that can be interpreted as either gangbanging speak or sexual references. For example when Vince says, “riding thru your section, shit I hope you got protection wit’ you“. The second verse is basically Vince crip walking all over the beat. Staples says “Gloves with the disguise, bang the set before you blow, don’t stop ’til he drop” which is describing hitting a lick and firing on the enemies.
Screen Door is the slow paced hard hitting song you can hear Vince flexing his story telling muscles on. It almost seems like a part two to his Nate track about his father. The hook is a slight borrow of Goodie Mob’s “Cell Therapy (Who’s that peakin’ in my window)” but with a drug dealer twist “I got what you need, what you fiend for“. This has A$ton Matthews making an appearance as Vince’s hype man adding ad-libs. Staples tells a powerful story of him covering for his dad’s drug dealing and then witnessing him become a drug addict then eventually winding up in prison. This is my favorite track on the EP.
Hands up was the second single released and is the most political on the project. Vince clarified on his twitter when this was released that it is not about the events that happened in Ferguson, Mississippi. With him saying that the song becomes even more powerfully because this proves this is constantly happening all over the country. He mentions the local tragedies of Tyler Woods and D’Angelo Lopez who were wrongfully gunned down in the past year by police officers. Staples is very ballsy here for calling out LBPD and LAPD publicly. The hook is also a double entendre he says “put your hands in the air” as if he was telling the crowd to rock with him but he also is alluding to what the police tell you when they are afraid of you. Vince refuses the right to be silent.
Blue Suede was the first single released and is the one made for the trunk rattlin’. Vince is gliding over this with his Blue Suede Jordan’s. Again he’s calling out the Long Beach PD with his line “LBPD get sprayed on too” needless to explain what spray actually means in this context. He also proceeds to call out hoe ass bitches, snitch ass marks and his mark ass enemies. I also did a review on the video, you can peep that here.
Limos is the one love song on the project which is something we’re not totally accustomed to hearing Vince do, however this was done to perfection. It features the beautiful and talented G.O.O.D music artist Teyana Taylor singing about how she can “love you better”. Vince raps about how his fame has now affected the way women treat him. Classic story of not being able to trust these hoes because of their ulterior motives. Staples explains this girl wants to trade in the “hoe’s life for the red rose life” the rose we can assume represents love. But you can’t turn a hoe into a housewife like Kurupt told us, and Vince knows that very well, “fall in love and get lost“.
Feeling The Love closes out the EP perfectly. Vince goes hard! With bars like “If she can’t help me get up out the struggle why I need the bitch” and “it ain’t no books up in the backpack I brought the revolver“. Vince also tells us everything he ever needed he learned in these streets. Staples provides ill bars throughout the song with a victorious hook to let us know he’s feeling himself right now. He’s 21 years old, signed to Def Jam, just completed his first EP, and he’s “feeling the love“.
Hell Can Wait definitely accomplished its goal of supplying Vince’s fan base with solid new music and where it succeeded the most was leaving us wanting more. He gave us seven really solid songs you can play without thinking about skipping to the next, now imagine what a full length project will sound like. This has me anxiously awaiting a seventeen track album. But I guess if Hell Can Wait so can I.
You can purchase the album here.