#6 Mixtape of The Year: Vince Staples- Stolen Youth

Posted: December 30, 2013 by ericbernsen in Album Reviews, Music
Tags: , , , , , ,

A relative newcomer to the game, Vince Staples has been best known for his work with Odd Future as the fellow Californian artists have collaborate numerous times. But with the release of this Stolen Youth mixtape that is entirely produced by Larry Fisherman (Mac Miller’s beat making alter ego), Vince has created his own individual identity as an artist. The chemistry between Vince’s pessimistically driven rhymes and Mac’s experimentally dark driven production is a match made in heaven and makes Stolen Youth a standout free release of 2013.

Vince Staples does not convey much happiness on this project, he more so reflects on his troublesome past and this subject matter sounds fitting over the trippy soundscape Mac Miller provides for him. Staples offers tokens of advice on “Heaven” as he is accompanied by both the rapper Mac Miller and the beat maker Larry Fisherman, who lays down a haunting piano beat for the two to spit over. “Guns & Roses” and “Back Sellin Crack” back to back allow Vince to channel his negative energy and lyrically explain to the audience what he’s been through, and more importantly why his motivation to succeed in hip-hop is sky high. While Vince’s vocal tone fits the project’s production seemingly, the guest appearances on Stolen Youth give it some diversity that enhances the project as ScHoolboy Q and Ab Soul of TDE lend a hand with inspired feature verses.

Nevertheless, Vince’s true lyrical talent shines the most on tracks like “Stuck In My Ways” in which he depicts a honest level of desperation that allows him to stand out among his contemporaries. It makes sense that Vince was kicked out of his house at a young age since he seems born and bred in the streets of Long Beach.

While Vince’s dismal attitude is a surprisingly refreshing perspective, it is the production of Stolen Youth that takes the project to another level. It seems like Mac Miller has quickly found his niche as producer Larry Fisherman, specializing in a creepy, nightmarish sonic style. With this in mind, it is no wonder that a collaboration between the two made sense as Vince’s subject matter meshes the production to a tee.

With Vince Staples recently signing to Def Jam, it will be interesting to see where the Long Beach rapper goes from here. Stolen Youth is a concise project that achieves a certain kind of dreary atmosphere and musically fulfills the potential of it. Staples and Miller deserve equal praise for making the project come together so cohesively and I am sure the two will continue to work together in the future. We’re not sure if things will get brighter for Vince theme-wise in his rhymes, but as an artist it is clear that he will be moving upward in the ranks of hip-hop’s young artists come 2014.

Listen to Stolen Youth below and let us know what you think of the review/rating!





  1. […] were a huge fan of Vince Staple’s Stolen Youth EP that was released last year. Once known as just an Odd Future affiliated rapper, over the past year […]

  2. […] presence than the first official opener Vince Staples. While we are huge fans of Vince Staples, (especially his Stolen Youth EP released last year), it was apparent that he needs to improve when it comes to his delivery at live shows. There were […]

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