2022RAMONA PARK BROKE MY HEARTVince Staples★★★★80Hip-Hop

Vince Staples has done it again, creating another highly-consistent and cohesive hip-hop album in RAMONA PARK BROKE MY HEART, which sounds both very different from anything he’s done before and also feels exactly like any other album Vince has put out. 

This time — as the “Broke My Heart” part of the album’s title might suggest — Vince is more personal, reflective and sadder than ever, although it never sound too doom and gloom. He raps over some R&B styled beats for the first time in his career, and his subdued, but personal storytelling style fits it perfectly. Some of the beats are darker and feel like a nighttime vibe, while some of the warmer tracks feel they’re nostalgic, summer songs.

The album’s lead single, “Magic,” produced by Mustard, and “Lemonade,” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, are two of the closest things to a mainstream radio track Vince has ever put out, but fit right in with the rest of the record. Not an artist that relies heavily on feature artists on his records, Lil Baby’s verse on Easy Point Prayer is a welcome addition. Vince also has a number of deeper cuts here, like “When Sparks Fly,” which stand up with his great songs of the past. 

Similar to his self titled record, which was released less than a year prior to RAMONA PARK BROKE MY HEART, this album is missing a little bit of energy, and Vince’s “too-cool to show a lot of emotion” vibe makes it feel there should be a little more here, but it’s hard to complain about a breeze, 16-track, 42 minute record of high-quality lyrics and seamless production.  

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