Vince Staples

Prima Donna

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The second EP from Long Beach rapper Vince Staples, Prima Donna is a concise and intense ride that follows his 2015 breakout album, Summertime '06. Featuring appearances from A$AP Rocky and Kilo Kish, Prima Donna combines Staples' uncomfortably honest inner ruminations with wider social issues relevant to being a black man in America. As he declares on the second track, reality is so dire, one has to be "War Ready." Immediately following on "Smile," he repeats "sometimes I feel like giving up," the psychological toll of life pushing him to the point of "sometimes I wanna kill myself." It's a sobering slice of vulnerability from the young rapper. He jumps from helpless to hopeful -- often within the same song -- but remains hungry throughout. With production by DJ Dahi, John Hill, No I.D., and James Blake (on the OutKast-sampling "War Ready"), Prima Donna is an essential snapshot of 2016 that bears witness to the evolution of an artist coming into his own with an unflinching, socially conscious perspective.

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