Published Mar 13, 2014Nate. It's from this name that all things take shape for the L.A.-based rapper and Odd Future affiliate Vince Staples. It's a name that Staples has idolized and vilified with muddled conviction since his first mixtape. It's also the name of his father. So it comes as no surprise that "Nate" is one of the many tracks that peel back the sclera of Staples' newest mixtape, Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2, revealing something akin to a soul under its unforgiving perspectives.
"As a kid all I wanted was to kill a man" Staples says with deadpan clarity, "'Cause my daddy did it, eyes bloodshot." Despite its placement at the midway point, "Nate" serves as the core of the mixtape, from which each of the ten tracks build. "Turn" documents Staples' ascent from troubled youth to gangbanger while on "Earth Science," Staples shares his near miss at being the father of a child himself.
Sonically, No I.D. coats Staples' vision with a fresh sheen of daunting samples and minimal bass lines, allowing the rapper's penchant for coarse and menacing lyrics to land with effectiveness, but the mixtape isn't perfect: In between Staples' verbal dexterity and the sharp production, the tape lacks any lasting impact.
That's not to say the music isn't good — it definitely is — but there's nothing here that will immediately convince you to return after the first play through. Regardless, Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2 is a savoury respite from the soft-serve "sorbets" Staples has vowed to save the rap game from. (Blacksmith)