When Vince Staples announced that he was dropping a new album this year, it caught a
lot of people off guard due to the fact that he only dropped his self-titled 4th studio album last July.
But it was definitely a pleasant surprise to say the least. “Ramona Park Broke My Heart” is a little
different from his last few albums. Yeah, Staples is rapping about the different things he has seen
and experienced, over the California style beats we have grown accustomed to hearing from the
Long Beach native, but with this album, he appears to go a little bit deeper. It goes further down
the road than his self-titled album went and instead gets more personal. With the
new levels that he taps into on “Ramona Park Broke My Heart,” he certainly does not disappoint.
This is an album that will be in the Rap Album of the Year discussion at the end of the year.
The whole album tells a story about the struggles and problems that Staples dealt with as an
adolescent growing up in Long Beach, CA, with the seamless transitions between him talking about
the different forms of politics he’s seen in his neighborhood, his personal struggles with money
and fame, having to move to Atlanta as a youngster for a while over some gang beef, as well as more in
depth topics throughout the 41 minute long album.
My top 5 favorite songs from the album would be “When Sparks Fly,” “East Point
Prayer ft. Lil Baby,” “Player Ways,” “Mama’s Boy,” and “Rose Street.” With the melodic
samples, hooks, they’re easy bops to catch your attention and be a part of your daily rotation.
The main reason these are the standout songs, in my opinion, is because they’re prime examples
of Staples’ maturity with the growth and vulnerability in these particular songs. They showcase
his range with the different subject matters and the different kinds of beats that he raps over, plus
how well everything aligns with one another. Effortless feeling. It gives off an instant feel of
a head-bobbing vibe.
“Ramona Park Broke My Heart” is just another example of Staples showing off his
versatility with his ability to adapt to various subject matters and flows, while staying himself on
and off his signature West Coast sound and vibe. It also shows why he can stay relevant after
putting out his 5th studio album, because it is definitely something you can put on during a long
drive/ride and let it play through. Real chill and graceful vibe.