Vince Staples, "Summertime '06" (Def Jam)
In the past five years, this Long Island rapper has made his name working on other people's records. Some of it (with Common or Earl Sweatshirt) lived up to his growing reputation, and some (with Jhené Aiko) not so much. But he could be hip-hop's next firestarter. This double-disc debut — the most audacious move since the Mothers of Invention bowed with "Freak Out!" — is worth the hype. With a slurry, conversational approach, it offers us a dark glimpse into his environment and a plain-spoken look at certain aspects of black culture. Some tracks, such as "Jump Off the Roof" and "Surf" offer no hope — personal or spiritual. The sparse, psychedelic whir behind "Lift Me Up" and "Get Paid" magnify the futility rather than the funk. "Lift Me Up" is particularly chilling in its blasé attitude toward violence. Staples sounds as if there's no fun in the Badlands, only frank finality.
a.d. amorosi, Philadelphia Inquirer
Holly Miranda shot the video for her dream-pop tune "The Only One" with a selfie stick in various parts of New York City and Los Angeles. http://tinyurl.com/ntpjxan