On Wax: Vince Staples, Metro Boomin, Takeoff + More
ON WAX IS A WEEKLY TAKE UPDATING YOU ON THE POCKET OF CULTURE KNOWN AS HIP-HOP. WE BRING YOU EVERYTHING FROM BREAKING NEWS TO ALBUM DROPS, JAIL TIME AND WHO’S BEEFING WITH WHO.
Vince Staples Keeps it Cali
West Coast’s finest, Vince Staples, has delivered a new project titled FM!. One of the hottest new producers, Kenny Beats, takes most of the production credits, giving us bouncy bass with heavy bangers. The cohesiveness of this project is crafted with the help of Big Boy’s neighborhood, a legendary radio personality and a staple of Los Angeles hip-hop. Big Boy segues tracks as if he was on the air, even telling listeners to call in to win Kehlani tickets.
Vince also calls up a bunch of his Cali friends—features from Jay Rock, E40, Buddy, Kamaiyah and Kehlani, alongside interludes from Earl Sweatshirt and Tyga. With more of a fun vibe, Vince still paints vivid images of So Cal gang life, as his adolescence of Northside Long Beach still resonates through his music. The 22-minute project is perfect to continue those summertime vibes and to hold us off for more, Vince recently stated at ComplexCon that he has four ready-to-go albums; music is to be expected in January and June.
Metro Boomin has Returned
When Young Metro announced he was retiring at the beginning of the year, the hip-hop world was shook. As one of the youngest and most successful producers, many trap fans where sad to hear this. However, if we learned anything from Jay-Z, you don’t retire from the game. Metro Boomin has returned with his own solo project titled NOT ALL HEROES WEAR CAPES. The album features production from Metro, alongside some co-producers like Tay Keith, Southside, and Wheezy. The album also features vocals from frequent Metro collaborators like Gucci Mane, 21 Savage, Young Thug, Travis Scott, and newcomer Gunna.
Overall, the production is on point, however, some tracks have weaker links in the vocals. Metro’s experimentation with sampling is refreshing, almost as if he’s becoming the trap Kanye. Alongside his collaborators, Metro has crafted beats that absolutely slap hard. A go9od amount of the artists come through for great verses and memorable tracks. 21 Savage takes the spotlight with his standout tracks, “Don’t Come Out The House” and “10 Freaky Girls.” The introspective “No More” is also a great track with Travis, 21 and Kodak Black, opening up about their addictions and hardships. Nonetheless, certain tracks really fall short. While it can be appreciated that Metro is broadening his horizons, the Latin trap and dancehall cuts are somewhat awkward, and unfortunately, the tracks with Gunna really fall short.
All in all, there are some great tracks and some stellar production, but some bumps in the road that hinder the project from its full potential. Yet, the world is still happy that Metro is back, and we can definitely hope for more from him—whether it’s another solo release or collab album.
Takeoff’s Time to Shine
Finally, Takeoff’s first album, The Last Rocket, has arrived. For what seems like years, we’ve all wondered who the best Migos is? For many, Takeoff has always been the hidden gem, with Quavo’s infectious ability on the hook to take the spotlight at times. With Offset getting out the group, he would drop “Bad and Boujee;” a track that skyrocketed the group’s success. Now that we’ve seen the heights they can reach as a group, the trio has decided to take on the challenge of releasing their solo projects. Quavo dropped his first and now Takeoff, which the album is good, yet it doesn’t demonstrate truly how good Takeoff is. Although, it’s one hell of a fun ride (if you do enjoy his verses or music from Migos in general).
BlocBoy JB Drops New Tape
BlocBoy JB would go on to drop a seven-track tape titled Don’t Think That. For those who are fans of BlocBoy, there was one track that probably drew your attention almost instantly. After what for some reason feels like a long wait, we now have the Lil Uzi Vert collab that was teased when the two were doing the shoot dance. It’s a collab that oddly works, but you can tell they can do better—it is still a good start none the less.
Swizz Beatz Delivers Poison
Prolific Bronx producer, Swizz Beatz, has dropped his long-awaited sophomore effort titled Poison. The project is more focused on Swizz’s production, alongside a cast of features to propel the album. The artists range from everybody—from New York legends like Nas and The Lox, to Atlanta’s finest, 2 Chainz and Young Thug, to even more obscure artists like UK’s Giggs; the project is well-rounded. While lately, Swizz has been expanding his sound, Poison has some of the most classic sounding Swizz instrumentals that have been released in some time. Swizz seems to have channeled his early days of producing for DMX on this project, as those vibes come back through these beats. Poison is an above average listen, with some stellar features and a cohesive sound. It definitely is a project not to miss if you enjoy the old school New York sound.
Flatbush Zombies Continue the Halloween Fun
Halloween may be over, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t have Flatbush Zombies on here as we exit. Consistent in good delivery, Flatbush Zombies released the track, “New World Order.” From start to finish, the beat holds you tight with feelings akin to being strapped in for a horror tour. As your host on the ride, Flatbush Zombies do not fail to elevate the beat, giving the listener more than enough imagery to be involved and invested.
Until next time, it’s On Wax.
– Dyllan E. & Hiram