Vince Staples: Smile, You’re On Camera

Recording artist Vince Staples has come a long way from his trying upbringing in Long Beach, California’s Ramona Park neighborhood. Releasing his critically acclaimed debut Summertime ’06 album in 2015, the then twenty-year-old saw his life turned right side up, going from being nearly trapped to having what appeared to be complete freedom.

Yet, as his most recent projects suggest, appearances can be deceiving. The LPs delves into the confusion of sudden fame and acclimating to a lifestyle antithetical to the one he’d known in Long Beach – one wrought with gang violence and poverty. It’s a fundamental narrative in hip hop, but rappers have always found a new way to breathe life into it. Staples brings forth a vision that’s brutal, elegant, playful, and despondent in one breath.

Such is the nature of his music, as self and socially aware as it is comical. With FM!, Big Fish Theory, Prima Donna and Summertime ’06 behind him, Staples has set the tone for what’s yet to come. A standout rapper in today’s hip hop world, he keeps his sound deeply tied to his west coast roots and his message one that knows no boundaries.

In a world of full of painful departures, his art gives listeners reason to believe that, somehow, as he advances, the people who have left him and the people who he's left behind will still be waiting for him at the end.

For West Philadelphia born, Armani White, an early defining moment was at the age of four years old, during a domestic violence episode between his parents. Screaming at the top of his lungs for the violence to end, only to be ignored, Armani channels that built-up emotion every time he steps to the mic.
After uploading ‘Stick Up’ in March 2015, an impassioned one-take, 1 min 13 sec. video, shot in his neighbourhood streets, Armani’s voice suddenly went from silent to amplified. This record triggered the attention of the music industry, with emails pouring in from labels, agents and managers alike. Armani followed this up by releasing a handful of songs, which prompted media coverage from various publications such as Pigeons & Planes and HotNewHipHop and sharing stages with Big Sean, Goldlink and Big Krit. That momentum was continued with subsequent support of Armani’s music on Pharrell & Scott Vener’s Beats 1 radio show, which seemed like the potential tipping point for Armani’s career. As life would have it though, he was struck by the sudden passing of his father. Deciding to focus on supporting his family, he took a step back from his music. writes “it's clear that emerging from his (Armani’s) cycle of destroy and rebuild is a sense of direction and purpose.” This couldn’t be truer of Armani’s current state, more focused on his music than ever before. The release of his debut project is expected in early 2018.

$29.50 - $35.00


This event is General Admission Standing Room on the Floor and Reserved Seated in the Balcony.

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College Street Music Hall.