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Vince Staples Announces ‘Dark Times,’ Shares ‘Shame On The Devil’

The new album will arrive on May 24 via Def Jam Recordings.

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Vince Staples - Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella
Vince Staples - Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella

Vince Staples has announced the release of his eighth studio album, Dark Times, out May 24 via Def Jam Recordings.

A new era in the prolific artist’s canon, the album is a muscular and revelatory work refining elements that have been present in his catalog for the last decade: dense lyricism over lush, layered beats; wry, melancholic observations about life; and finding pockets of light in an endless dark.

In conjunction with the album announcement, Staples released the first single from the project, “Shame on the Devil,” which features him rapping over a warm, spectral beat, ruminating on how anointed his life is now, in spite of bouts of loneliness and fallouts with friends.

Calling the song “a personal achievement,” Staples said, “it’s me mastering some things I’ve tried before that I wasn’t great at in the beginning. It’s a testament to musical growth, song structure—all the good stuff.”

Vince Staples - Shame On The Devil

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Recorded over the course of seven months in North Hollywood, the album title came intuitively to Staples after he listened to the record in full, noticing heavy motifs that kept reappearing.

The album cover, featuring a faintly seen noose, was similarly intuitive. “I’m Black, and that’s what we’re evading,” he says of the inspiration behind the image. “We all have our things that could kill us. We all have that imminent threat.”

Dark Times follows Staples’ 2022 critically acclaimed album Ramona Park Broke My Heart, which was hailed as one of the best albums of the year by Clash, Complex, The Fader, Rolling Stone, and Vulture among others. The Los Angeles Times praised Staples as “a nimble rapper, deftly maneuvering through verses depicting the street politics of his native Long Beach,” while Pitchfork called the album “a richly detailed, deadpan elegy for his stolen youth.”

Complex highlighted it as “a modern West Coast rap album embracing three decades of hip-hop history,” while NME called it “a beautifully personal reflection from start to finish,” with WIRED commending the album as “a remarkable feat in an aesthetic project concerned with locating meaning in the inevitable realities that trap us.”

Pre-order Dark Times.

Dark Times Tracklist:
Close Your Eyes and Swing
Black & Blue
Government Cheese
Children’s Song
Shame On the Devil
Étouffée
Liars
Justin
“Radio”
Nothing Matters
Little Homies
Freeman
Why Won’t the Sun Come Out?

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