Monday October 14, 2024

08:00 PM - 11:00 pm

It opens with the ephemeral sounds of nature. Birds, bugs, and airy notes chiming in the air. Then, the undercurrent of something darker, disrupting the fantasy: a distorted voice. “To live is to be,” the voice says, “Like the nigga in the tree.” This is how Dark Times, Vince Staples’ eighth studio album, begins. It’s a new era in the prolific artist’s canon, 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; finding pockets of light in an endless dark. For Staples, the album is “a snapshot” of this period of his life. “It’s been 10 years since I started putting things out properly,” he says, referencing his first EP, with Def Jam in 2014, Shyne Coldchain Vol 2, “I don’t really keep track of any of that stuff, but it’s important to take a second to appreciate the journey.” The 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. Staples began recording the album over a seven-month stretch, during weekly sessions in North Hollywood. At the time, he was in post-production on his critically acclaimed Netflix series The Vince Staples Show, which he wrote, produced and starred in. Working on the show was “very, very instrumental in how I view creativity,” Staples says. The TV series, an intensely collaborative project that took millions of dollars and hundreds of crew and cast members, was a stark contrast to the way Staples works when he’s recording music. “You can sit by yourself and create it,” he says. “It made me appreciate the simplicity of the process even more.” He maintained that simplicity in various ways, including the decision not to feature other musicians on any of the 13 tracks. “I had a clear vision for the project,” he says of Dark Times. Though Staples has memorable features on past records—such as Kendrick Lamar rapping over a beat by the late Sophie on 2017’s Big Fish Theory—Darkimes felt like a solo journey. Instead, the guest voices on the album are limited to samples, friends popping up in the studio, and a narrative outro by Santigold, the iconic alt singer-songwriter, who tells Staples about an apocalyptic, yet awe-inspiring dream she once had. On the track “Liars,” Staples also includes an iconic exc

Monday October 14, 2024

8:00 pm - 11:00 pm

All Ages

Cover: $45.00

Vince Staples – Black In America Tour