AOTY 2021
Vince Staples - Summertime '06
Critic Score
Based on 23 reviews
2015 Ratings: #19 / 977
Year End Rank: #12
User Score
2015 Ratings: #40
Liked by 42 people
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A.V. Club
It’s a major triumph disguised as a minor one—60 minutes of lean, inventive, important rap music that never pats itself on the back for being any of those things.

Blowing the promise of his Hell Can Wait EP into an extraordinary double LP, Summertime '06 finds rapper Vince Staples with all the pieces in place.

Pretty Much Amazing
It may not be the most talked-about rap record of the year, but it probably deserves to be. Long live Ramona Park.

Summertime '06's coming of age tale is complemented perfectly by production that finds the nuance in Staples' stories and matches it, couching Staples' rhymes in a way that the streets can understand best

No I.D. and company have helped him make music that’s both uncomfortable and lived-in, and Staples sounds more himself inside of it than ever before.

Staples’ wickedly backward upbringing is the focus of Summertime ’06, which could well be the fiercest, most ferociously focused street-oriented double rap album since UGK’s Underground Kingz.

No Ripcord

Staples has so much to say in Summertime '06 that it’d be impossible to fully dissect in one listen, and his ingenious phrasing makes for a constantly amusing variety of vignettes. A record is only as good as the music that accompanies, though, and collaborative producer No I.D. delivers in spades and then some.

Spectrum Culture

Brevity ain’t the soul of wit on Summertime ‘06, it’s the soul of horror. Anytime Staples can use one word instead of three, he’ll take the short route, painting every vivid, terrifying picture he spits with callousness.


Summertime '06 is breathtakingly focused, a marathon that feels like a sprint. The production bangs and clanks throughout with a septic, rusted, retooled-buggy persistence, which Staples matches.

The 405

Vince Staples sharply illustrates a realistic and first-hand portrayal of gang life in LBC without any romanticized commercial appeal or taking on a highbrow discourse to its rationale.

Under The Radar

The music on Summertime '06, Staples' debut, is uniformly great, with spare, booming beats allowing Staples' sneakily technical rhymes to dart in and out of the rhythm. It's a vital entry from a burgeoning new star.

Consequence of Sound
Parsing generations of pain can be difficult and unwieldy, but Staples’ vision makes his whole history feel present all at once.

There's a lot, sometimes too much, to take in, but Staples has tons to say, in a delivery that finds middle ground between Nas' wizened rasp and Too Short's melodic Cali lilt.

Vince Staples's album is a force of nature, and like nature, the project brings with it the positive and the negative: songs that lift you up and tracks that drop you in the street just as easily.
It is, simply, one of the best rap debuts of the year. And Vince Staples didn’t have to follow any mold to make it that way.

Summertime ‘06 is the kind of coming-of-age story that’s common to hip-hop, but Staples delivers his account with a furious passion and refreshing insight. That the album is wall-to-wall with catchy, hard-hitting bangers is almost just a consolation prize.

The Guardian

In a year of impressive solo rap albums, Staples has managed to create one that’s arguably the most idiosyncratic of the lot.

NOW Magazine

He's an entertaining rapper, vividly reflecting his immediate surroundings in a relatable way.


Summertime '06 is as bleak as mainstream hip-hop will allow for in 2015. It's not overtly enjoyable to experience because this is a reality that does not call for glamour.

The Irish Times
A remarkable album, full of vibrant characters, real- life drama and questions in search of answers.
Rolling Stone
It adds up to a hard-hitting 20-track portrait of life and love in a mad city.
Tiny Mix Tapes

Summertime ‘06 is a lifeworld compressed as densely as possible, but it’s not his moment. If No-ID and Staples could get their faces out of their Spotify analytics and get back to the work of moment-building, the result would be thrilling.

The Needle Drop

West Coast hopeful Vince Staples releases his debut album.

Undeniably bold, Vince Staples comes out bare-knuckled for his debut record that vastly expands the capabilities of the West Coast hip hop scene and takes the typical street life rhetoric and wraps it in some of the most dense and eclectic production a listener could find. Staples finds a perfect balance on Summertime '06 between the experimental, the straightforward gangsta rap style and unapologetic bangers on the double album format, finding different ways to utilize his voice regardless of ... read more
Vince Staples' debut, Summertime '06 is a great, consistent hardcore west coast record, with many song which slap and production which is both clean and creates that dark urban soundscape which works nicely alongside the themes of crime and violence for an omnious listen, alongside some of his best lyrics, making the record memorable and catchy and you have a create 2010's hip hop record.

Track Review

Ramona Park Legend Pt.1 7.5/10
Lift Me Up 9.5/10
Norf Norf 10/10
Birds & Bees 8/10 ... read more
Extremely reserved, dark, original and honest.
Before releasing this two-disc debut LP Vince Staples has put out a series of EP’s and mixtapes that built up an underground fan base for this newcomer. I’m not surprised that this isn’t the most talked about Hip Hop newcomer because he’s kept it so low key, but he should be. Staple’s style is appealing mostly because he makes real music and does so with an air of passiveness since he’s so desensitized to the life of a ganster on the streets of Long Beach ... read more
Absolutely outstanding debut. Imagine it, a rapper who can actually rap. If it wasn't for a few less amazing tunes on the back half this would have been even higher.
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Added on: May 5, 2015