AOTY 2019

Prima Donna

Vince Staples - Prima Donna
Critic Score
Based on 13 reviews
User Score
Based on 428 ratings
2016 Ratings: #196
August 25, 2016 / Release Date
EP / Format
Blacksmith, ARTium, Def Jam / Label
Hip Hop / Genres
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vincestaples.com / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

95
Paste

What clinches this EP is its audacity. In an era of hyper-public black death, Vince Staples builds his case against our society not by detailing how these deaths occur, but by describing a tragic life, one that’s so unsatisfying that death is its zenith.

83
Entertainment Weekly

On his brief new EP, Prima Donna, Staples continues to refine his musical aesthetic, while honing his already-sharp lyricism.

83
Pretty Much Amazing

Dude’s got unlimited weapons in his arsenal, and every single outing seems to showcase another thing or two we didn’t know he was capable of before.

80
Spin

Even though it’s a brisk seven songs, it lingers as the best pieces of writing tend to do.

80
HipHopDX

In a climate that’s indifferent if not completely averse towards innovation and forward thinking, Vince Staples is poised, unassuming and focused on leaving an indelible mark. Having gone so far as to disavow his past conventional modules that fans swoon over, Prima Donna is his most challenging work to date.

80
XXL

Vince has always had a foot in the realm of experimental sound but Prima Donna sounds like his cannonball into that sonic space.

80
Pitchfork

Pushing his versatility, ear for production, and lyricism in new directions, Vince Staples' hot streak continues.

80
Exclaim!

Staples approaches the latest chapters of his story on Prima Donna in bleak fashion, his pen and delivery both as sharp as ever.

80
Slant Magazine

Even as the varying and experimental production choices shift radically, Staples's lyrics remain focused on the gangbanging, violence, and poverty of his oppressive youth.

80
NOW Magazine

Prima Donna bristles with paranoia, anxiety, depression and anger about racism, violence, the music industry and his own psychological state.

80
AllMusic

Prima Donna is an essential snapshot of 2016 that bears witness to the evolution of an artist coming into his own with an unflinching, socially conscious perspective.

70
Rolling Stone

The music is as bleep-y as it is banging (James Blake produces on two tracks) and touchstones include Andre 3000, James Joyce, Leonardo DiVinci and Jay Gatsby.

70
The Needle Drop
Cali rapper Vince Staples returns with a solid EP featuring stone cold flows and creative instrumentals.
80
nigga your head too big
thomasny18
60
When I started this EP it was so quiet, so I had to turn the volume up. Make sure you do that too so you can properly hear it!
TheSoftBulletin
83
that gunshot spooked me
BuffaloStaple
80
Vince has further proved himself to be a very versatile rapper and songwriter on this new EP, even if some of the more outlandish and ambitious elements of these songs don't always go over too well, it's still definitely a solid release, worth a try for sure.

EDIT: I think Big Time might feature my favourite vocal performance from Vince to date.
vivvuk
35
disappointment incarnate
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Year End Lists

#10/Salon
#13/Passion of the Weiss
#42/Pitchfork
#76/Noisey

Track List

  1. War Ready
  2. Smile
  3. Loco [ft. Kilo Kish]
  4. Prima Donna [ft. A$AP Rocky]
  5. Pimp Hand
  6. Big Time
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Added on: August 15, 2016