Last week, Vince Staples dropped the second music video from his new self-titled project. “Are You With That” was put out on July 12th. The video sees Vince running from an unseen assailant before getting hit by a different car going the opposite direction, and then, for the second verse, it switches to Vince slowly going down into a grave before blowing out a set of vigil candles, signifying the end of his life.
“Are You With That” as a song is a powerful statement about how confused Vince was growing up in Long Beach, trying to figure out if he was supposed to go along with his friends or if he was supposed to blaze his own trail. It’s the first track on the self-titled Vince Staples with good reason. It’s the most open and (supposedly) honest Vince has been with his audience about who exactly he is. Without his typical bravado, Vince showcases his ability “for layering hard-hitting bars over infectious beats that push the creative envelope.”
For the entire album, Vince Staples is rapping and singing over beats from one Kenny Beats. Particularly on “Are You With That,” the spaciousness of the production allows the listener to focus on what Vince is saying. Kenny Beats, known for his beats for Rico Nasty, J.I.D, Denzel Curry, and Zack Fox, has worked with Vince Staples before, but it seems that they were even more in sync for Vince Staples. “Are You With That” is a phenomenal tone setter for the album, and the music video’s imagery showcases the direction Vince wanted to take this project. He wanted to be more vulnerable and gentle in his approach while simultaneously being as profound and hard-hitting as he has always been.
“Are You With That” is absolutely worth a listen and a watch, so be sure to check it out!