Vince Staples released his eighth studio album, “Dark Times,” via Blacksmith Records/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; finding pockets of light in an endless dark.

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.

“Eleven years ago, a young, uncertain version of myself was given an opportunity with Def Jam Recordings. I released my first project under their banner, Shyne Coldchain Vol 2, a year later. I was unsure of what to expect from the world of music but deeply aware of what I needed: a change in my surroundings and a clear understanding of self,” he wrote via Instagram on May 19.

“Ten years and seven projects later, I’ve found that clarity. Now, I share with you my final Def Jam release, Dark Times. 5.24.24.”

In support of the album, Staples will kick off his headlining “Black In Europe Tour” on June 4th in Cologne, Germany. The tour will make stops in Berlin, Paris, London, and Manchester before wrapping in Birmingham, UK on June 13. Additionally, Staples is set to perform at various festival across Europe in August including Oya in Oslo, Norway; Flow Festival in Helsinki, Finland and HipHop Open in Stuttgart, Germany.

“Dark Times” follows Staples’ 2022 critically acclaimed album “Ramona Park Broke My Heart.”

Listen to “Dark Times” below.


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