Album Backlog Vol. 12: Vince Staples, Conway The Machine, Lil Yachty, & Talib Kweli

Here we are again huh?

Even though this year feels like it has been lackluster in terms of album releases, I somehow find myself falling behind (again) and having an album backlog. So let’s turn this into content and bring back the Album Backlog column. This helps me address my OCD tendencies to finish my list of albums I have yet to listen to while also creating content for It’s a win-win for everybody. Let’s get into it.

Vince Staples & The Alchemist – Untitled EP

Release Date: April 2022 (Leaked)

A couple of years back, The Alchemist said he had a six-song EP with Vince Staples that was mixed and ready to be released. Supposedly, this EP leaked a couple of months ago. I haven’t heard any other artists confirm if this is the actual EP (I have seen versions with 7 and 8 songs), but let’s just assume it is. This untitled EP also includes “6 Five Heartbeats,” which was also on This Thing of Ours 2 by The Alchemist (It might be my favorite Vince Staples song, so I’ll allow it). Either way, it’s worth a listen (I kept about 4 songs), and it’s readily available on the internet.

Notable Song: “6 Five Heartbeats”

Conway The Machine & Jae Skeese – Pain Provided Profit

Release Date: March 10, 2023

No, this is not Conway The Machine‘s latest release, Won’t He Do It. And it’s easy to get confused because Conway drops a lot of music (11 projects since 2020). Pain Provided Profit is a collaboration project with Jae Skeese, the first artist to sign with Conway The Machine’s Drumwork label. If you really like NY gritty bars, you will probably like this. But to be honest, the project gets monotonous (and this is coming from a Conway The Machine fan). If you only listen to one Conway project this year, you might want to check out Won’t He Do It instead.

Notable Song: (I didn’t keep any songs because nothing really stood out)

Lil Yachty – Let’s Start Here.

Release Date: January 27, 2023

I know there was buzz around Lil Yachty‘s latest album, Let’s Start Here., and that it was kind of a career rebirth for him. But I have been listening to this album off and on since its release at the beginning of the year, and I never really saw that. On the production side, the album is well done, but Lil Yachty may be the worst part of all the songs. It feels like Yachty was hanging with Tyler, The Creator and tried to replicate that sound. And to me, it doesn’t work. Just go listen to Tyler, The Creator’s last album.

Notable Song: “the BLACK seminole.”

Talib Kweli & Madlib – Liberation 2

Release Date: March 6, 2023

Mos Def and Talib Kweli (And I guess, to a point, Dave Chappelle) have been releasing their albums exclusively on Luminary. The second Black Star album was released this way, and so was Liberation 2 by Talib & Madlib. And while I shake my head at releasing an album on a platform that nobody I know uses, Liberation 2 surprised me with how good it was. I’m not sure if all of Madlib’s beats are original here, but I really don’t care because the project is produced expertly. Besides that, you also get things like a good posthumous Mac Miller feature, Roc Marciano & Westside Gunn show up to bring their vibe, and even Talib’s daughter (Diani) shows up and does her thing. Yeah, Talib Kweli dropped a good album produced by Madlib, and nobody is really talking about it.

Notable Song: “Ad Vice”