Turns out there is not, in fact, a type of production style that Vince Staples doesn’t sound effortless rapping over. On “Ghost,” he’s casually dropping bars across a meshwork of fidget-house from dancehall-inclined producer/DJ Switch (aka David James Andrew Taylor), a Major Lazer co-founder and frequent M.I.A. collaborator. Pitchfork reports that Switch has launched his own new project entitled With You., a collective that also features Rick Trainor, Jeff Penalva, Noah Schy, and Daouda Leonard.
This collaboration with Staples is the one of first things they’ve released, and it teeters between savage, tense sirens and a bassline so subliminal it borders on subconscious. “Ghost” is precarious, shifting from itchy, sinuous glitchwork to dark euphoria in the space of a breath. Aside from handling the hook (“get so damn high / might see a ghost”) Staples strings together pithy one-lines (“way past post-dramatic”) that capture the dizzying high of late night substance-addled blur. Like the drugs, his subtle phrasing wrings clarity out of what might’ve first seemed like nonsense: “Drown in liquor / Pray for rain.” Listen.