NPR Music's First Listen has long been one of the best places to watch for your most anticipated albums, which magically show up ready to legally and clearly stream, building hype and allowing you to form a reasonable opinion of a record before its technical release date. And today is an especially incredible day for First Listen, which debuted six (yes, six) albums. They include new work from Matt Pond PA, Joy Williams (formerly half of The Civil Wars), and Neil Young's anti-Monsanto album -- but the real stars are Vince Staples and Miguel.
Vince Staples' full-length debut, Summertime '06, is finally available to stream, and it is glorious. Its nightmarish intensity and fantastic production (from the likes of No I.D., Clams Casino, and DJ Dahi) might not be for everyone, but if you can get on Staples' level, it's easily one of the best rap albums of the year.