Well. This is my favorite album of 2017 so far. I haven’t been this happy about a project in a while. 23 year old, Long Beach rapper, Vince Staples has delivered something really unique and exciting to the world of hip-hop. People have been dick-riding Vince for quite some time now for non music reactions and hot takes but here I am…hoppin’ on. Vince is fucking cool. He has an honest, relaxed and confidently dry demeanor that seems super secure with his interesting views. Even if he didn’t make great music, he could be an entertainer just because of his personality and presence.
But let’s talk about the music. To me, his music sounds clean with stellar production that still lets Vince bar out. His cadence, voice, the tendency to hold out words while giving you relatable and hard-hitting lyrics is amazing. Listen to the older “Norf Norf” for a damn near perfect example of his style. Big Fish Theory is no different but still completely left field of what is mainstream hip hop right now. The production took crazy artistic risks bringing a more electronic style to the instrumentals. There is a lot of non-traditional drums and synths that would work on an experimental electronica album (WHICH I LOVE). The first track “Crabs In a Bucket” sets this tone immediately. Atmospheric, yet cutting synths, vocal samples and drums that come in and out. I love it. The single, “Big Fish,” feels more like a traditional Vince song. Seemingly simple instrumental with an unending flow during the verses; this may be the most “normal” of the entire track list. “Love Can Be…” is pretty much a glitch-hop/house track and doesn’t even have rapping in it until it is nearly half way over. It’s like Staples was a feature on his own song.
One of the many things I like about Vince is that he has great choruses. “Big Fish,” “Homage,” “Party People” and “Yeah Right” are noticeably great in this area. The latter track, “Yeah Right” is a standout. I’m at work so I had to listen to this song through headphones. That was disrespectful. Once I get home, I’m playing this on my good speakers because this absolutely bangs. It’ll rattle cheap cars in the streets. It’ll cause your neighbors to bang on your wall. It’ll register on the Richter scale. Add in one of the better Kung Fu Kenny features and ya know what, just fuck me up fam.
The production is so good that I felt myself caring less about what Staples was saying but more how he said things in relation to the beat. I did gather that he has lived a significantly different life than mine. Tracks are about the world around him, women and things that have happened to him. Nothing too groundbreaking but said in a really cool way by a really cool person.
This album is weird and definitely Vince took a risk but in the best way possible. I really really really like Big Fish Theory and it will fit nicely into my playlist(s). Vince’s flows are engaging in a cool rambling way. He raps nonstop and throws random rhythm changes that just feel so good. Like Danny Brown, Vince’s voice just sounds good over close to anyhing. I want to dance, fight and rave to this. He committed to the direction the album was gonna take and took it there.
Get you some: