Artist: Vince Staples
Label: Def Jam Recordings
Non-Airable Tracks: ALL
Unlike Vince Staples most recent release Big Fish Theory, FM! is a less than hour and a half album, that reveals much like his EP Prima Donna. It’s hard, vicious, and reflects the nuance of trauma, violence, fame and even Twitter beef through unapologetic street-rap. The entire album transitions in and out of skits from radio personnel, making it seem like youre listening to Vince’s album as a radio station in your car; Each track is fading in and out of the current cultures’ music exchange with short tracks immediately one after the other. The entire album has the same vibe with bubbly production beats and Vince’s signature tone of voice, but a contrasting undertone far from a warm and fun record. The first track begins with “Feels Like Summer,” an outstanding track about the everyday terror and violence Vince never shys away from rapping about, saying “Wrong day, wrong hat, I’ll kill my brother.” This track features the chorus Drop-top with the top down now / All the b****** gon’ feel me now” from Ty Dolla $ign. Each song has it’s own special characteristic but as a whole flows together from track to track as the same mentality and energy from start to end. Highlight songs besides the title track include the “New Earlsweatshirt (interlude),” with Earl Sweatshirt reciting a short but striking verse to split the album up. It’s a nice contrast from Vince’s fast paste and higher tone, compared to Earl’s deep and depressive rap schemes. An additional interlude FM! Includes is with Tyga, titled “Brand New Tyga (interlude).” I’m surprised at how much I actually enjoyed this song, but Tyga and Vince share a type of rap pace style that matches to the funky dance base the album contains. “FUN” is the final outstanding track I enjoyed. It’s a bop, reflecting on hard topics of summer in a neighborhood of gang violence, drugs, greed, and just trying to have fun in the midst of it. Vince never seems to shy away from the ferocity of the worlds current troubles seen in songs like “Relay,” “No Bleedin,” or “Tweakin.” The entire album as a whole is typical Vince Staples, taking longer to get into compared to the dance vibe of Big Fish Theory, but on it’s own is a reflection of the state of the current times.
Sounds Like: Domo Genesis,Danny Brown
Recommended Tracks: Feels Like Summer, Fun, Relay, New Earl Sweatshirt (Interlude)
Reviewer’s Name: Megan Yeates
Date of Review: 12/3/18