This week’s New Music Friday brought us the sophomore album from Long Beach native Vince Staples titled Big Fish Theory. The album had been teased for months, with singles “BagBak,” “Big Fish,” and the Ty Dolla $ign-assisted “Rain Come Down.” Today he gave it all to us and this album may shape up to be dark horse for one of the best of the year.
This 12-track record displays Staples enjoying the spoils of being a rapper, with a lot of uptempo, experimental, club-type tracks. He also delves into the realities of that life, and how the rap game is a pond where the big fish dominate and smaller fish who may have just as much talent go unnoticed for the sake of name recognition. It also addresses the idea that the larger he becomes as an artist, the more he is in the public eye and thus living his life is more difficult.
He labeled the album as “futuristic” in the lead-up to the release, and the production from SOPHIE, Jimmy Edgar, and Flume confirm that assertion. Staples takes beats that would otherwise be seen as fit for EDM artists and very easily navigates them with his clever, energetic bars.
Staples taps a few big names for features, though their contributions kind of come and go. Kendrick Lamar shines on “Yeah Right,” A$AP Rocky and Juicy J throw a few bars, and Damon Albarn and Kilo Kish add some beautiful vocals. They support Vince Staples as he stands tall on this short and sweet “Afrofuturistic” album as he referred to it a while back. While it may not have generated the hype of albums dropped by the more popular artists of today, it sheds a lot of light on how stardom can do just as much harm as it does good. Soon enough, it may find itself into the conversation of best drops of 2017. You can catch the vibe by listening to Big Fish Theory below.