I won’t tell any lies: I expected a totally different album when I first sat down and prepared myself to listen to Vince Staples’ latest contribution to the Hip Hop world: Big Fish Theory
I expected him to pick up where he left off on Summertime ’06. I expected a generous helping of that West Coast gangsta flava I usually turn to when I get into my California Thuglife moods. I expected hard ass music with dreamy instrumentals to ride through Los Santos on Grand Theft Auto to and initiate grandiose police chases with (I usually just run down pedestrians until the entire video game’s police force is chasing my evil ass).
What I heard instead was something that could easily get spins in a club somewhere where the neon lights are bright, strobe lights are strobing, and the THOTs have had one too many Malibu & Cranberries. And while I almost prematurely (and unfairly) gave Vince a lower rating because of it, I wised up outta my bitchassness the second and third listening session and realized that such a change in artistic direction on his part was quite brilliant.
While the style still isn’t my cup of tea, I can appreciate and know well-made music when I hear it. And what’s to appreciate here is the copious layers of sound and creativity. There’s no simple “Boom Bap, Bass, and Vocals” formula here. The album is mere up-tempo tempo journey through musical depths not many people have ventured before. And I can respect that.
Four mics from me.