Fresh Take

Afrofuturism

New sounds, new experiences, same mindset. Vince Staple's sophomore album couldn't have arrived at a better time.

Vince Staples has been on another level for quite some time, but this fresh 36-minute project is geared towards doing something that hasn’t been done before and is taking listeners to another dimension.

There’s a certain complacency that’s taking place in society these days and it’s spread like wildfire. A lot of people can talking the talk, but can’t take a step trying to walking the walk. A lot of individuals aren’t showing resiliency by pushing past the “point of no return,” in order to settle and remain stagnant.

This is definitely the case in music. A lot of material is bland, sounds similar and becomes discarded or forgotten in a matter of weeks. Some innovators are able to separate themselves by incorporating their progression into the lives of others. Vince Stapes has been a part of that group, but he’s the commander directing his own path through a new trek.

BIG FISH THEORY

Big Fish Theory is about the world around you: how it’s so large, how it’s constantly shifting, and how you still have to inhabit your place in it. For example, you can be big enough to receive acclaimed clout from the masses or small and overlooked in society.

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A key to success is being comfortable while uncomfortable. Vince needs people to understand that being unique starts with feeling the urge to venture off into another realm of possibilities.

The track list takes purposely takes people on different twists and turns; forcing them to quickly adapt as if they suddenly embarked on an unfamiliar territory. He’s vicariously changing gears, so don’t expect to prepare yourselves for a crash-course landing at any point in the journey.

This album is remarkable because it’s timeless. Sometimes the best experiences can happen out of nowhere and that’s essentially what took place when it was being constructed.

WE IN YEAR 3230 WIT IT

If Vince wasn’t an inspiration to many before, he certainly is now. He’s craftiness with catchy verses and clever lyrics are gifts. However, the production was a key part of how all the complex segments of the album were aligned with the ingredients from his vision.

Zack Sekoff handled five songs: “Crabs In a Bucket” (feat. Bon Iver & Kilo Kish), “Alyssa Interlude”, “Homage (feat. Kilo Kish)”, “Party People & Rain Come Down (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)”. Sekoff is a former LA native that moved from warm afternoons to wacky weather while attending Yale University. Detachment from home and ecstasy from an unfamiliar place generated a new energy. Listen closely, those elements formed subdivisions of his new sound, and it’s displayed as a trend on each of those tracks.

All of those songs include more than a pair of phases and drive listeners’ stimulus alive with details within loops of snares, bass rattling, and cutting-edge soundscapes. They’re created to preserve good vibrations and keep the party lasting.

SOPHIE (Samuel Long) is a London-based producer that isn’t afraid to go beyond the normal range of human experience. He’s known as a “sound-sculpturist,” and relays hyperkinetic sound that’s combined with bass lines and unnatural raw waves. Flume’s assistance on “Yeah Right (Feat. Kendrick Lamar & Kucka)” and “Samo (Feat. A$AP Rocky)” are proof that those songs are polarizing collaborations, countered by brash-aggressive production.

On S E A B S (Vince’s Beats 1 Radio Station), Christian Rich described what Vince needed on the second track, titled “Big Fish”.

“On ‘Big Fish’, Vince wanted kind of an electro sound, but a hip-hop sound with an element of the 80’s… [cont’d] So I come up with a house vibe.”

Vince seems like a “grimy-ducked off” type of guy from New York, but “Big Fish” immediately makes a person feel like they’re out on the West Coast turnin’ up at a house party or cruisin’ the streets in an old school whip.

It just shows that you never know what to expect. Jimmy Edgar also stated that he adopted some influence from the G-Funk Era on “745”. The taste allowed him to double percussion, deliver an adjusted pitch and the turnarounds kept it ornamental.

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FAR FROM MISFORTUNE

Overall, the excellent teamwork and newfangled material Vince gave the world is something that he had envisioned on doing for a long time. Big Fish Theory depicts his ability to be transcendent and demonstrates his willingness to step outside the box. This isn’t something that happens often, and it’s ahead of its time like Kanye West’s Yeezus was when it dropped.

It’s safe to say that hip-hop has changed, and it certainly isn’t the same as it was years ago. That doesn’t mean that it has to be a bad thing. In fact, the visionary actually fuses different spectrums of music and integrates something totally different than what the public is used to. Big Fish Theory is historically concrete and truly one for the books.

Expect this project to propel Vince Staples to another level of prestige, one that he’s unfamiliar with. Hopefully, you get the irony of that statement… He’s fresh off of a striking performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and starring on one of Sprite’s momentous commercials for a reason.

Listen to Big Fish Theory by Vince Staples below.

 

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