Gush Piece: “Big Fish Theory” — Vince Staples

Innovative, vehement, and nihilistic; Vince Staples has become one of the biggest fish in the pond with this LP. Staples comments on the role of the rapper in society and the problematic tropes that have plagued the genre from the beginning over Detroit-house inspired Electronica.

It all culminates in a punchy and addictive record. The features on this LP are insane with a verse by Kendrick Lamar, electronic super-star Flume along with SOPHIE building the beats, and Kucka’s vocals all on a single track.

One of the few artists who can have these many features on a single track without risking being outshined, Staples manages it due to his flow and dominating presence on the mic, reminiscent of Kanye West or Childish Gambino. I’m skeptical of the claims that this sound is the future of rap music but I do believe it is an impressive reinvention for Staples and demonstrates the awards of risk-taking on style and beats in contemporary hip-hop.

The social and political turmoil of 2017 asked musicians many questions and I think it’s hard to point to any record that stood well above the rest because of that turmoil. The world is in a weird place now, but I believe the music industry has done an exceptional job to sort some of it out.

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