Showing posts with label vince staples. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vince staples. Show all posts

Thursday, November 8, 2018

video review: 'FM!' by vince staples

Well damn, this turned out WAY better than I expected, especially so quick and with such tightness. Definitely worth more analysis from more folks, check this out!

Next up... hmm, not sure yet, let's see what happens - stay tuned!

album review: 'FM!' by vince staples

You know, at this point I think a lot of folks have just given up predicting where Vince Staples is going next. Hell, that came up when I reviewed his last album Big Fish Theory where instead of following off the minimalist west-coast knock of Summertime 06, he yanked everything to the left with some of the most electronic and warped production this side of hip-hop for a brutal, borderline-nihilistic deconstruction of that party that Vince seemed to view with equal parts dispassionate contempt, mischievous glee, and dead-serious urgency. Now for me I've always dug the subtle complexities in Vince Staples' messaging, taking what some might consider the sick jokes underlying certain parts of hip-hop and making them just uncomfortable enough to throw ignorant white audiences for a loop, but what's always frustrated me is that, like Earl Sweatshirt, he's got a skill in boiling things down with real bluntness, but the songs on both a compositional and deeper lyrical level could feel kind of undercooked - the hard messages and nuance was there, but the hooks and themes never quite coalesced to really drive it home for me.

And thus I won't deny I was thrown for a loop when Vince Staples decided to drop a brutally short surprise album out of nowhere, taking the format of FM radio as a backdrop to smuggle in a collection of bangers that he said were more direct and focused than ever, hitting the difference between his studio releases... which okay, to some might reflect a pivot away from experimentation towards conventionality that could feel like misspent potential, but that archetype could be the foundation for what Vince needs, and besides, given how short it is I was up for something brutal and direct after a year full of double and triple albums. So, what did we get from FM!?

Thursday, July 13, 2017

video review: 'big fish theory' by vince staples

Well, this was a fascinating listen... not sure how well this review will be received, but eh, it happens.

Next up... actually, no idea, so we'll see. Stay tuned!

album review: 'big fish theory' by vince staples

I have a hard time getting a grip on what Vince Staples is doing. 

And I don't think I'm the only one here. Like most people I started getting into him through his 2014 EP Hell Can Wait and its relentless, hard-hitting darkness, tinged with a frank gallows humor where the edge was only intensified by how close it hit to home for him. The language was blunt, the production was stripped down and lean, and by the time he released his viciously sharp double album debut Summertime 06, I was all set to get on-board... and yet unlike so many critics, I wasn't quite taken in. Maybe I was expecting the curt lyricism to build to a little more or show a little more refinement, maybe the production was in fact too stripped down to stick with me, maybe it was that Vince Staples delivered an hour-long double album for his debut that probably should have been trimmed back in order to add a little more density... look, I remember liking the record a fair bit, but I didn't love it.

And yet from there, I got the impression Vince wasn't one to stick with that sound, and when I heard his follow-up this year Big Fish Theory was attracting controversy for pivoting more towards hip-house and Detroit techno... well, there was a part of me that wasn't surprised, especially given that style would probably compliment the blunt nihilistic themes of his lyricism fairly well. Hell, I had heard how well he had worked opposite Gorillaz earlier this year, and this sound on this record was probably aiming to be more ragged and experimental, especially for hip-hop. So okay, what did we hook on Big Fish Theory?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

video review: 'summertime '06' by vince staples

Man, this one took a lot to get out of my system. Next up...

Well, I'm not sure what my next review should be. I want to cover Czarface, but there's a fair few other albums that are on my list. Stay tuned!

album review: 'summertime '06' by vince staples

So I've gotten a few requests to cover The XXL Freshman list for 2015 over the past few weeks, and I have even less of a reason to do it than most years. I mean, seriously, Mick Jenkins drops The Water[s] and you instead find room for Kidd Kidd? At this point, if we needed any more evidence that XXL is struggling for relevance in the Internet age, it's here, and at this point it's just sad.

There is one choice they made correctly, though, and it's the one that everyone and their mother expected they would: Vince Staples. California MC, most famous for his collaborations with Odd Future especially Earl Sweatshirt, and hot off of a great 2014 where nearly all of his verses stood out on their respective albums, especially on Common's record Nobody's Smiling. It helped that Vince Staples had a way with bluntly effective lyricism that didn't shy away from tough truths, most of which reflected his time as a crip, which fit the tone in a year where rap music was forced to confront some harsh political realities. Coupled with the fact he worked with great producers like No ID and Evidence, there was a lot of hype behind him when he dropped the damn solid EP Hell Can Wait last year. As such, I was definitely curious to see where his debut album Summertime '06 would fall, especially considering it was a double album that still ran under an hour and was executive produced by No ID - how did it go?