Vince Staples – FM!

Following the release of Big Fish Theory in June 2017, the Long Beach Native Vince Staples is back with a mixtape, titled FM!.  

The rapper has remained reasonably quiet with regards to the release of new music since the 2017 album, only releasing Get the Fuck Off My Dick, a song for his social media critics.

Staples was also one of the headline acts at Coachella, where he brought out Kendrick Lamar for their collaboration of Yeah Right.  

vince-staples-kendrick-lamar-coachella-2018

That was until earlier this week when the rapper took to instagram, stating,

‘As artists we are nothing without our fans.  I took time off from recording my next album to make a very special project dedicated to my biggest fan and support since day one.  He said he needed something that represented him and where he comes from so here it is.’ 

Staples has followed up on what he proclaimed.  He has made this project which represents him and where it comes from, Long Beach California.  The production pays tribute to West Coast legends Pharrell, G-Funk and Snoop Dogg.  

Tracklist 

  1. Feels Like Summer
  2. Outside!
  3. Don’t Get Ripped
  4. Relay
  5. New earlsweatshirt – Interlude
  6. Run the Bands
  7. FUN!
  8. Brand New Tyga – Interlude
  9. (562) 453-9382 – Skit
  10. Tweakin’

The mixtape, 22 minutes, follows the recent trend created by Kanye West’s G.O.O.D Music   albums from June/July this year.

Prominent Tracks 

Feels Like Summer 

The song opens with fellow Long Beach Native Big Boy, referring to the hot weather and relaxing nature of the Los Angeles climate.  He states

‘You get a chance to lay back, you get a chance to laugh. You get a chance to chill, best believe that, man’   

As Staples enters the track, his lyricism and imagery juxtaposes the relaxing and enjoyable nature of Los Angeles which most people are accustomed to.

Staples raps about the violent nature of his neighbourhood and the culture of gang life, referring to being shot at and having to hide.  He also refers to one of his friends giving his life for their gang, presumably carrying out criminal activities.

Further, he refers to trying to finesse his way into heaven, imagery he has previously rapped about due to the ‘sins’, or crimes, he committed when he was younger.

The instrumental has a deep double base which slaps before it slows, as the feature of Ty Dollar $ign comes in to provide the hook.

The second verse is provided by both Vince and Ty, who’s voices coincide nicely.

An overall great start to the mixtape.

Don’t Get Chipped 

The third song on the mixtape is the standout song of the mixtape, and in my opinion, one of Vince’s best songs to date.

The song starts slow, but increases in tempo rapidly.  Vince, almost emulating a Kendrick Lemar-esque style off his critically acclaimed DAMN.  

Providing his marquee and unique style of tone, lyricism and flow, he has hit a ‘home run’ on this track, as detailed in the lyrics itself.

Jay Rock raps the chorus, really brings the song together.

 Tweakin’ 

The last song on the mixtape, Tweakin’ wraps up the mixtape in style.

The song, slower in tempo, Vince provides a deep insight into his gang affiliated youth.

He refers to friends dying and the current situation he was in life where he is to respond.

In his youth, Vince raps all he could do was hide out from the law (from a homicide case), or buying  gas (what I interpret to be a weapon to aid retaliation).  He then contrasts this with a friend dying more recently, where his life situation requires him to perform at shows.

Kehlani provides the chorus in the song, her voice complimenting Staples’.

The album finishes with Vince rapping with the same intensity, wit, intellectual yet colloquial lyrics which it started with.

Overall I give the mixtape an 8.5/10.

 

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