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Vince Staples | FM!



Vince Staples Backstage_0.jpg

On Friday November 2nd, Vince Staples released his third studio album, ‘FM!’. This album has been anticipated with standards set high due to his well-received album, ‘Big Fish Theory’ which was – placed as one of the best albums of Summer 2017.



Getting his start from being a close confident of Odd Future’s, Earl Sweatshirt, his talent was quickly noticed. Practicing and learning from Odd Future, Vince’s style is closely related and easily enjoyed by anyone who considers themselves a cult follower of the group. The artist’s talent was well-recognized, as Earl had admittedly referred to Vince as a better rapper than himself in the past.

Being one to shy away from the spotlight and often avoid interviews, it is interesting to see how he will take on fame with ‘FM!’ being an exceptionally clean album.

The album is set to follow as a radio station; hence the album name FM. This narrative has been attempted by many, but Vince is able to offer a fresh experience. His skits which indicate a break from the music – as if it were being played on the radio – and a chance for the so-called “announcers” to speak. These pauses are well-timed, avoiding a redundant or overly continuous feel to his album using the radio concept. Further, each skit demonstrates a clear leeway to the next song, without having a choppy intro if songs are listed to without their predecessors.


The radio theme of the album speaks to Vince’s core value of staying true to himself. This hints at the fact that he owns himself for who he is and he doesn’t need the help and/or recognition from a radio station to do what he wants. as He states in a recent press release, “its just music, who needs more bull***”.

Features on the album include performances by Kehlani, Tyga, Ty Dolla$ign, E-40, Earl Sweatshirt, and Top Dawg Entertainment’s very own, Jay Rock. This album has tons of star value. Staples remains true to his identity of looping boxy beats together, while offering fresh and meaningful raps to his home place of North Side Long Beach.


A no doubt, short but sweet track comes from ‘New earlsweatshirt’ whose meaning goes beyond the lyrics and beats. Earl Sweatshirt has recently found himself headlining the media, stating that he was subject to stepping out of the spot light due to anxiety and depression leading him to cancel his last European tour. Often, for celebrities this step out can be lengthy as mental health is not something to be rebuilt quickly.


This return is something to be celebrated for all Odd Future and Earl fans alike. The title of ‘New’ represents a potential new era for the artist. Stepping back into the spotlight represents that he has taken the time he felt necessary to reach a stable frame of mind and come back better than ever.


Kehlani, a more recent and up in coming R&B artist, has become noticed for being a large advocate for the queer community. She is opening a leeway for the queer community with the R&B sound. ‘Tweaking’ is a notable track and features a catchy techno altruistic sound, complete with the her soft spoken vocals and Vince’s hard hitting raps.


Overall, ‘FM!’ offers listeners with a fun and laid back listening experience. Vince stays true to his ambition to keep this album as “just music”. His passion is shown through his heavy yet clean raps and his rep for North Side Long Beach stays truer than ever.


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