First Listen Review: Vince Staples’ ‘Big Fish Theory’

So this may or may not be worth reading.

First thing’s first: I realize how unfair it is to an artist for me to give my immediate reaction to their art that they’ve spent time and money on. I really do. The problem is that I’m going to do it anyway and you’re going to either tap/click/scroll/swipe/sashay away or sit down and enjoy the ride.

Secondly, I’m not a Vince Staples fan.

I mean I’m not not a fan, but I don’t really know much about him. I don’t even know if that’s his real name. I know he tweets…? I do know that I like the few songs that I’ve heard from him before this project (“Loca”, “Lemme Know”, “Dopeman”). That’s all that really matters right…? At any rate, if I end up liking this album I am a bandwagon fan. Good music is good music, I don’t have to name 3 of his ex-girlfriends in order to appreciate his work. On the flip side, if it’s trash then I simply DON’T KNOW HER.

Now that that’s out of the way, I’m gonna listen to his latest effort for the first time and write my initial thoughts (I’ll probably spell/grammar check before actually posting this, but that’s it for editing). Here we go!

1. Crabs In a Bucket

Ooh this production kind of dramatic. Me too. I wanna dance? I’m half-dancing. His flow is so cool to me. Kilo Kish! I love her voice and phrasing, it’s so sweet and unique.

2. Big Fish

I heard this last month and it still BANGS. Once again, his flow is so chill and his timing is perfect. So Cali. Juicy J makes me laugh. I don’t why, his voice/flow is just comical to me. Like on any track. But I’m here for this collab.

3. Alyssa Interlude

These sounds are so cool. Yeah, I’m probably going to describe things as “cool” throughout this whole thing. Me, an intellectual. I think having a British person talking about literally anything is always a good call for an interlude. Ok, so this beat is a complex individual. Vince is like half singing? I like the simple, sort of lazy way he’s delivering the lyrics over this beat. Cool juxtaposition. What’s that sample?

4. Love Can Be…

Ok, this one is a bit much right out the gate. Kilo Kish again?? I love her tone so much. Ok, Vince is riding these beats pretty well! So far the album’s overall sound is sort of strange, but I’m with it. Was that Chris Brown singing…? Never mind. But he did just shout Chris Brown out with something like “Chuckin up the deuce like the boy Chris Breezy.” Ok. Overall this is not my favorite track, but I’m still sticking around because I’m interested at this point.

5. 745

THAT BEAT DROP. Lawd. It’s chill and funky somehow. Definitely a favorite just for this beat and the way he says 7:45. The song perfectly fades out, which I appreciate.

6. Ramona Park Is Yankee Stadium

Um, I don’t know what he’s talkin about. But alright.

7. Yeah Right

THIS BASS. *Adjusts wig* Yeah I love this one and can’t wait to listen with my Beats on. Ooh or in a car. I can’t tell who the female singer is, but her voice is so soft and sweet. I like this. BITCH IS THAT KENDRICK???? GO OFF, MR. DUCKWORTH! Yeah, I’m gonna have to run this one back. Definitely a favorite.

8. Homage

Ok, another interesting, yet unusual (for a hip-hop track today) beat. 85% sure this one is a bop… Yep. Gotta run this one back too because I’m not really catching all of what he’s saying, but it sounds good.

9. Samo

More bass, which I like. I pronounced this title wrong. I feel like he could’ve went harder? Maybe that’s just be pushing other people’s style onto him though.

10. Party People

This is one has more of a blatant electronic/dance influence. Not really into, but I also wanna dance to it? Maybe that’s the point? Overall that felt long.

11. BagBak

Ok, I’m back on board. This beat is dope. It sounds like something that would be in a video game? I don’t know, I don’t really play video games. He said “We need Tamika’s and Shaniqua’s in that oval office”. YES. memorable lyrics, cool beat, easy flow, overall solid track.

12. Rain Come Down

This sorta reminds me of Kanye’s “Fade”. Oh wait, I’ve heard this one before. It’s still just…alright in my opinion. Well this is all my opinion. Side note: I really like Ty Dolla $ign. Actually I don’t know too much about him, but from what I’ve seen he just features on a million songs a year and minds his business. Well done, Mr. $ign.

WELP! I’m done rambling.

I really like how the production wasn’t what I’d expect for a typical 2017 hip-hop album. Am I a Vince Staples stan? Nah. A half-fan? Sure! Do I understand why he titled the album Big Fish Theory? No, ma’am. Will I google that? In t-minus 2 minutes. Will I revisit the album and give the lyrics a closer look? Probably not in it’s entirety, but I’ll definitely be revisiting a majority of the songs. Was this review worth your time? Probably not, but I had fun!


*Featured image courtesy of

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