West Coast Original: Vince Staples’ New “Afrofuturistic” Album

Vince Staples‘ sophomore album, “Big Fish Theory” experiments with futuristic and rule-breaking types of sounds. This second studio album differs entirely from Staples’ debut LP, “Summertime ‘06″ and stretches the limitations of modern hip-hop.

Importantly, the album contains sonic themes that express  Staple’s unique identity and place. Although, it may be unfair to categorize this particular album solely within one realm. Fortunately, Zack Sekoff worked with Staples to produce blends of robotic techno types of sounds and rhythms.


“All I can tell you is that it’s current. We making future music. It’s Afro-futurism. This is my Afro-futurism. There’s no other kind,” says Staples in a recent interview with LA Weekly.

The “Big Fish Theory” takes the listener for a wild, “Yeezus” type of listening experience.

Vince Staples is from Long Beach, California, and he thrives within the current moment. He refuses to conform to expectations and directs the creative control of his image. The direction that he chooses to proceed determines the different influences and experiences that his life yields.

Kendrick Lamar and Vince Staples’ appeals intersect in the sense that listeners grow fond of the detailed perspectives that each share. The two West Coast stars teamed up for the first time on Track 7, “Yeah Right.”

Vince Staples doesn’t associate himself with the term, “millennial.” Therefore, his persona and methodology positions him above his peers. Collaborative connections with people like Taleb Kweli, Thundercat and Dave Chappelle highlight his prudent relationships within this industry.

Clearly, his experimental nature coupled with judicious wisdom has resulted in eclectic musical progression.

Brainstorming a “Big Fish Theory”

Vince spoke this album spoke into existence through ramblings captured on a napkin by his manager. Verbally, backstage at a Terminal 5 concert, he painted a visual mosaic about where he belongs in terms of an art exhibit.

Surprisingly, the artistic irony of his desired placement in the art gallery was that he wanted to be inside of a fish bowl.

Thus, the notion of the “Big Fish Theory” grew roots. This project generates inherently flexible and genre differentiating records.

Obscure Findings

Staples referenced the informality of Andy Warhol in order to accentuate the galvanizing thematic elements to be enjoyed in coordination with this album.

The “Big Fish Theory” guarantees flexibility and bends the traditional auditory listening experience by forcing the listener to expand their comfort zone.

Some important themes that Staples includes throughout this collection deal with love, pyrotechnics, and fame’s abrasive influence.

Rather than remaining within one realm of gangsta rap, Staples has clearly steered into his own idiosyncratic lane.

Being at peace / inner self

Being self-aware has contributed to much of Staples ability to express himself freely. Rather than being usurped by fame’s corruptive ways, Staples uses escapism to adhere to his own standards and methods.

Vince Staples lives a sober lifestyle without tendencies to indulge himself with vices like alcohol or marijuana.

This Def Jam recording artist blesses the community with great memory, diverse experience, and incredible sonic ability.

On “Alyssa Interlude”, Staples gives a nod to Amy Winehouse, who influenced sentiments that Staples strongly articulates.

“I’m quite a self-destructive person, so I guess I keep giving myself material.”

Vince Staples inhabits his own ‘fishbowl’ within the ecosystem of hip-hop. Vince started rapping with the likes of Odd Future and Tyler the Creator at the age of fifteen. Staples, now twenty four, does not subject himself to normalities nor judgments with this sophomore album.

The records on, “Big Fish Theory” accommodate smooth and swift musical currents that exemplify technical and concise movement.

Genre Differentiation

Says Corey Smyth, Staples’ manager, “My recollection of it, we were talking about tempo. Tempo was the driving force of this album. That’s how we started it. It ended up as something different, but that’s how we started it.”

The extraordinary part about this album is the way this artist swiftly intertwines the elements of rap, dance, and art.

Vince Staples displays conscious awareness of the luxury and toxicity that may arise within the culture of hip-hop. He uses his intelligence and expertise to deliver groundbreaking new sounds.

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