WVAU’s #8 AOTY: Big Fish Theory by Vince Staples

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Maria Gramajo

Photo from tinymixtapes

Vince Staples has a lot to say in his sophomore album, Big Fish Theory, and does not shy away letting the whole world know how he feels about issues of race, wealth, and the fragile rap industry. His album is unlike anything that has ever been heard before, truly progressive and unconventional, especially for the rap ecosystem. He tackles self destructiveness with Alyssa Interlude, rap‰’s inherent boastfulness in Yeah Right, and so many other powerful topics that flow into one another throughout the album. With his songs, full of high-powered verses, he covers more ground in fewer steps than other rappers. Across the 36 minute album he is able to talk about class and entitlement found both in and out of the rap industry, leaving the listener  thinking about the power of both corruption and love.

My favorite song is BagBak because of its homage to the current administration and the issues that attack people of color in particular. With lines like:

“Obama ain’t enough for me, we only started / The next Bill Gates can be on Section 8 up in the projects / So ’til they love my dark skin / Bitch I’m goin’ all in,‰” “Clap your hands if the police ever profiled,‰Û

And,

“Tell the one percent to suck a dick, because we on now / Tell the president to suck a dick, because we on now/ Tell the government to suck a dick, because we on now‰Û

I cannot help but feel like Staples is truly trying to change how the music industry, and the rap industry in particular, views politics. Big Fish Theory is still very much a hip-hop album, one that alludes to the sounds that black artists created, but are no longer associated with black artists. His music flow and politically charged lyrics set him apart from artists like Migos and Lil Yachty. He is making “future music‰Û as he stated before Big Fish Theory‰’s release. We should no longer expect simplistic songs, but instead look towards Vince Staples and Kendrick Lamar to provide an insight as to what music we should look out for.