Usually when a hip-hop album is hyped up, the output isn't that great. Vince Staples, however, offers up unique sounds in Big Fish Theory that makes it a refreshing sound in a weakening hip-hop culture.
Right from the beginning you're introduced with sounds that simply just sound fresh. 'Crabs In A Bucket' introduces the record on a mysterious note, the distorted synths playing above ethereal chords and various vocal samples. When Vince Staples kicks in with his bars, his flow sounds very unique, and the beat sounds equally as special. There's a sort of jagged flow to it all, giving it a very interesting sound. The same is true on 'BagBak' later on the record, though the more urgent beat is followed by spidery synths and an unstoppable flow from Staples.
Thankfully, there really isn't anywhere on the record Staples goes wrong. 'Samo' is the only track that sounds like an annoying glorified hip-hop track. Everything else is very fresh, from the dramatic and chill atmosphere of '745' to the quickfire and oddly infectious delivery from Kendrick Lamar on 'Yeah Right' atop super bassy sounds, Big Fish Theory keeps things fresh and real from start to finish.
The record really travels through every different aspect of hip-hop music effectively and doesn't compromise flow for anything. A good example is how the aggressive drive of 'Big Fish' goes into the calmer yet still angry 'Alyssa Interlude,' the album eventually ending up at the more upbeat 'Homage.' It's smooth and flows while staying refreshing all the way through - that's a real feat.
Vince Staples offers unique sounds in Big Fish Theory, delivering a very refreshing hip-hop record in the midst of a stagnant pool of trap releases and glorified pop hip-hop. With different vibes, a little experimentation, and an unending flow, Vince Staples is definitely one to keep your eyes on.
Favorite Tracks: BagBak, Crabs In A Bucket, Yeah Right
Least Favorite Track: Samo
Rating: 78 / 100
Stream or buy Big Fish Theory on Apple Music: