Rhymin’ and disappearin’: Vince Staples

Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory

Beats that clank and grind like the seats in an old jeep, mostly provided by SOPHIE, and beats with chirped samples and aqueous synth patches, mostly provided by twenty-year-old Zack Sekoff with assistance from Grizzly Bear’s Justin Vernon; for fifty seconds “Crabs in the Bucket” is a Burial single released a decade ago. Then that nasal timbre reminds listeners that he battles with the white man day by day. Beholden to or infatuated with these beats, Vince Staples occasionally disappears from his own album; the arrangements don’t subsume him so much as his rapping projects a willed lethargy, creating the impression that his rage serves decorative ends. Then the rage shapes itself into fully formed tracks like “BagBak” and especially “Homage,” in which he explicitly asks listeners to lose themselves in jungle percussion and rumbling electrobass. Although not as impressive as Summertime ’06 or as devastating as last year’s Prima Donna EP, Big Fish Theory is a distinct sonic entity. I wish Kilo Kish had more to do than play Our Lady of Sorrows, though.

Tremendous interview here.

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