Vince Staple’s Theory of The Big Fish
Written by Jennifer Alfaro
Vince Staples secured the bass in his latest album “Big Fish Theory” and I cannot get enough. He takes a turn into an experimental route, adopting more electronic and bright sounds that sonically contrasts from his previous projects. Although it sounds different, the messages stay consistent. A very blunt Vince poetically addressing social concerns, including black struggle in America.
The “Big Fish Theory” is for those who can accomplish anything but are confined by the boundaries that society has given. Long Beach is who Staples is and will always be as he continues to reflect on experiences that have contributed to his success and security within himself. Tracks like “Crabs in a Bucket” and “Big Fish” are where Vince overcomes self-doubt and prospers as a surviving Norf Norf soldier.
“When they’re hatin’ so you hit ’em with the encore”
Prima Dona was a side of Vince that arose only after watching a movie about the late Amy Winehouse called Amy. It was depressive, filled with sadness, anxiousness, and suicidal thoughts. Songs like “Alyssa’s Interlude”, which samples an excerpt of a Winehouse interview, and “Party People” demonstrate similar feelings. Over dope beats, heartbreak and reality strike as Vince questions himself.
“How I’m supposed to have a good time when death and destruction is all I see?”
My favorites had to be “745” and “Yeah Right”, which featured the one and only Kendrick Lamar. The flow in “745” just swept me off my feet as he slows down the tempo, giving you no choice but to nod your head with the beat, as the bass rips through your speakers. It follows “Love Can Be”, continuing the similar theme of love and doubting his capability of loving another.
“This thing called love real hard for me”
“Yeah Right” is one of the hardest tracks Vince has released to date. He questions the how real rapper’s lives are compared to those they portray through their music.
“Is you well paid? Are your shows packed? If your song played, would they know that? How the thug life? How the love life?”
Kučka sings the bridge leading up to Dot’s reveal which completely caught me off guard, like how much harder could this track get?
The fact that Staples did not include his features in the credits, such as Kendrick, Ray J, Kilo Kish, A$AP Rocky, and more, made it that much more authentic. One has no choice but to listen to the records as the features sneak up on you.
Particularly, Kilo’s contribution to the album is something we must give credit to as she was featured in 4 tracks. I had the honor of watching the two in the Life Aquatic tour a few months back and their performances were significantly different. The crowd did not react so much to Kilo alone compared to their collaborations as they complement each other artistically. With Kish’s sweet melodies and Vince’s gritty versus, both artists have succeeded in delivering multiple tracks together throughout the years.
Quite frankly, I loved every second of it this album. “The Big Fish Theory” is like no other – it’s a woke dance movement, the coldest. An aquatic and electronic bump that is raw and honest thematically. He’s futuristic and 3230 wit it, now where da fuck his Grammy at?