Last week, Vince Staples pleasantly surprised the world when he dropped his a new album with no warning. FM!, Vince’s third official studio album, is Vince making a statement that he won’t conform to the new age of mumble rap and trap beats. He could have dumbed down the flows for mass acceptance. He could have made the beats simpler and more mainstream to appeal to party atmospheres. But, fortunately, he didn’t, and I thank him for staying true to himself as this is one of the most refreshing projects to come out as of late.
As you could probably tell by the cover of the album, and the title of the first track, “Feels like Summer,” this album revolves around the year long summer atmosphere found in southern California, where Vince Staples originates from. The intro has radio hosts talking about how it always feels like summer in long beach, but once the beat drops and the rapping commences, the lyrics, in classic Vince style, contain a little more to read into than the energetic poppy beats suggest. Don’t get me wrong, this album isn’t as deep and twisted as some of his other works, like “Summer ‘06” or “Big Fish Theory,” but it definitely still has that signature Vince Staples wit and awareness within.
Overall, this album is straight up, insanely consistent. Excluding the skits and interludes, every song on this project is a pure slapper. There just isn’t a track like “Let’s Jump Off the Roof” or “Love Can Be,” on FM!. Instead, Vince cooked up slapper after slapper, that, in my opinion, would have been perfect if it would have been ready for release in like June, as this a perfect summer album. When listening to this project from start to finish, it purposely feels as though you are just listening to pop radio, more specifically “Big Boy’s Neighborhood,” as the skits are just satirical segments of radio hosts doing their usual idiotic bits.
Bottomline, If you are looking some new hip-hop with a little more meat on the bone compared to the mainstream, look no further than FM!. It contains awesome features from the likes of similar rappers like Earl Sweatshirt, Ty Dolla $ign and Jay Rock, to softer voices such as Kehlani and Kamaiyah. Kenny Beats produced most of the project, and he did not disappoint, as there really isn’t a dull moment from beginning to end. It’s far from perfect, but no matter what time of year it is, whenever you play FM!, it just feels like summer.
Hits – “Feels Like Summer,” “Tweakin,” “Outside”
Misses – N/A
Rate – 7.5