Vince Staples - Big Fish Theoryhiphopgod Alright guys, so this is my first review on TTT so I’m very excited and nervous at the same time. My first review is on Vince Staples’ Big Fish Theory. I enjoyed this album very much. Because this is my first review, you probably don’t know about how I format it, so I’ll explain it. Basically I go track by track explaining what I think of each track and giving my interpretation of the meaning (DISCLAIMER: The way I interpret the song may be different from the way you interpret it. Please don’t harass me that I got the meaning of a song incorrect. Thank you!) At the end I will give an overall score on a scale of 100 made up of multiple factors. Please sit back and enjoy my first album review on TTT.
#1 Crabs In A Bucket
This song is a great way to kick off the album. The beat is electronic and ominous, leaving you in a cloud of mystery throughout the entire song. I believe the song is about the way white people look at Vince and how they don’t want to see him succeed and how they dismiss him as just another black artist.
“Crabs in a bucket
Crabs in a bucket
Wanna see you at the bottom, don'tcha love it?
When they're hatin' so you hit 'em with the encores
Sendin' shots but you at the top floor
Let 'em pop sh*t, give 'em some drugs to go pop with”
With the mysterious beat and female vocals (which I believe to be Kilo Kish) the song leaves you off with a sense of confusion, but of course you probably know what track follows this, so let’s move on with it already. I give Crabs In A Bucket a 4/5
#2 Big Fish
Amazing song. The heavy west coast beat, the catchy chorus, Vince’s laid back flow. All great. I believe the meaning of this song is Vince’s journey from nothing to the top. He used to live in poverty and was a gang member, which I also believe in thsi song he’s saying don’t repeat my mistakes and live a straight life.
“It's funny I was going crazy not too long ago
Women problems every morning like the Maury show
Swimming upstream while I'm tryna keep my bread
From the sharks make me wanna put the hammer to my head
At the park politicin' with the kids
Tryna get em on a straight path, got the lames mad”
This song is really good, like really, really good. I can compliment everything. Including the little things like how the beat is thumping hard during the chorus to represent the hard chorus and how it quiet’s down when Vince raps to reflect his more laid back and chill approach to this song. This song really is the total package. I give it a 5/5
#3 Alyssa Interlude
I think this is a good “interlude” if you want to call it that. I think it’s more of an individual song. The beat feels aggressive, but sad at the same time. It’s fast but it feels slow when the singing comes. That’s another thing. Instead of singing sad, Vince talks and then puts effects on his voice to make it seem more distraught and helpless. It’s pretty obvious that this song is about a bad relationship. Vince misses this girl (presumably Alyssa) and wants her back because she’s left him for someone else. However it’s not like most songs about this topic where they document their relationship. Vince talks about how he wants the dark to come, and how he’s so torn up about this girl leaving him.
“Sometimes, people disappear
Think that was my biggest fear
I should have protected you
Sometimes, I wish it would rain
Sunshine, blue skies
Please go away
Sometimes, I wish it would rain
The girl has found another and
With her went my future
My life is filled with gloom
So day after day
I stay locked up in my room
I know to you”
This song is emotional, but the topic is so overdone that it’s hard to make a unique song about it. Unfortunately, this song isn’t very unique, but it’s still good enough to keep the albums momentum rolling. I give it a 3.5/5 (Also it gets extra points for the monologue at the start being from Amy Winehouse)
#4 Love Can Be…
This song feels more like the type of love song I’d enjoy. This song is all over the place. The beat is basic but they use all different types of effects to make the song seem crazy. The song starts out under a sort of static effect, kinda like the one Vince uses on his voice in the Alyssa interlude but heavier. Then Damon Albarn of the Gorillaz starts singing into the static effect. Then Kilo Kish starts rapping, followed by Vince rapping into the static effect. Ray J then sings the chorus, followed by another Vince verse, only this time without the static, and then one last chorus. I think this song is about Vince dumping a girl that’s taking advantage of him for his fame. The first part with Kilo Kish rapping is the girl’s real thoughts about Vince, the second part is Vince in love with the girl only to find about she’s using him, and the third part is about Vince after dumping her.
“Call my phone, say she horny, want me
I can make time or I can make money
I'ma keep countin', count me out, shawty
Never let a bitch Lil' Bow Wow me
Never finna weaken, raise my seat
Baby mama drama on the TMZ
Alimony money for the nails and weave”
This song is like the Alyssa interlude, but more aggressive and overall, better. I prefer this. I give this track a 4/5
This track is laid back with Vince lamenting about his past relationships in a BMW 745. The beat is a slow electronic funk beat with a very chilled slowed down pace. It makes this atmosphere that you’re talking to Vince himself while driving with him in his 745. This song is mainly about the classic expectation vs reality. When he was young he wanted cars, money and women, but now that he has all of it he realizes that they aren’t important to him. He also talks about his relationships and how a lot of women have betrayed him.
“All my life I want fast cars, NASCARs
All my life I want runaway stars, Kate Moss
All my life I want waves at my front door
No green grass, no porch
I just want sea shores”
This track is a good track. I enjoyed it. The best part for me is the beat because of how they mixed funk, bass, and a slow tempo all mixes in to create a great beat. I give it a 3.5/5
#6 Ramona Park is Yankee Stadium
This is the real interlude of the album. With it being only 52 seconds long, it only has a minute to get it’s message around. Now, I could not at all decipher what the message of the song was, and looking it up, I see how Vince is a great lyricist. The song is about the heavy crip activity in the area he’s from. He talks about how they tell themselves apart is by wearing a Yankees cap. It made much more sense listening to the song again knowing this information.
“New York, New York
Bright lights in dark skies
If I die today
Would you even know I existed?
Would you see my face?
How I love you so
You are so far away
You're in my skin, above my brain
If I should pass away”
Honestly you don’t hear songs with a meaning quite like this one. I love how this song doesn’t have a beat and instead just has things going on in the background. It leaves me with chills and it evokes a strong sense of ominousness (yes, it’s an actual word I looked it up) that reminds me of Crabs In A Bucket. I give it a 4.5/5
#7 Yeah Right
I wanted to like this track, I really did. It has a hard bass heavy beat, a catchy chorus, and it features my favorite rapper of all time Kendrick Lamar. But I can’t get past the message. I tried to make a message out from this song, I tried to find the message online, but all I could figure out was just “I have this and you don’t, so I’m better than you”
Also I’m just gonna stop putting lyrics because it’s too much of a bother.
This song is a low for the album. It has good qualities but the bad sadly overshadow it. Unfortunately it gets a 2/5
Nevermind, this is lower. I don’t like this track at all. Nothing about it is good to me. I didn’t enjoy the beat, the chorus, or Vince’s flow. The subject matter is unoriginal, with it being about Vince’s fame and how he won’t be held back. The only plus I can give it is Kilo Kish at the end. 1/5
You’d think I’d dislike this song but I actually enjoyed it. The beat is clunky and awkward but weirdly captivating. The flow’s nothing new but Vince is great so it sounds fine. The message isn’t really that great, but it’s better than the last two tracks. The message is basically that people hate it when people do the same things again and yet they expect artists to make the same old music over and over again. I like it. 3.5/5
#10 Party People
This one’s weird. So the way I interpreted it is way cooler than what it actually means so I’m gonna roll with it. I interpreted it as Vince having a lot of stuff going on in his life but masking it around the public. He’s acting chill around the “girl” (public) but really he’s distraught about his life. Before you say that’s not how it was meant to be interpreted, just remember that everyone interprets music differently. Good song. 3.5/5
Very aggressive track. I like it. The hard beat, Vince’s angry delivery, it all makes up an anger song. As for meaning, I struggled to make one out, but I did manage to come up with an association to Vince’s former gang life. Basically Vince is taking us back in time to when he was a gang member and telling us all the acts he would do. This is a huge stretch but that’s the beauty of music, people can interpret it in ways that nobody else would have thought of. 4/5
#12 Rain Come Down
This song, the finale of this up-and-down album, is the best song on the album. I love this song as a closer because it has all the elements that make the song good. The beat’s great, the vocals are great, the flow is great. Normally I despise repeating verses but it feels fitting for this track. Amazing song. 6/5
Overall, this album was a roller coaster. Starting out high with a drop and then another high. After calculating all the factors up, this albums receives an 82 which is a Drake’s Dance Moves on a scale of one-hunned. It’s not quite a Keepin It A Hunned, but it’s good enough to sustain itself. The highs make up enough for the lows to where it’s not in the 70’s but it’s not in the 90’s or high 80’s.
Welp, that wraps up my first album review on TTT. Hope y’all enjoyed it.
I wrote a total of 4 drafts for this.
Nice review! - visitor
I'm salty because I can't see comments - hiphopgod
Pretty solid for a first review. Good job. - visitor
Thanks. It's always easier reviewing good albums than it is bad albums because you actually want to listen to the good albums. - hiphopgod
Yeah Right is about braggadocious rappers. In the song, Vince questions these rappers on if they actually live the life that they claim to live in through their songs. - djpenquin999