With a voice as large as Vince Staples and the ability to conform to different musical styles; his newest project FM! has Staples bringing the radio back to life. He uses different skits in a similar style of his previous release Prima Donna with these multiple breaks in the action and main producer Kenny Beats to bring summer into the cold months ahead. With the cover art that is covered with vibrant waves and the beaches to the choruses that are placed within tracks, FM! feels almost carefree and celebratory.
Having Ty Dolla $ign prepare a chorus that describes “Summertime in the LB, no it ain’t shit a broke nigga gonna tell me now” which then floods into Staples more morose lyrical abilities. “Summertime in the LB wild, we gonna party til the sun or the guns come out… On the concrete real street runner. First month still feel like summer; cold weather won’t stop no gunner. Wrong hat, wrong day, I’d kill my brother” Staples describes through a filtered lens. This has always been the dilemma within Staples’ music. He works the rugged reality of a struggling youth growing up in a destructive environment with the fun and excitement of modern hip-hop production and musical talent that makes pain feel familiar and overlooked.
Understandably, most people that hear Staples have never seen a gun, or had dead friends from violence, or most likely even know what he alludes to in his clever wordplay through each and every track. But there is the silver lining in the way that Vince Staples can make his music approachable, his sound is commercial while holding a rough, teeth-bared vocal performance that can make even the darkest nights seem brighter.