Published Jun 21, 2017In early March, a feature interview in VICE revealed the title of Vince Staples' sophomore record, Big Fish Theory. While the Long Beach MC hasn't let any further details on the effort out of the bag, he's been active on Twitter, hitting back at those griping about the LP's EDM-tinged lead single "BagBak." As he recently put it in under 140 characters, "This is Afro Futurism y'all can keep the other shit. We're trying to get in the MOMA not your Camry."
"Why does everything that we create musically have to fall in line? What does 'falling in line' even mean?" Staples asks rhetorically over the phone. "To tell a creative person to fall in line is kind of silly when you think about it, isn't it? [The production] is nothing new. I don't know how someone could hear 'Blue Suede' and then hear 'BagBak' and think one is more extreme than the other."
Staples' beat selection has been a contentious point amongst hip-hop heads since the 2015 release of his brilliant, weighty debut Summertime '06, but he doesn't concern himself with social media's never-ending debate over whether something is "classic or trash." He finds that his "love of sound" is what led to recent feature work with the likes of Flume and Gorillaz, and he pegs Daft Punk and Portishead as dream collaborators.
"There's no one who specifically listens to one type of music that would deem themselves hyper-creative, and the same goes for creatives of any form," he explains. "A lot of times people are fearful or sceptical of it, but I really embrace making music with people that don't necessarily make what I make. I actually prefer it, because you can learn more from those types of musicians."
Staples says he finds Twitter to be a distraction, relishing the privacy that comes with only occasionally wading into the digital waters to respond to unnecessary vitriol he is tagged in.
"People are people, and people are fucking crazy," he says with a laugh. "They're always going to be toxic from time to time. Obviously, not a whole lot of privacy comes with this job, so I hold on to what I have."
But where Staples would rather let his music do the talking, who knows him best? "My mom, probably, my girlfriend, my manager, the cops on [Cherry Avenue in Long Beach]," he deadpans. "They know me pretty well."
Pick up a copy of Big Fish Theory on CD or picture disc vinyl via Umusic.