Vince Staples has been hard at work on the follow-up to last year’s Big Fish Theory. His new release out today, FM!, is apparently not that, but it might as well be. The quality is there, even if its 11 tracks only add up to 23 minutes.
On Instagram this week, Staples said he took time off from LP3 to kick out “a very special project dedicated to my biggest fan and supporter since day one.” Here’s how he explained it:
As artists we are nothing without the fans. I took time off from recording my next album to make a very special project dedicated to my biggest fan and supporter since day one. He said he needed something that represented him and where he comes from so here it is. Thank you for years of loyalty, I do this for people like you. See you all Thursday @ 9pm Poppy Street Time!
Whoever this muse happens to be — and judging by the childhood photo of Staples attached to the message, it may well be himself — I hope Staples decides to cater to him more often. FM! returns to the West Coast rider music of Summertime ’06, but in keeping with the title, it’s generally brighter and more radio-ready, with the occasional R&B hook.
The broadcast theme is woven directly into the album, with skits mimicking on-air contests and DJ banter plus snippets of new Earl Sweatshirt and Tyga songs disguised as promos. As promised, FM! also features Lil Fade, Kamaiyah, Jay Rock, T Raw, and “Vince from Poppy,” which is presumably Staples himself. (He grew up on Poppy Street in Long Beach.) Plus there’s a surprise E-40 appearance on “Fun!” and the pleasingly ubiquitous Ty Dolla $ign on “Feels Like Summer.”
Alright, if you haven’t pressed play on this thing already, what are you waiting for? Listen below.
FM! is out now on Def Jam.