Since emerging with his spectacular debut album 'Summertime '06' back in 2015, Vince Staples has quickly grown to become one of the most captivating and proficient rappers working today. His constant appreciation for nostalgia and classic sounds has always led the charge of his particular style, opting to reject much of hip-hop's new direction and establishing himself as traditionalist in the scene. Yet as he moves into his third full-length, it is clear that he has begun to embrace elements of the more modern formula and returned with 'FM!', a love-letter to his home-state of California.
One of the best things about listening to Vince Staples is just how at ease he is on the microphone. Never pushing himself too far, he has this effortless appeal that makes his music far easier to listen to that most rappers today. Arriving with just 11 eleven tracks and a running time of just 22 minutes, 'FM!' is easily one of the shortest records of the year, but one that makes such an impact, it is hard to switch off. It never has a chance to build up to anything because it starts at the very top and maintains that level of quality right to the very end, keeping the energy and interest high throughout.
While it is an extremely enjoyable release, its only disappointment is its running time. You feel so amped up as it plays, that the quick and unexpected end of the album feels you wanting so much more by the time it tails off. Either way, Vince Staples has now released three incredible hip-hop records in his short career, and nothing seems to be slowing him down.