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Big Fish Theory is the third hiphop album in my collection of best albums after Kendrick Lamar and Young Thug.

Vincent Jamal Staples comes from Ramona Park which is a part of North Long Beach, California, a 25 minutes cardrive south of Los Angeles. Apparently there is a huge presence of the Original Crip Homies, a primarily Afro-American gang with more than 30,000 members in the whole country.

Ramona Park Is Yankee Stadium is a minute long track where Staples connects to that. The Crips in Ramona Park wear Yankee hats to identify.

I’m the man, ten toes in the street*
I’m the blood on the leaves, I’m the nose on the Sphinx
Where I’m from we don’t go to police
Where I’m from we don’t run, we just roll with the heat
I’m the back of the bus, take a seat
Take a ride on my side where we die in the street
And the cops don’t come for some weeks
(Rain Come Down)

He leaves us with thoughts on fame’s corrupting influence and love’s power, all from a rising rap star who understands his reach and the limits of his celebrity. Big Fish Theory is a compact rap gem for dancing to or simply sitting with, an album that is as innovative as it is accessible; if not a glimpse into the future, then it’s at least an incisive look at the present.” (Pitchfork)

 

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