FM!

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FM!
Vince Staples FM.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 2, 2018 (2018-11-02)
Studio
GenreHip hop[1]
Length22:16
Label
Producer
Vince Staples chronology
Big Fish Theory
(2017)
FM!
(2018)
Vince Staples
(2021)

FM! is the third studio album by American rapper Vince Staples, released on November 2, 2018, through Blacksmith Records and Def Jam Recordings. The album is primarily produced by Kenny Beats, with further production by Hagler, Cubeatz and KillaGraham, and features guest vocals from Kamaiyah, E-40, Jay Rock, Kehlani, Earl Sweatshirt, Buddy and Tyga, among others.

Composition[edit]

Over the course of an approximately 22-minute runtime,[2] the album is framed as a radio-station takeover, featuring recurring skits hosted by Los Angeles radio host Big Boy.[3][4] According to NPR Music staff writer Rodney Carmichael, "FM! uses terrestrial radio — and longtime L.A. radio staple Big Boy's morning show — as a foil to offer subversive commentary on the ways and means black music is marketed for mass consumption. Even the features — Cali artists including Kamaiyah, E-40, Buddy, Kehlani and two diametrically opposed interludes from Earl Sweatshirt and Tyga — present a range of extremes that deconstruct the static separating radio and Internet, alternative and pop."[5]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.2/10[6]
Metacritic81/100[7]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[8]
ConsequenceB+[9]
DIY[10]
Exclaim!8/10[11]
Mojo[12]
NME[13]
Now4/5[2]
Pitchfork8.2/10[14]
Q[15]
XXL4/5[16]

FM! was met with widespread critical acclaim. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from professional publications, the album received an average score of 81, based on 16 reviews.[7] Aggregator AnyDecentMusic? gave it 7.2 out of 10, based on their assessment of the critical consensus.[6]

Neil Z. Yeung of AllMusic gave the album a positive review stating, "Despite FM!'s brevity, Staples jams so much into every bar that it fully satiates, all while still managing to end so abruptly that it comes as a surprise. The electrifying thrill of FM! is a triumph for the rapper who remains at the top of his game".[8] Pitchfork's Alphonse Pierre wrote, "Vince is at ease here, intertwining his personality into his somber celebration of Long Beach like never before. He's rapping his ass off, and hooks are mostly an afterthought. He dips in and out of inventive flows".[14] Chris Gibbons of XXL wrote: "FM! is definitely more centrally focused than either of those EPs [2014's Hell Can Wait and 2016's Prima Donna]. And even if this is just an off-hand project Vince recorded quickly, it's a hell of a one-off album that's full of charm and lyrical depth paired with fantastic production. Tune in."[16] NME critic Dhruva Balram said, "Each idea is significantly different from the last and this latest album is an immersive look at the grizzly realities of millions".[13] Clayton Tomlinson of Exclaim! said, "Vince has managed to not only be acerbic but entertaining on his newest release. Its only drawback is its extremely short runtime".[11] Nick Flanagan of Now concluded: "With production duties primarily hot potatoed between Hagler and Kenny Beats, the beats and feel are consistent and strong while not getting in the way of Staples' flow, which is elastic and modern without losing an inch of his clarity and bluntness."[2]

Tommy Monroe of Consequence stated that "FM! features the rapper in his raw form and representing his love for the west coast. Whether you decide to hit play in chronological order or skip around, this album will have you bobbing your head at any point. FM! is a sunny day that not even being stuck in LA traffic can ruin".[9] Will Richards from DIY stated, "While Big Fish Theory saw the rapper centre stage, relentless and omnipresent, on FM! he lets us tune in to a calmer world, one which he dips in and out of when he pleases, filling in the blanks and staying in the fast lane".[10] Shea Serrano at The Ringer called the album "smart, and biting, and funny, and challenging, and a top-level examination of the caustic (and casual) existence of violence and death in an overlooked corner of America".[1]

Less enthusiastic was Vice magazine's Robert Christgau, who expressed his disappointment in finding Staples "a lot better at tragedy than comedy" on the album. He rated it with a one-star honorable mention while picking "Feels Like Summer" and "Fun" as highlights.[17]

Year-end lists[edit]

Select year-end rankings of FM!
Publication List Rank Ref.
Complex 50 Best Albums of 2018
31
Consequence The Top 50 Albums of 2018
21
NME Best Albums of the Year 2018
30
NPR Music The 50 Best Albums of 2018
36
Okayplayer The Best Albums of 2018
14
Pitchfork The 50 Best Albums of 2018
26
The Ringer The Best Albums of 2018
4
Rolling Stone 50 Best Albums of 2018
18
Slant Magazine The 25 Best Albums of 2018
14
Stereogum The Best Albums of 2018
14

Track listing[edit]

All tracks produced by Kenny Beats, except where noted.[28]

FM! track listing
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Feels Like Summer" 2:29
2."Outside!"
  • Staples
  • Blume III
 2:05
3."Don't Get Chipped"
2:28
4."Relay"
  • Staples
  • Marvin Thomas
Hagler2:17
5."New EarlSweatshirt" (interlude)
 0:22
6."Run the Bands"
  • Staples
  • Thomas
Hagler3:08
7."Fun!"
  • Staples
  • Thomas
  • Hagler
  • Kenny Beats[b]
2:51
8."No Bleedin"
 2:03
9."Brand New Tyga" (interlude) 0:35
10."(562) 453-9382" (skit)
 0:52
11."Tweakin'"
  • Kenny Beats
  • KillaGraham
3:06
Total length:22:16

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies transcription
  • ^[b] signifies additional production

Personnel[edit]

Credits for FM! adapted from vinyl liner notes.[28]

Charts[edit]

Chart performance for FM!
Chart (2018) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[29] 47
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[30] 129
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[31] 44
Irish Albums (IRMA)[32] 55
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[33] 40
US Billboard 200[34] 37
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[35] 23

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Serrano, Shea (November 5, 2018). "Vince Staples's 'FM!' Is the Rap Album of the Year". The Ringer. Archived from the original on November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Flanagan, Nick (November 8, 2018). "Review: Vince Staples trims the fat on FM!". Now. Archived from the original on November 11, 2018. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  3. ^ Breihan, Tom (November 6, 2018). "Vince Staples 'FM!' Review: Efficient and Elemental". Stereogum. Archived from the original on November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  4. ^ Li, Nicolaus (November 1, 2018). "Vince Staples 'FM!' Album Is a West Coast Radio Station Takeover". Hypebeast. Archived from the original on November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  5. ^ Carmichael, Rodney (November 5, 2018). "Vince Staples' 'FM!' Is A Potent Critique Of How We Consume Black Art (And It Slaps!)". NPR Music. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "FM! by Vince Staples reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Archived from the original on December 6, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  7. ^ a b "FM! by Vince Staples Reviews and Tracks". Metacritic. Archived from the original on November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Yeung, Neil Z. "FM! – Vince Staples". AllMusic. Archived from the original on November 15, 2018. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Monroe, Tommy (November 6, 2018). "Vince Staples Shouts Out California on the Breezy FM!". Consequence. Archived from the original on November 6, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Richards, Will (November 5, 2018). "Vince Staples – FM!". DIY. Archived from the original on November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  11. ^ a b Tomlinson, Clayton (November 6, 2018). "Vince Staples: FM!". Exclaim!. Archived from the original on November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  12. ^ Mulvey, John (February 2019). "Vince Staples: FM!". Mojo (303): 84.
  13. ^ a b Balram, Dhruva (November 2, 2018). "Vince Staples – 'FM!' review". NME. Archived from the original on November 2, 2018. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Pierre, Alphonse (November 2, 2018). "Vince Staples: FM!". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on November 3, 2018. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  15. ^ Howe, Rupert (January 2019). "Vince Staples: FM!". Q (393): 113.
  16. ^ a b Gibbons, Chris (November 20, 2018). "Vince Staples Pays Homage to West Coast on 'FM!' Album". XXL. Archived from the original on November 27, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  17. ^ Christgau, Robert (December 21, 2018). "Robert Christgau on Lupe Fiasco, Meek Mill, Lil Wayne, and Vince Staples". Vice. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
  18. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2018". Complex. December 5, 2018. Archived from the original on December 6, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  19. ^ "The Top 50 Albums of 2018". Consequence. December 2, 2018. Archived from the original on December 5, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  20. ^ "Best albums of the year 2018". NME. December 13, 2018. Archived from the original on January 11, 2019. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  21. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2018". NPR Music. Archived from the original on December 4, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  22. ^ "The Best Albums of 2018". Okayplayer. December 21, 2018. Archived from the original on December 21, 2018. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
  23. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2018". Pitchfork. December 11, 2018. Archived from the original on December 11, 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  24. ^ "The Best Albums of 2018". The Ringer. December 4, 2018. Archived from the original on December 14, 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  25. ^ "50 Best Albums of 2018". Rolling Stone. December 13, 2018. Archived from the original on December 16, 2018. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  26. ^ "The 25 Best Albums of 2018". Slant Magazine. December 11, 2018. Archived from the original on December 15, 2018. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  27. ^ "The Best Albums of 2018". Stereogum. December 4, 2018. Archived from the original on December 5, 2018. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  28. ^ a b FM! (Vinyl liner notes). Vince Staples. Blacksmith Records and Def Jam Recordings. 2019. 602577295430.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  29. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Vince Staples – FM!". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  30. ^ "Ultratop.be – Vince Staples – FM!" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  31. ^ "Vince Staples Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  32. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography Vince Staples". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  33. ^ "Charts.nz – Vince Staples – FM!". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  34. ^ "Vince Staples Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
  35. ^ "Vince Staples Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved November 13, 2018.