Vince Staples is one of the boldest personalities in the Hip Hop scene; he’s bluntly honest and hilarious, making it hard not to like the Long Beach rapper. Vince has never been one to shy away from controversy - the rapper’s music is often provocative in its depiction of topics that are somewhat awkward or usually taboo within the genre. His music videos push this even further, as in Señorita showing a rich white family looking through a glass window at the pain and suffering that exists in Vince’s hometown neighbourhood, drawing a comparison to those more privileged viewing the suffering of others as entertainment through their televisions.

After the up-front single this year ‘Get The Fuck Off My Dick’, the Long Beach rapper was ready to return with his third album. In classic fashion, there was little more warning on Twitter than an album was on the way. A week later, FM! was released and at only 22 minutes long, it manages to pack a lot in. With features from Ty Dolla Sign, E-40 and interludes from Earl Sweatshirt and Tyga, ’FM!’ won’t give you a chance to catch your breath.

The album also includes radio-esque snippets and interludes from local Long Beach ‘DJ Big Boi’ that make you forget that you’re not listening to the radio. The snippets make for smoother transitions between tracks and a laid-back listen.

Vince always brings a relaxed tone to his rapping and seemingly his life in general, but the conflict in his music comes from his lyrics. His music creates a sense of contradiction: it will hype you up while disarming you with an underlying message. From the first track 'Feels Like Summer’, a sunny celebration of the constant warm weather in his state of California and featuring a catchy hook from Ty Dolla Sign, the message pervading the album continues to reveal that Long Beach isn’t always just sunshine with lyrics “Cold weather won’t stop no gunner/Wrong hat, wrong day, I killed my brother”: things aren’t always bright. Vince points out that there’s almost a pressure to make music for the summer all year long, despite the what can be the dangerous reality of life there.

The track ‘Relay’ is another example, over the party jam produced by Hagler, Vince raps “Fed chirp on scanner (scanner)/Got blurped with the hammer” which details a game of cat-and-mouse with the police. It’s easy to get distracted and forget the storyline of his songs; Vince wants to know if you’re really listening.

FM! definitely takes inspiration from L.A. and West Coast style beats with a bounce that you could hear playing out of someone’s car, which is in stark contrast to the warped rave anthems from his previous release Big Fish Theory. For instance, previous Vince albums wouldn’t have had room for an interlude from Tyga, and although very short, ‘Brand New Tyga Interlude’ still brings out another side of the album's personality.

It’s hard to work out whether this is an album, an EP or a playlist, and at 22 minutes long it’s difficult to feel fully satisfied and does leave you wanting more. As Vince Staples rises to become a global artist, it’s inspiring to hear that he hasn’t forgotten his roots and is able to tell us stories of Long Beach using a concept that hasn’t been done this well before. It’s this type of creativity that puts him above his counterparts.