I’m A Gangster Crip, Fuck Gangster Rap – Intro To Vince Staples

Picture Via Pitchfork

Vince Staples is a rapper from (Northside) Long Beach, California. The 22 year old rapper has been making music since he was 18, but only started to take his music seriously with his fourth mixtape, Stolen Youth (2013), when Mac Miller encouraged him to do so. He gained popularity through the old Odd Future tapes and while he was never officially in Odd Future, he was featured on Earl Sweatshirt’s earlier work; meeting Earl through mutual friends and Odd Future member, Syd tha Kid.

Before he started taking music seriously, Staples made a couple of mixtapes for fun; Coldchain Vol. 1 (2011) and Winter in Prague (2012). After pressure through social media, Staples decided to put out a follow-up to his Coldchain series, Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2 (2013). Around that time, Earl Sweatshirt invited Staples over to Mac Miller’s home studio which resulted with the creation of his next mixtape. The next project that Vince Staples released was a collaborative effort with Mac Miller’s pseudonym Larry Fisherman in Stolen Youth (2013). After the release, Vince then went on to do a tour with Mac Miller and Earl Sweatshirt. During this time he signed to Def Jam, and with Def Jam he has released two albums, Hell Can Wait (2014) and Summertime 06’ (2015).

Staples’ lyrics give a look into the life of a “gangbanger.” His lyrics and stories all help describe why gangs exist in these low income areas. In the song “Lift Me Up” off of Summertime 06’ (2015), he talks about how “the hood” and poverty stricken areas aren’t getting the help from the government that they need and as a result the gangs will continue to reign supreme.

“I never vote for presidents, the presidents that change the hood

Is dead and green.” – “Lift Me Up” Summertime 06′

He also talks about how gang life is subconsciously bred into children. A great example of this is in the song “Nate” off of Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2 (2013). Staples talks about how as a child he saw his father dealing drugs and beating his mother, and in this song he reveals that as a kid he wanted to be like his dad and his friends.

As a kid all I wanted was to kill a man
Be like my daddy’s friends, hopping out that minivan – “Nate” Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2

Currently, Vince Staples is on tour with A$AP Rocky, Tyler the Creator and Danny Brown. (True Too Live Tweeted their show in Chicago and it was lit. We recommend that you see it if you can.) Even though Staples just released an album, it looks as though we might be getting more new music before the year is over. On Monday, September 28, he posted a vague instagram post that looks to be the cover art for a project.

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