Vince Staples Tiny Desk 2021. In a gorgeous sunlit room (where the rapper assures listeners he’ll “never” live), Staples raps dismayedly about the constant violence in his hometown of North Long Beach. . “When it’s quiet outside, you can hear people sleeping peacefully,” he thinks. “Tryna drowns out the violence, but let them say they want beef.”
Staples has frequently ridiculed the publicity circus expected of rappers. “We like celebrity and ingenuity and the rich and famous.” He told The Guardian in 2022“People look at us as if we’re entertainment, not people. That’s how we look at rap music. That’s how we look at black people.” For me, Tiny Desk was just an obligatory performance, a song and dance that I had to struggle through. NPR’s predominantly white audienceStill, there’s something special about seeing Staples often unflattering and factual in his interviews. The entertainment industry may feed on his commercial spectacle, but Staples’ earnest storytelling continues to resonate, even when he’s playing games.
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