Vince Staples took the A & R Bar stage rapping “Lift Me Up” off the Long Beach Rappers critically acclaimed album “Summertime 2006”. He immediately got the crowd jumping and waving their arms. Staples adeptly rapped. “Hey, I’m just a n***a until I fill my pockets/And then I’m Mr. N++++a, they follow me while shoppin’” with the clarity of a polished emcee coupled with the tenacity and anger of a punk singer over a menacing beat.
His minimal attire of an LBC shirt, jeans, and Converse Chuck Taylors would fit either archetype.
Of course there are lots of white people in America. More than any other race (including minorities,) sometimes your gonna get some white people in the front row rocking with you .
Staples questions this with “All these white folks chanting ‘when I asked’ where my n**as at got me going crazy/I know they will never go where we kick it at.”
Obviously racism has existed forever, and the “here we are now/entertain us/if my manager keeps insulting me/I will be assaulting him” contradiction as grounds for understandable resentment and anxiety has existed for black performers forever.
(See Track 16 on Mos Def’s Debut album)
I really don’t have any new observation on this subject other than Vince Staples said how he felt, and everyone kept rocking. One could hope that each white person in the crowd understood the gravity of the statement and it was a small step into being better people if they hadn’t thought about it before.
The music critic line here could be “his understanding of duel consciousness from the Other’s perspective could propel Staples to be the next Tyler, Creator meets Kendrick Lamar.”
Except everyone’s music sounds different which is the beauty of the current album-oriented’ let your web-presence be your single vision nurturing of artist development.’
This was 4 paragraphs on the contextual relevance about something Staples already said in a verse.
My one question for the Vince Staples performance was ‘how will these moody beats on Summertime 2006 combined with personal subject matter feel live?’
After rocking “Lift Me Up” Staples asked the crowd, “Who Came to Have A Good Time?” The music knocked through the sound system so it was live.It felt like a party when he rocked album cuts like “6500 Degrees,” “Birds & The Bees,” and “Fire.”
Staples made banter between songs lauding Columbus Native, and CSI-Cyber tv star Bow Wow. (It was Bow Wow’s birthday.)
Staples told people to go crazy in the crowd, be polite when speaking, to respect women, and asked people to blow weed smoke opposite of his direction because it would result in him having a fatal asthma attack which then would result with people murdering whomever induced his death.
There was no attempts at shotgunning weed in the rappers face so he did not die, and everyone had fun with it.
While Staples rocked over NO ID production, and vocalized a subversive but overall, positive nihilist presentation there was one man who caught feelings to comedic results.
Staples had a segment where he asked who had been listening to him for a long time. I didn’t cheer because I got into Vince off his verse on Earl Sweatshirt’s “Hive.”
Staples told the crowd most of them were lying saying only 10 people in the room had been listening to him for since day one.
A white man with modest appearance yelled that Staples was “a liar” and tried to charge the stage. Maybe he thought there were 11 people that had supported Staples from the beginning.
This moderately sized man was not very fast. The lay-out of the A & R bar isn’t really conducive for attacking a performer. You have to run through some people, jump a barricade and then jump onstage.
The man was accosted by a mixture of the event staff, and Staples’ friends.
Staples inquired, “Do you know how many black people I brought me. Why would you try to do that bro? You’re stupid.”
Staples asked dude for his name. His name was Santino.
Vince had the crowd chant “Santino is a dumb-ass.”
Staples asked for Santino to apologize. It was kinda funny cause Vince switched he tonality from calm to g-check while requesting the apology. Then returned to calm. Santino had a strange, futile tantrum, and was escorted out of the building rather mildly. It was more funny then dangerous.
Staples rocked “Blue Suede.” He got the crowd to chant “fuck the police,” before going into “Norf Norf.” “Norf Norf” probably is the weirdest Sprite commercial ever.
As the crowd waved their hands in the air, Santino stood outside the window of patio adjacent to the stage and cried. I guess he was weepy that he did not hear “Senorita.” I think Santino was the only person in the sold-out room that did not have fun, and leave liking Vince Staples.