Vince Staples Fan Requests More "Gangsta Crip," Vince Says "Gang Banging is Out"

Vince is the latest artist to transcend his past and look toward the big picture.
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Gang culture and hip-hop have a long, bloody relationship. That sounds like the beginning of a corny CNN report but it’s true. Unfortunately, for many young black men living in areas that governmental powers have seemingly left high and dry, gang life and hip-hop are two of the most frequently driven vehicles used to escape poverty and build a sense of community.

Across the country, hip-hop scenes have developed alongside and often with the aid of their respective gang culture. While we still witness the heavily interwoven nature of these two cultures in cities like Atlanta today, nowhere was the relationship more prominent than the West Coast in the early '90s—the scene that birthed Vince Staples.

Vince was raised in Long Beach in the mid '90s, when artists like Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound were at the height of introducing the world to the Crips gang that been thriving since its inception nearly 30 years prior. It wasn’t just the music, either. Vince has been candid in his music and interviews about being steeped in gang culture from a young age, and is himself a former active member of the gang.

Today (March 15), a fan tweeted Vince asking him what fans on Twitter inevitably ask—to make the same music again and again—and Vince wasn’t having it, saying that “Gang banging is out, we’re onto this philanthropy.”

This interaction mirrors Vince’s comments during his recent interview with Nardwuar, in which he went on a miniature rant about staying out of the streets, and places Vince among a growing population of rappers transcending their environments and looking towards something bigger.

"Don't do drugs, go to college, if you can't pay for it, try to get you a student loan, figure out one of these grant programs. Enhance your education, enhance your mind, stay out the streets. That gang bangin' shit is corny, them drugs is corny, Tru Religion jeans have never been stylish." - Vince Staples, Nardwuar Interview

Of course, Vince hasn’t exactly gone cold turkey when it comes to representing his ties to the Crips, but that’s to be expected. Vince is an artist, and his past will always be a part of his music, but that doesn’t take away from the importance of Vince using his voice not to glorify his past, but to help others avoid his path.

With his upcoming album Big Fish Theory on the way, we’ll get a chance to see how this shift in perception has manifested in Vince’s music. And Vince had a special message for anyone not enjoying his changing philosophy. 

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By Brent Bradley. Follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Instagram

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