It’s Vince Staples’ Show But Ray J Steals This Episode (Video)
Vince Staples has shown time and time again that he makes his own rules. Although he is from Long Beach and aware of the rich tradition of Southern California Rap artists, the MC is much more interested in blazing his own path rather than carrying on tradition. In fact, in 2015, Staples drew the ire of certain Hip-Hop fans, when he suggested that the “tradition” worthy of being carried on was relative, according to the generation being discussed.
“The ’90s get a lot of credit [and] I don’t really know why,” said Staples in a video recorded for Time magazine. “Biggie and Tupac, those are the staples of the ’90s—I think that’s why they get the Golden Era credit. There’s not a 50 Cent in the ’90s—they didn’t even have a Kanye [West].” Staples, who was born in July, 1993, continued, “The early 2000s is where it’s at. The first song I remember listening to is Lil Bow Wow’s ‘Come Bounce With Me.’ Lil Bow Wow is one of my favorite rappers, ever. You could never take that from me.”
When faced with the immediate and intense backlash that often accompanies those not seen as categorically declaring the 90s as the Golden Age of Hip-Hop, rather than back down, Staples clarified his comments, in a way that both showed respect for the era but also held strong on his initial statements. “To me, it’s like, if you don’t feel like the ’90s was the greatest era of Hip-Hop—which isn’t what I said—but if it’s not, then it’s just ‘f*ck you’?,” he said during a call in to the Sway In The Morning show. “What if I like the ’80s? What if I like the early 2000s? You sayin’ that nobody else’s art-form matters unless it’s in the ’90s? That’s corny.” He further drove home the point by reasoning that perception of music is based on personal relevance. “The thing that makes you love anything artistically or culturally is the experiences you have while you experience the product. So in the sense of…I don’t know what it felt like when [Nas’] ‘NY State Of Mind’ first dropped. But I know what it felt like when [Snoop Dogg’s] ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ first dropped or when ‘Crip Hop’ first dropped from Tha Eastsidaz, ’cause that’s what made me want to do what I did with my life. Now do that mean that [one] is better than the other song? Hell no, but that’s my experience with that personal artist.”
By 2018, Vince Staples had grown accustomed to the endless chatter from the peanut gallery. In fact, in a satirical response to both the overabundance of unsolicited opinions and the excess of online funding solicitations, Staples launched a snarky GoFundMe campaign in which he sought to raise $2 million dollars from those who wanted him to “shut up and go away.” While the campaign ultimately was not successful, it did further Staples’ reputation as a savvy marketer capable of generating conversation about himself in the most clever of ways.
Now, in 2019, as Vince gears up for his new album The Vince Staples Show, his hack through the clutter of all the competition for attention spans is to release a series of “episodes” of an actual Vince Staples show. Each episode doubles as an entertaining short film and a listen to a new song, as part of the end credits. Rather than traditional videos for the music, the visuals often are depictions of outrageous events that happen to Vince during the course of every day life.
In episode 1, Vince is attacked by a barber shop full of patrons, as he is in the middle of getting his haircut. In episode 2, “Sheet Music,” the latest, Staples finds himself in Ray J’s home, after fleeing an angry girlfriend who came after him with a taser.
Although it is Vince’s show, it is definitely Ray J who steals the episode. Ray plays up his playboy and hustler personas to the fullest, making for some uncomfortable moments for Vince, as well as getting in some choice product placements. He approaches the scene with the same flair and outrageousness that has made his past appearances, whether calls in to The Breakfast Club or home videos, the stuff of legend.
Stay tuned for more episodes of The Vince Staples Show.