ACL Review: Vince Staples

SoCal MC delineates which police to mess with

“Don’t be scared. Walk your little ass up here,” said West Coast truth teller/comedian Vince Staples on Saturday, escorting a freckled-faced preteen who said he’s “in the seventh grade.”

Photo by John Anderson

“If you think you’re nice, and you wanna fuck with the youth, let me know,” Staples continued, commenting on the boy’s (apparently renowned) skating video game skills. And so went Vince Staples’ “big and bright” waste laying of the Austin Ventures stage.

The Long Beach rapper’s unusually sophisticated sense of humor disarms, but immediately challenges your view of a “gangsta rapper.” At odds with his playful persona, a quick review of lyrics found in “Señorita” and “Fire” could cause antennae twitches for some. The young wordsmith doesn’t exactly hide his Long Beach Crip affiliation.

Staples encouraged a sing-along for “Blue Suede,” enlightening those unfamiliar to life and death actualities coming up in Long Beach’s Northside: “You dig your own grave when you fuckin’ with the Lord/ Catch a fade, probably gonna go to hell anyway.”

Though guilty of the crowd-baiting “fuck the police” chants, Staples’ jocularity emerged when he hilariously ran down a list of “police” he doesn’t fuck with.

“Fuck Django [Unchained] for being a bounty hunter, because that’s basically the police. Fuck [Notorious B.I.G. associate] Lil’ Cease, because he told on Lil’ Kim [in the femcee’s 2005 perjury trial]. Fuck CSI, Matlock, LL Cool J, Ice-T, [and] any rap nigga that turned into a cop.”

Toward the end of his set – his crowd now doubled and illuminating his weird hodgepodge of random trivia – his previous attempt at further stirring up the pot with his rendition of “Deep in the Heart of Texas” worked to much greater effect. Why would he even know that song? Well done, Staples.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Vince Staples
Vince Staples Pays Tribute to Mac Miller at Emo’s
Vince Staples Pays Tribute to Mac Miller at Emo’s
Compton rapper prompts smiles and bouncing off walls

Marilee Bodden, Feb. 11, 2019

ACL Live Review: Vince Staples
Live Shot: Vince Staples
Cali rapper gets the mainstream woke

Clara Wang, Oct. 15, 2018

More by Kahron Spearman
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

April 2, 2021

AG Rugby & Paul Oakenfold Kick Off Season on Saturday
AG Rugby & Paul Oakenfold Kick Off Season on Saturday
UK spinner lands in Bastrop and reps second biggest British sport

March 19, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Vince Staples, ACL Fest 2015, Notorious B.I.G., Lil’ Cease, Lil’ Kim, Matlock, LL Cool J, Ice T

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle