Vince Staples Explained How The Music Industry Monetizes People’s Struggles

On Friday, Vince Staples ended the nearly three-year-long stretch that he went without releasing a full-length project to fans. The Long Beach native shared his official third album, Vince Staples, and it arrived following weeks of frequent headline-making comments and interviews from the rapper.

Vince continues that streak with a recent sit-down with The Independent where he shared his thoughts on the current landscape of the music industry and how some rapper use gang affiliation to boost their rise and appeal in hip-hop.

“This is a business where we monetize people’s struggles, pain, death and murder,” he said. “If you’re a kid from a situation, and you feel the only way that you will get out of the situation where there’s immense poverty or bad home life or low self-esteem is by doing this thing that everyone is selling, you’re going to try to sell that thing.”

He added, “We’ve seen people market and distribute death and destruction within our communities for decades; they do these things because it gets attention. What do we really expect when we give people millions of dollars to say they’re tough? They’re gonna say they’re tough. It’s common sense.”

The rapper also pointed out that rather than focus on the individuals doing good, the media instead choose to pay attention to those who fit a “bad boy” image.

“These people who do the wrong thing are always brought up [by the media], but no one who’s done the right things has been mentioned,” he said.

Vince Staples is out now via Blacksmith Recordings/Motown Records. Pre-order it here.