Some might remember back in October of 2016, Vince Staples’ track ‘Norf Norf’ grew to some pretty high levels of prominence after a video went viral of a Christian mother sharing her concerns about the sort of content in this track and other tracks like it. Of course, she was understandably the subject of extreme ridicule for ‘missing the point’, but to his credit, Vince Staples came out and publicly defended her, proving to everyone he’s a stand up guy.
See, ‘Norf Norf’ is a pretty stark look at Staples’ early life and upbringing, and his time running in gangs. Understandably, activities like this can be considered quite rough for someone who has never been involved in them personally, and understandably, the striking descriptions and graphic language can be quite confronting to someone who has been comparatively sheltered.
This is of course why that famous video rose to prominence. Heck, even I will admit that I found her take on the song rather humorous, taking issue with lines such as “Hit the corner, make a dollar flippin’, split the dollars with my mama children. Folks need Porsches, hoes need abortions. I just need y’all out of my business. Never no problem playing no bitches, never no problem spraying no witnesses.” But let’s be fair, those are some pretty confronting lines for someone who isn’t familiar with the realities of a lifestyle such as that.
Staples came out to defend her take on the song in a rather honourable fashion, basically stating that she’s entitled to her opinion, and that the song’s topic is confronting, but that’s how it is. While I had been aware of this song for some time beforehand, it was the advent of the video’s release that made me really take notice to the track and realise how well-written the track is, both musically and lyrically.
In short, Staples is an incredibly talented and compassionate musician who has overcome a lot to earn his success. His music may be somewhat raw for many listeners, but not only is his heart in the right place with everything he makes, he’s doing it for all the right reasons.