Vince Staples is a documentarian of gang culture and street culture, so it comes as no shock that his latest single, the dark and heavy "Hands Up," provides great sociopolitical commentary on police brutality and what it means to be young and black in America.
"Hands Up" is a sharp critique that comes on the heels of the social uprising in Ferguson, MO following the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson. The record is a poignant and fitting way to address a growing pattern of law enforcement officials abusing power. It's sinister and moody, and it punches like "conscious" rap with a flair for gangsta rap. Vince Staples is the voice of the young, intelligent, and street savvy black male.
The lyrics are blunt, hard-hitting, and reminiscent of N.W.A.'s "Real Niggaz Don't Die," which also touched on police brutality. "Deangelo Lopez and Tyler Woods/ Just a couple they gunned down around the hood/ I guess the pigs split wigs for the greater good/ Cause I ain't seen them lock a swine up yet/ At the most they reassign 'em to prevent protest/ Just your color is enough to get you under arrest/ Strong hand to the law got me feelin' oppressed/ If you flip and kill a fifty, then you gettin' the chair," he raps. With is fierce attention to detail and his aggressive disposition, Vince Staples continues to be one to watch.
Stream "Hands Up" by Vince Staples below, download his single, "Blue Suede," on iTunes, and be on the lookout for his EP, Hell Can Wait, due out September 23rd.
- Blacksmith/ARTium/Def Jam
- September 9, 2014