West Coast MC Vince Staples just dropped his long-awaited Hell Can Wait EP on Tuesday. The seven-song project is inspired by his adolescence, the songs culled from things he experienced during his formative years. We spoke with Staples about coming up in North Long Beach and funneling that into his music.
Featured on the EP is "Hands Up," a track that offers Staples' perspective on law enforcement within the urban community. He says that the song, crafted a year ago, was not specifically about Mike Brown, but instead about the realities of the fractured relationship between the urban-dwelling public and the police in America. "It's our job as musicians to broaden the perception of who we are as a people," Staples says, "whether it's black people or urban people, because these things are happening based on what we do."
Staples is only 21, but he's got a hard, wizened tone in his music, which explains his seamless fit on the "Kingdom (Remix)" alongside Common and the recently added Jay Electronica. Check out the interview above to hear Staples open up about how the remix came about, and what it was like to meet and perform with the elusive Jay Elect.