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Vince Staples says “we deserve better” than Kendrick Lamar and Drake feud

May 7th, 2024

Vince Staples has weighed in on the ongoing rap feud between Kendrick Lamar and Drake – see what he had to say below.

On Saturday (May 4), Staples sat down with Long Beach Mayor Rex Richard for a panel discussion to celebrate Youth Day. During the chat, Staples was asked by a fan in attendance what he thought about Lamar and Drake going at one another.

Staples, who has been an advocate for raising up Black culture, spoke about several major changes happening in the music industry that affect the Black community, signalling that more people should be paying attention to that instead of a rap beef.

Vince Staples. Credit: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty

To begin his response, Staples noted that he has been signed to Universal Music Group for 13 years, first signing with them at the age of 17. Over the course of his time with the company, UMG has gone through several changes in the way the label handles and distributes music.

Most recently, UMG has “folded” multiple independent labels and put numerous people of colour out of jobs: “That record label just folded all of its independent labels and subsidiaries into each other. None of them exist no more. They fired all the heads of the labels and if they didn’t, they turned them into glorified A&Rs. They cut off 50 per cent of the people who work in all these departments, most of those people is us, people of color, that come from hip-hop and R&B and these other things, right?”

 

Staples then continued, pointing at UMG pulling its artists’ music from TikTok earlier this year. While UMG pulled music from TikTok because it argued that its musicians weren’t being compensated enough, the months in between the withdrawal and reinstatement meant artists were making less money.

He went on to explain that Black musicians are being negatively impacted by streaming: “So then we getting priced out of our contracts, we getting priced out of our imprints. There are no labels, basically, that are incentivised to sign Black music and it’s happening in front of our eyes. While Taylor Swift is fighting for people to be able to have streaming money, n***as is on the internet arguing with each other about some rap shit. So that’s how I feel about it, honestly.”

The rapper concluded: “Personally, I think we better than that. I think we deserve better than that because we’ve been saying for decades that we want people to respect Black music and Black art and Black people. I think for that to happen, we gotta respect ourselves and they don’t make it easy for us, but we gotta try to work a little bit harder at that.”

Long Beach Mayor Rex Richard followed up Vince Staples’ sentiment by adding that people should be lifting up Black artists instead of “celebrating” two rappers “tearing each other down”. Staples then said: “The dude that work at Dunkin Donuts is as important as Drake and Kendrick cuz it’s an ecosystem. We all matter and I think that’s our problem is that we looking too high up. We need to kind of look at each other. If we don’t do that then we wasting our time.”

Over the past month, Lamar and Drake have been trading blows over a constant back-and-forth of diss tracks. Yesterday, Drake dropped his new diss track ‘The Heart Part 6’, on which the Canadian rapper suggested that Lamar’s disses are based on false information fed to him by Drake’s team. He also denied allegations of paedophilia lobbied against him by Kendrick Lamar on ‘Meet The Grahams’.

This content was originally sourced and posted at NME »
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