Vince Staples remains one of the most enigmatic and interesting rappers in the game. If, like me, your psyche is exhausted by the discussion surrounding the leaked misogynistic comments from GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, then the freestyle Staples did this weekend on Hot 97 with Funk Flex is a salve.
“Don’t make fun of me in the comments on Youtube because I will find your black a**,” Staples says in the preface to his three-minute-straight steady stream of bars. The thing is, there is absolutely nothing about this freestyle that even the most debased Youtube commenter could make fun of — it is possibly the Platonic ideal of a freestyle.
He never stutters, he never falters, and he manages to maneuver through several different crucial topics throughout, including but not limited to Black Lives Matter, a tribute to MIA, his mom using a beeper to sell weed in the eighties, and a challenge to other rappers to use hip-hop to change sh*t instead of bragging about their wealth.
Here’s the section where he addresses the Black Lives Matter movement:
“If my black life matter / Motherf*cker stop killing / If my black life matter / Motherf*cker stop snitching / If my black life matter / Motherf*cker start a business in your hood / Instead of letting f*cking Starbucks in it / If my black life matter / Then respect our women / If my black life matter / Don’t neglect our children / If my black life matter / If the police taking my shit with a pistol / Don’t march, go kill them.”
Freestyles still matter to a specific subset of fans, who are upset when Young Thug falters, or want to write off Lil Yachty all together when he doesn’t bring the kind of precision Staples exhibits here. But this is 2016, and rap is morphing far beyond the arbitrary standards of the past.
Still, it’s not like this kind of skill should not go without accolades it deserves. This is better than most rap songs released this year, and it’s Vince off the cuff. Watch it above.