It should have been one of those weird, viral stories the world laughs at and moves on from in days, but the tale of the Christian mom who hated Vince Staples’ “Norf Norf” just refuses to die. As you may remember, the mom heard the Summertime ’06 track on the radio and flipped out in a Youtube confessional. After the predictable backlash online, Vince actually came to her defense, saying, among other things, “No person needs to be attacked for their opinion on what they see to be appropriate for their children.”
The whole episode probably should have just ended there six months ago, but for some reason the incident came up again in Vince’s new interview with NPR. When being asked about the angry mom Vince cut the interviewer off, saying bluntly “She was right.” When asked to further explain, he retired his live and let live stance in an odd diatribe in which he essentially said he feels the same way as her and people should lay off.
“What she said, “this is what our children are being exposed to”? She’s right. That’s what the song is about: what our children are being exposed to. My question is, why can we listen to that and pass it off like it’s not a problem? When you see a film and you see a murder scene or a rape scene or something that’s displaying an element of trauma, we don’t look at it and go, “This movie’s f****** great, I’m having a great time, are you?” We feel for that. Know what I’m saying? But it doesn’t necessarily happen in that sense when we’re speaking about music. So I didn’t make that song for it to make people happy. So I don’t have a problem with what she said. You got a reaction — isn’t that the point, essentially?”
Vince went on to say it was pathetic to attack her, and that the idea of not wanting your children exposed to something is a noble concept.
“It’s pathetic to attack someone for having an opinion or feeling some type of way, for wanting her children to not be exposed to something. I’m 100 percent sure my mother would have loved for her children to not be exposed to gang life. The difference is it wasn’t on the radio — it was in our house, and it was outside, and it was at our schools, and it was at our churches, it was everywhere that we were. So it was kind of a little bit harder. If I have children one day I would hope that they will never be exposed to that.”
What Vince is saying is undertandable, and on a basic level it makes sense. Everybody is entitled to their own opinions and parents are allowed to shelter their children from whatever they see fit. The problem, however, is that this woman should not be beyond reproach. He tone about the whole thing was condescending and her lack of understanding was troublesome. That same lack of understanding has caused young black children their lives as older white people simply refused to understand their situation and feared them because of a life they did not understand.
Vince is right, attacking her is not warranted, and doing so is essentially the same type of lack of understanding as she exhibited. But criticism for her troublesome views? That comes with the territory and some critical thinking may be just what she needs to understand the culture she so vehemently opposed for the world to see.