The Irony of Vince Staples’ Jab at Music Journalists

Posted: by The Editor

vince staples

Last week, Vince Staples, one of the funniest musical personalities of our time, launched a $2 million GoFundMe campaign promoting the mantra, “get off of my dick, or fund my lifestyle.” It was a clever, albeit implausibly attainable jab at the recent critics of Staples’ live shows, his music and his commentary. However, a couple days after playfully pledging to quit music forever if people paid his way out, he dropped a new track titled “Get The Fuck Off My Dick” that expounds upon his qualms in the GoFundMe video address—taking specific aim at NPR and XXL, as well as the Grammy’s and the VMA’s. Staples has long been vocal about feeling mistreated and/or misrepresented by the music press, and he now apparently feels snubbed by his lack of major music awards as well.

Although Staples’ blunt discourse toward dissenters is often humorous and refreshing in an era where artist/fan relationships continue to grow more intimate, there’s a grand, reductive irony in calling out the music press (some of the biggest egotists in media) via song. Not only does every music journalist get a dopamine rush every time someone references us (no matter if it’s positive or negative), but Staples’ frustration with getting more press for his anecdotes than his music is only going to be exacerbated by this gimmick. And dishearteningly, it is a gimmick. The GoFundMe featured the hashtag #GTFOMD, which was used to promote the song a couple days later; a song where a disgruntled Staples offers some odd contradictions in both his purported disinterest in money, and a hook that features brags about his car and his crib. Much like the somber introspections-by-way-of-club bangers that felt awkward on 2017’s Big Fish Theory—especially compared to the fitting moodiness of 2015’s Summertime ’06—“Get The Fuck Off My Dick” feels a little disoriented, a little inconclusive.

I think Staples’ outspokenness on social issues, the music industry and the music press  are extremely vital in the current media landscape, and I think he’s a great rapper with a whole lot to offer both musically and as a personality. He’s clever, he’s savage and I’d like to think that he truly doesn’t give a shit what both professional and amateur (rando Twitter users) think about him. Unfortunately, after listening and attempting to read into this song and its relation to the GoFundMe, I can’t help but feel like he kind of cares a lot, and that he’s just playing hard to get with this campaign. However, I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think every generation needs an artist to push the media’s buttons and hold us accountable for our shitty takes and misrepresentations. I just wish Staples would either fully commit to that role or openly accept that he’s somewhere in between a Kanye and a Cobain.

Eli Enis | @eli_enis

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