The Long Beach rapper Vince Staples made one of the year’s best albums, and he’s one of our smartest, most incisive musicians right now. So when Staples talks about the way rap music has lately been glorifying drug use, we should take it as something other than a musician being preachy. In a new video interview with CNN, Staples has some smart things to say about high-school suspension rates and about the way rap music has shifted from glorifying the dealing of drugs to the actual use of drugs. He says that he’s watching people become addicts for the first time in his life. And while he never names names, he certainly could; Future and A$AP Rocky has probably helped introduce kids to a few substances in the past year. As someone who deeply enjoys drug music, I don’t know that I agree with Staples whole “do better” stance, but he’s certainly worth hearing out. Watch the video at CNN.
Staples’ Summertime ’06 is out now on Def Jam.