The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

BALDWIN: Reflecting on Vince Staples success, authenticity

Vince Staples, 29-year-old Long Beach rapper, is one of a kind. In his discography he has five studio albums, two EPs and countless features. His music of fresh rhymes discuss ideas such as ego, depression and love, and are complemented perfectly by well-crafted beats. 

His allure also has to do with his down-to-earth outlook on life. In interviews, he is always comes off as chill and humble. He is composed and confident, making sure every word carries a purpose, and a piece of him.

The way he is able to authentically express himself without needing to rely on maintaining an appearance to appeal to his audience is not something commonly found in today’s musical artists. More often than not now, we have music artists that have transcended from their music and have become a persona rather than an outlet to make music.

Famous pop artist Kesha -formally known by Ke$ha- was not just someone who made music, she was someone that had to have dollar sign in her name. She has moved on from this name to live her life without the need to maintain this “cash money” attitude.

Modern musical talents have fallen into this trap nowadays to uphold a persona such as Tyler the Creator, who does not just make music, but also projects a specific aura.

Tyler the Creator’s music it has been an appearance from the start. Each album he makes is designed for a specific attitude. His music attracts a certain crowd of people. For example, back in the prime of Odd Future, skater kids with supreme stickers and a donut OF logo were at his crowd like flowers in field.

In contrast, Staples is often very conserved with his looks, wearing dull clothing and not getting into his personal life in interviews. He is not there to show off the latest brand or flex vanity, he is there to talk about the music at its core.

He chooses not to put on a facade to promote his music. Staples doesn’t even need a stage name, he is just himself, and his authenticity is what speaks to fans like me. 

Staples has built himself a platform where he can freely create whatever he wants without needing to maintain a specific appearance or brand. Not only is he a rapper, but he is also a producer, voice actor and representative. All of which could be enjoyed separately without needing to understand who he is.

For some other artists, the icon of their character may serve to outshine their actual merit, music and passion.

Vince is not radiating a charisma in order to continue a character that sells merchandise or symbolizes emotion, he is just himself. He has completely shaken off the idea of a persona and is authentic to himself, not to his fans or his label. 

Nowadays it is hard to find a musical artist or celebrity that does not parade around with a certain aura. Many times when famous movie actors play in movies, it is not roles they play well, it is roles that are made for them. But Staples is able to break the mold and be whoever he wants.

This story was written by Connor Baldwin. He can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Connor Baldwin
Connor Baldwin, MUR Audio News Producer
Connor Baldwin is a junior from Penacook, New Hampshire studying digital media and the MUR audio news producer for the 2023-2024 school year. In addition to his role on radio, Connor serves as a reporter for the projects desk. In his free time, Connor enjoys hiking. This year, he is looking forward to writing meaningful stories for the Wire.

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