Vince Staples “Are You With That?”

The term “Are you with that?” is a question that yields a peer-pressured undertone. To be with anything is a certain level of inclusion that’s involved, for better or worse. Either way, it’s to make sure that you are on the right side (which is that group of individuals looking for confirmation). The question is reassured with an affirmative response like “I’m down” to put their doubts at ease. Rapper Vince Staples is a project prophet that takes pride in composing street sermons that speak to where he comes from. Still active in the hood, his catalog is filled with songs that reflect on such realities. 

Throughout the song, Vince talks about how being a gangster is often a cool image to emulate until you are forced to deal with real-life repercussions like court hearings and jail time. He then speaks on dreams of being a successful thug with a profitable plug and a respectable track record of violence to solidify his status. While dreaming, Staples goes on to discuss how he narrowly escaped his life. He doesn’t hide from life in the slightest, so having to ride for his homies is a part of what comes with friendship. The beef comes with the territory, so he understands fully what comes with the only home he knows. The hook “Are you with that?” is ad-libbed with confirmation to his guys who are in search of getting back or making big racks on the block. Whenever Vince gets homesick, he often visits his old hood to reminisce and give hope in LA. Despite it being dangerous, he returns with his firearm off safety in the event of a drive-by or unexpected robbery.

The music video opens up with Vince running frantically down a pitch-black street. Throughout the neighborhood are replicas of himself playing the role of civilians looking in confusion in the neighborhood they all share. Once Staples made it off the block, he decides to take a breather in the middle of the street, where he is then hit by a car. Levitate to his death is him flying in the air with New Balances and money falling all over the place. Next, Vince is in a yard where a plot is laid out. The seasons change as he is going deeper and deeper into the soil. Eventually, he’s buried into the ground which is synonymous with what has happened to his homies who died for the cause.

Vince Staples’s self-titled project is a testament to his growth from Long Beach, California to the world and back again. What scene did you like most? Comment below and share how you feel.


Writing is a craft that LaMon "Noy" Byrams developed at a young age, but never used it on a professional level. After interning at DTLR/VILLA, the company decided to acquire his literary talents to write compelling articles focused on their latest shoes and sneakers.

July 8, 2021


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