Music/Features

Vince Staples trolls people hating on his Sprite deal

Jul 17, 2017

Vince Staples has a refreshing lemon-lime message for his haters.

With less and less money being wrung out of the music industry than ever, it’s more forgivable for an artist to jump on a giant payday from a giant multinational corp in exchange for some brand loyalty.

Fresh off releasing the excellent, electronic-infused Big Fish Theory, playing the Pitchfork Fest in Chicago, and continuing to open for Gorillaz on their HUMANZ tour, Staples is nothing if not a genuine hip-hop hero at this point, and that’s what gets ethics-in-music-capitalism types so fired up at his ongoing relationship with Sprite. Of course, it’s nothing new: Staples first inked a deal with the world’s premiere amalgamator of lemons and limes back in 2015, and has been an invaluable influencer and loyal booster for them ever since.

Some Staples-Sprite spiters have taken issue with the enhanced visibility of the relationship with the recent release of a nationwide commercial, which is notable for being so high-profile: it’s likely the only place NCIS viewers will hear the name Vince Staples for the foreseeable future, until he gets to Kanye level (which certainly isn’t out of the question).

Of course, that’s not the most insidious brand synergy the Coca-Cola Company has managed to with Vince (witness the bottle used in the “Rain Come Down” video, for example, and the ‘please grab a Sprite’ line in ‘Norf Norf’), but the ad and Staples’ continued, ironically-flippant Sprite shilling on Twitter. Some followers of Staples have come down hard on the rapper for his perceived “selling out,” but those musicians vilified for getting money since long before Vince have known the correct tack to take: lean into it, and that’s why we get Staples tweets like the following:

If anyone can keep it real (whatever that still means in the cyberpunk personal-branding whirlwind of 2017) while cashing Coke money, it’s Vince Staples:

Think the average rapper at Vince’s level would readily admit they have ‘nowhere near’ millions? Now that’s refreshing.

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