While many people mocked the Christian mom (including us, because wow) who made the now viral video of herself crying while reading the lyrics to "Norf Norf," Vince Staples, the man whose song it is, responded wisely and empathetically. Way to make the rest of us look like cold-hearted jerks, guy.
Staples spoke to the Independent, who quoted him as saying the following (although, as you'll see, he disputes this version of his quote):
I don’t really have much to say about the video—I don’t think it’s funny at all. It’s not right to attack someone over their stance, their opinions, and their religion. I think that’s very immature. . . It’s just not right that’s she’s being attacked. It’s not okay. . . We already have a lot of issues between black and white relations in this country based on misunderstandings. In my eyes, she doesn’t look like a racist. She doesn’t look like a mean person. But it’s not very responsible for people to try to take that and jump, looking for some sort of commentary on these issues [in the community].
The song is about the north side of Long Beach, CA, where Staples is from and where kids sometimes get involved with gangs for lack of other options growing up.
This is a sample of the lyrics to the song (the rest can be read here).
I ain't never ran from nothin' but the police
From the city where the skinny carry strong heat
Norfside, Long Beach, Norfside, Long Beach
Hit the corner, make a dollar flip
And split the dollars wit' my mama children
Folks need Porsches, hoes need abortions
I just need y'all out of my businessStaples has helped with the effort to remedy the situation he describes in his song by donating money to a program that offers Long Beach kids summer activities as well as employment opportunities.
Still, Staples doesn't blame the mom from the video for taking offense at his lyrics. Since he called out the Independent's reporter for misquoting him, here's his stance on via his own Twitter timeline:
Thank you to Justin Carissimo for the misquote. Great Job.— Vince Staples (@vincestaples) October 6, 2016
What I was saying was that the woman in that video is clearly confused on the context of the song which causes her to be frightened.— Vince Staples (@vincestaples) October 6, 2016
She also, in my opinion, seems to be emotionally unstable. With both those things being said, she has a right to her opinion.— Vince Staples (@vincestaples) October 6, 2016
No person needs to be attacked for their opinion on what they see to be appropriate for their children. They have a right to it.— Vince Staples (@vincestaples) October 6, 2016
This misunderstanding of our community leads to miscommunication which we should convert into a progressive dialogue.— Vince Staples (@vincestaples) October 6, 2016
Thats all I have to say about that. Stop asking me.— Vince Staples (@vincestaples) October 6, 2016