Vince Staples Has A Theory About Why Some New Artists’ Festival Performances Have Been So Bad Lately

todayAugust 28, 2023

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Vince Staples has a theory about why some new artists’ festival performances have been so bad lately. The internet has made it easier than ever to find and build an audience for young rappers just starting out, and the boom in new festivals has given them both a platform to perform and an avenue to filling their bank accounts. However, fans have noted that many of these performances have been weaker than those of prior generations, citing poor stage presence and breath control and artists performing over their vocal tracks as pain points.

Appearing on The Joe Budden Podcast, Long Beach rapper Vince Staples — himself a decade-long performing veteran who has played such festivals as Camp Flog Gnaw, Coachella, Primavera Sound, and Summer Smash — offered his thoughts on this phenomenon. Asked whether the festival bubble has put a ceiling on artists’ potential, Vince said:

“It depends on how you perform,” he asserted, after naming a few artists in the rock, indie, and pop spaces who’ve had long, successful careers performing at festivals. “If your show is catered to a larger audience, it can work out.” He elaborated, “You can get on the festival stage and embarrass yourself. And if that happen, then it’s quiet… Are you making a show to entertain people or are you making a show to boost your ego?” He provides some examples while allowing that the key to a successful festival show is engaging the casual, curious passersby.

“You have to create a show that’s for people that are passing by,” he said. “I learned a lot about that from Chance. We were on the Mac Miller tour a long time ago. The way he incorporated dancing, Lauryn Hill, and intertwining things that didn’t have much to do with him but the fans understood it and he made sure he was entertaining, by the time he got to the bigger stages he was a proven performer.”

Vince gave one last piece of insight into what makes for a good festival show: “Learning how to tour, you have to have bodies of work,” he insisted. “You don’t even have a full set with these 2 min singles…we need more full length projects.”

You can watch the full episode above.

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