See Vince Staples' Potent 'Smile' Performance With the Roots - Rolling Stone
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See Vince Staples’ Potent ‘Smile’ Performance With the Roots

Long Beach rapper showcased a ‘Prima Donna’ cut on ‘Tonight Show’

Vince Staples 'Smile' With the Roots watch perform

Vince Staples performed "Smile" on 'The Tonight Show' with help from the Roots.

Andrew Lipovsky/NBC

Vince Staples stopped by The Tonight Show on Wednesday for a potent rendition of “Smile,” from his recently released Prima Donna EP. While the stage was bathed in green, Staples sauntered out with his arms in his pockets, as the Roots conjured a fuzzy, guitar-heavy stomp.

The live version of “Smile” differed from the recorded track. “I watched them take the blackness out the pyramids,” Staples rapped during the second verse, before adding a reference to the Flint, Michigan water crisis. “What’s the point of breathing, I think I’m missing it,” he continued. “I think I wanna put this razor to my wrist again/ I wanna kill my neighbor ’cause of where he live again.”

Staples also took a moment to discuss his first concert experience: Diana Ross at the Hollywood Bowl with his mom and grandmother on Mother’s Day. “There were drunk elderly people and there were food options,” he remembered. “I’ve never been to a concert with food options and dining tray tables, which makes it the best concert I’ve ever been to in my life. And she did all the hits.” 

In This Article: The Roots, Vince Staples


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