“No matter what color the child that's dropping out is, no matter what the background of the child is, it hurts everybody,” said Staples, 22.
School suspensions play a large factor in dropouts, and increase chances of run-ins with cops, Staples added, noting a personal experience. “The first time I’d ever been in handcuffs in my whole life was on a school campus,” he said pointing out that “dealing with the child’s problem” doesn’t mean sending them back home. “Because the problem derives at home."
The Long Beach, Calif.-bred rapper explained his own decision to drop out of high school. “I always wanted to go to high school then go to college to experience sports and the environment but it became harder and harder," he said, reiterating that school suspensions, which occur as early as kindergarten, “make it more likely for kids to drop out at a young age and have run-ins with with police. “
If suspension rates are lower, “the overall performance in the school rises for everybody,” said Staples.
Further, Staples speaks on rap music’s glorification of drug culture, and clarifies a previous quote about spending no more than two years in music. “[Rap] is a means to just go and do bigger and better things,” he said. “I don’t see myself 45 and still trying to record for the kids. I see myself using my influence, my voice that I raised throughout this hard work, and using it to help other people.”
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