Terrell Hines And Vince Staples, 'Get Up': Protest Music In 2020 : We Insist: A Timeline Of Protest Music In 2020 This song, part of our 'We Insist' timeline of 2020's noteworthy protest music, was released July 6.
NPR logo Terrell Hines And Vince Staples Urge Us To 'Get Up' And Question Authority

Terrell Hines And Vince Staples Urge Us To 'Get Up' And Question Authority


LA-based songwriter Terrell Hines originally released "Get Up" last October as part of his three-song St. Mark Rd. EP. In July, he remixed it with a new verse from Vince Staples, reshaping it into a Black Lives Matter protest anthem. Originally, Hines's lyrics were more general expressions of frustration with modern capitalism. But in the context of this summer's movement, lyrics like "I've been waiting my whole life," along with the driving percussion and the increasing desperation in Hines's voice, begin to take the shape of shouts for justice in a protest moving down a city block.

A lot of the work to recontextualize the song for this moment comes with the addition of Staples's verse, which meanders its way to a truly great finish: "You know Black folks killed when police please / Just seen one on the TV," Staples raps, and he takes a beat before adding a puncturing final thought: "Makes about three this week." It's Staples simulating the deflating moment of seeing yet another parallel injustice unfold in the news, which is precisely the moment that Black Lives Matter protests hope to end.