Just what is it that makes the gangster such an fascinating, mythic figure in American culture? The opinions of conservative pundits notwithstanding, rappers didn’t invent the romanticization of organized crime, but they’re uniquely well-situated to comment on the phenomenon – which is why artist Alex Haldi decided to pair his upcoming art installation on the subject with a soundtrack mixtape. Coming on the heels of J. Cole‘s Killers, STS’ The Play finds the Philly representative tackling the socioeconomic conditions that forge hood youths into criminals through the metaphor of a stage performance. Boston producer Rain mans the boards, flipping classic-rock group Traffic’s Sometimes I Feel So Uninspired into a moody chopped sample groove as the freestyle series alum elucidates how the “backdrop” against which an individual is born can set the script for one’s future. The moral of the story? Whatever role you find yourself cast in, play it to its fullest; after all, “You don’t grind, you don’t shine.” The Glorification of Gangster soundtrack, is set to drop prior to Alex Haldi’s May 12 exhibition. For more from STS, check out Demand More: Gold Edition out now online.