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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Six Things We Learned About Long Beach Rapper Vince Staples

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 11:56 AM

click to enlarge Vince Staples - ERIC WHITE
  • Eric White
  • Vince Staples

Fresh after playing a private, corporate show in Keystone, Colorado for the clothing brand Zumiez, Long Beach rapper Vince Staples hopped on the phone with SF Weekly to answer a few questions. The 22-year-old dropped his critically-acclaimed debut album, Summertime '06, in the summer of 2015, and we chatted with him about the fame he's received since its release, as well as his music-making process in general. 

On why he named his debut album after the summer of 2006:
It was just a really important time. There was a shifting in culture. Anyone who knows my specific area (Los Angeles, in general) can kind of speak to it. Things started to change culturally. And when you do your first album, it’s kind of a turning point in your life and you're thinking about how you can relate that to your life and music. I wanted to focus on one thing and I felt like that would be the best thing to focus on. 

On the fame he’s experienced as a result of dropping Summertime ’06:
It’s not really blowing my mind, but just causing me to appreciate it more. I never wanted to be a rapper. I’m just really glad to be in the position that I’m in and be able to do what I can and live a better quality of life.
On gang banging:
I’m black and I’m from Long Beach and it’s a very gang associated area. So where I come from, everybody does that. It’s not necessarily a big thing or a big deal. It’s not a stereotype, it’s a culture. Being a gang member doesn’t mean you're a criminal.

On being associated with A$ton Matthews and Joey Fatts:
I don’t really have a crew. That’s just the shit that everybody tries to push. I don’t see myself as a part of any hip-hop collective or thing like that. Anyone who I associate with it's because they’re my friend. But as far as labeling goes, I’m Vince Staples, his name is A$ton Matthews and his name is Joey Fatts. I try not to get into those situations because when you do things like that, it’s usually one dude and his friends. I don’t want them to be my friends in their careers. I want them to be their own people.

On why he doesn’t really do features in his music:
I feel like when they’re necessary, I’ll do them. But a lot of times people use features to use somebody else's name and I’m not very interested in that. So I just tend to not do it.

On how he makes music:
I don’t really have a process. I just make a song. I spend a very small amount of my time making music. I don’t like to go to the studio or shit like that either.

Vince Staples plays two shows for Noise Pop this weekend:
8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 26, at Social Hall. $20; socialhallsf.com
9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27. Sold out; theindependentsf.com

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Jessie Schiewe

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