There aren’t many people I’ve seen come with natural, unbiased opinions on the world around them than Vince Staples. He always makes for an interesting interview, in that he can sense that you’re trying to get a certain answer from him and flip the script so as to change the conversation into something meaningful.
His latest interview is with Complex, who featured Vince on the cover of their new digital issue.
The conversation started about his upcoming album, Big Fish Theory, and how he developed the concept for it.
The interview later discussed rap beef (“it’s corny”) after the interviewer asked, for whatever reason, who won the Remy Ma/Nicki Minaj beef, the idea that you have to “love” hip-hop, his family, artists’ relationships with fans, the idea of building “communities” and more.
Check out snippets from the interview below, and read the full thing on Complex.
On his new album, Big Fish Theory:
It encompasses things: Being larger than life in a smaller world, so to say. How rappers are perceived and perceive themselves.
On how he’d describe his sound:
I don’t know. I don’t think I listen to enough Vince Staple music to dissect it. I think we’re still going. We’re still making new things everyday, but I don’t think I necessarily have one. It’s funny, ’cause music, the creation of music—to take something that you hear in your head, and try to make it an actual thing, it never ends up how you imagined it, which could be a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s never exactly how it was.
On “corny” rap beef, the tradition of it in hip-hop and what to do if you actually want to see people battle rap:
So watch a Smack battle. They’re much better at it. King of the Dot. You have the UW League in New Jersey. So many battle leagues. Go watch some Charlie Clips. I don’t wanna see people demean one another for no reason when they can have a phone conversation. Especially when they’re actually successful musicians. There is battle rap. I am a fan of that, but as far as the spitefulness of it? ‘Cause battle rappers are actually like all friends for the most part, and they write it, have fun, and talk about it on Facebook later. It’s real fucking cute, but all that other shit they can get the fuck out of here. That shit is corny as fuck. It’s like, “I’m gonna say really hurtful things about you for the sake of hip-hop.”
On not having a judgemental personality:
I’ve never really been the type to wanna judge things. Which is funny because that’s what people ask me to do countlessly. Not in this sense, but, like in a “Vince Staples Rates the Top 10 Things He Doesn’t Give a Fuck About on Our Website.” I just feel like life is perspective-based; your perspective can change everything. If you have the wrong perspective it can fuck you.
On if he’d raise his kids the same way he was raised:
I think I was raised really well, honestly. I could never think about raising my kids how I was raised because I have more money than my parents had when they were raising me. I have more opportunity than my parents had when they were raising me, so it’ll never be the same. But as far as the lessons I was taught and the way that my family decided to keep me from certain things—I have very good parents. I mean, all of them: from my grandparents to my mother and my father. Even the parts that my sisters and brothers played in raising me up. I feel like I had very good parents. If I was able to establish the kind of relationship that I have with parents with my children, teach them the lessons that I learned without them having to struggle, I think I’d do an amazing job, ’cause they did an amazing job with nothing.
UPDATE: Watch Vince’s interview with Touré below.