• Exclusive Interview

    Vince Staples On His Friendship With Earl Sweatshirt & Imbalance in Hip Hop

    The up-and-coming rapper also discusses his 'Hell Can Wait' EP and the current state of the genre

    Vince Staples might not be a household name just yet, but he's certainly on the rise. The Odd Future-friendly California rapper recently released his first official EP and things are looking up. 

    "What can you expect from the album? Hell Can Wait is an EP, it’s not an album," he revealed to Fuse. "Everybody knows it leads up to the album. You have to make a prelude. It’s a real descriptive storyline. You have to pay attention, but it’s upbeat and fun. You’re not at school. You’re not in class. It’s not a lecture. I’m trying to get as creative with it as possible. It’s the first time I’ve really had the access to really be able to build my vision and make music that I want to make. Just expect something new. None of my projects sound alike."

    Don't believe us? Just take Earl Sweatshirt's word for it. 

    "I met Earl Sweatshirt in 2010," he said. "Our friendship grew from him getting in trouble, on the path to getting in trouble, being smart because I was never dumb. I saw him making the same mistakes I did. He was smart, he was gifted in certain things but he had always wanted to be a rapper. He would say ‘Oh, I’ve got to be at the studio, blah, blah—’ and I told him, ‘There’s no reason for you to not be able to be a rapper or go to school. Do you just want to be a rapper or do you want to be someone that can make an impact?’ He sees that now. I feel that our friendship has grown over the years just based on him growing as an artist and person. I appreciate him calling me the best rapper but I honestly feel like no one is the best rapper because it’s all your story. Everyone is important in the grand scheme of things. If there was the best rapper there would be one rapper."

    He's got a point! Staples goes on to discuss the current state of hip hop and its place in the industry. 

    "As far as hip hop being considered a petting zoo and things like that, I think that’s a personal thing," he said. "It has nothing to do record labels. It has nothing to do with album sales. It has nothing to do with what’s 'in.' Over time, the quality of people increases due to things like the internet we’re allowed to be social. There’s no responsibility. Reality has been split into two things: You have online and you have real life. Rappers don’t really understand that it’s a kid listening to your music. You’re going to shape the way they look at life. I don’t have the most positive music in the world, but I will tell you that somebody’s going to die, somebody’s going to go to jail and it’s going to get worse before it gets better. You’ve only got a good three, four years of this game unless you’re just full-blown. The only reason you’ll end up doing it longer is if you go to prison." Real talk!

    Watch the exclusive interview above.