Long Beach hasn't birthed a rap superstar since Snoop Dogg came out in 1992. While Snoop has held it down for over two decades, he's now making reggae albums as Snoop Lion. Nate Dogg sadly passed away (RIP), Warren G and Daz have faded into irrelevance, and Knock-turn'al and Crooked I have held the city down in underground circles. Contrast this with Compton, where artists like The Game have been repping the city for years and now Kendrick Lamar is holding it down.
However, there are some new artists from Long Beach on the rise. At the front of the pack is Vince Staples. In 2011, Staples released first mixtape, Shyne Coldchain Vol. 1, and the following year, he released a collaborative mixtape with Michael Uzowuru titled Winter In Prague. This past year, Staples collaborated with Mac Miller (under the moniker Larry Fisherman) on Stolen Youth. This was followed up by three appearances on Earl's highly anticipated Doris album, including a standout verse on "Hive."
Staples has put all of his talent on the table, and signed a deal with Def Jam Records. His guest appearances and collaborative projects show Staples isn't just rapping about having sex, getting high, or drinking. His music is borderline depressing. He focuses his rhymes on the realities of growing up and surviving in Long Beach. TDE's Ab-Soul summed Vince's rhymes up best on the song "Killin Y'all," rapping, "Vince knows what I know now when I'm 26."
His wisdom and humility that stood out when Complex spoke with Staples about gang banging, his upcoming project, Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2, and his relationship with Mac Miller. Find out Who Is Vince Staples?
As told to Dharmic X (@dharmicX)