Vince Staples: "It's funny, there was this kid named Lavi$h who goes by Dijon Samo now, and he used to live around the corner from me. When I came back from Atlanta, I wasn't trying to get in trouble and so I was just kicking it with him and his friends because they didn't get in trouble. He asked if I wanted to spit. I had gotten on songs previously but it was just some hanging out with friends being goofy shit. They'd go to Syd's house to record, and me and Syd clicked automatically. He stopped coming around and then me and Syd started getting real close.
I didn't really have any music out like that so Mike G and Matt Martians were telling me, 'You don't have anything else to do. You're out here all the time and you're not going to school so just make some music.' So I started making music.
"Me and John weren't cool for a minute, so I was basically at Syd's house everyday. Then me and Earl got cool, and I did that verse on Earl's project ["epaR"]. When Earl went away, people started looking for Earl's music, and I'm one of the only features on his tape so of course people came looking for me. But I didn't really have any music out like that. So Mike G and Matt Martians were telling me, 'You don't have anything else to do. You're out here all the time and you're not going to school so just make some music.' So I started making music.
"I never started out with just five people downloading my song, I didn't really have to go through that. I was just trying to figure out what people wanted me to do and what songs people wanted me to make. I wasn't really fucking with it like that though because I was still living through all the bullshit.
"My DJ, West Side Ty, hit me up. I met him through Syd too because he was DJing for Speak at the time. He told me, 'You shouldn't waste this opportunity.' I made my first mixtape in the next couple weeks and it got a really good reception, more than I thought it was going to get. So I thought, I might as well stick with it."