Vince Staples is known for going against the grain of public perception. However in a recent interview with GQ, Staples explained how his decision to embrace the title of the "sober rapper" was not a conscious effort.
"It's not something that I honestly ever think about," said the 25-year-old who has never done drugs or been drunk. "I just never wanted to. I'm not the kind of person that will do something that I don't want to do."
Although this answer mirrors the blunt, matter-of-fact attitude fans have come to expect from Staples, he did acknowledge that being sober with his background and career path is a hard concept for many to grasp.
"They don't expect this from a young black musician my age from where I come from," the Los Angeles native said. "Like, how could you end up being in the ghetto, went through this, went through that, and not experienced drugs, not experienced alcohol?”
Yet, the FM! artist had an answer for this misrepresentation and confusion. "Where I come from, life comes day after day after day, and people use these things to cope. People use drugs as a coping mechanism, and I've always held that reality. Reality hurts, but so does addiction—it's just which pain you choose. That's the reality of my situation."
He also went on to explain that the decision to own the struggles of reality could be the result of several things, but ultimately is sourced in survival and self-sufficiency. "That was really where my focus was. When you have to think about your next 15 minutes—you have to think about the walk to the store, you have to think about how you're getting to school, you have to think about the bus ride home, you have to think about how you're going to sneak a gun into the football game—the last thing I was thinking about was getting high."