All things considered, Vince Staples seems pretty happy these days. Sure, he’ll occasionally hop on Twitter to debate with people about the merits of his new self-titled album, but he insists the arguments are all in good fun. Plus, there are bound to be haters when you’re good at what you do.

“You have to remember, you haven’t reached a certain level of success if you don’t have mixed reviews,” he tells Complex. Vince’s 2017 album Big Fish Theory is, by his estimation, hated by more of his fans than any other record he’s released. And yet, it’s also his most successful. Just another paradox that sits at the heart of Staples’ unrelenting rise within rap’s ever-shifting hierarchy.

Vince obviously loves rapping, but he loves doing other stuff, too. There’s his graphic novel, set to be coming in early December. He dabbled in television with his streaming series, The Vince Staples Show, and he’s showing love for the Pokémon franchise by contributing a new song, “Got Em,” for the Pokémon 25 soundtrack. Hearing Vince spit about charging up like Raichu might take you off guard at first, but he takes the same approach to everything he creates. “If you can write a song you can write a book,” he explains.

There are always rumors cooking up around the 28-year-old rapper, and though Vince Staples has only been out three months, fans are already anticipating the next one. That’s, in part, because Tyler, The Creator, Vince’s friend and future tourmate, went on Hot 97 and mentioned that Vince’s next album is going to be something massive. Of course, when we asked Vince about it, he danced around the question, explaining that Tyler was probably making connections in his own head that Vince would never make himself, but he did confirm that they’ve been working together in some capacity. He struck down the size of this news, though, tossing it off as an aside in line with his new philosophy: “I appreciate everyone’s help, no matter who they are.”

Our conversation with Vince Staples, lightly edited and condensed for clarity, is below.