In the typical tortoise meets hare scenario, it’s always fare to beware of the unassuming. In this case, the Rap game – one that’s so consumed by appearance and social status – is the hare. Meanwhile, the proverbial tortoise is rapper Vince Staples.
Cultural old heads often complain about the state of the culture, and while we won’t follow suit, we do agree that conditions are very different these days. But every so often, there’s a newcomer who channels the spirit of the golden era without mirroring the sound. However, this is where the “unassuming” description takes precedent. Calm, but stern, the baby faced wordsmith doesn’t have a so-called rapper’s persona, nor does he care to. He also doesn’t look like he’s engaged in any street activity, but you’re free to employ some due diligence in the Long Beach, Calif. native’s hood to double check that assumption.
The MC prides himself on authentic presentations during an era when listeners are fine with knowing that their favorite rappers kick folklore. In that lies the x-factor in Staples’ overall appeal, and that’s without mentioning that the 20-year old can rap his a** off.
Who: Born Vince Staples (yes, that’s his real name), the West Coast spitter calls Long Beach home. It’s the city that bred him both in the streets and as a MC.
Credentials: A new mixtape each year since 2011 has been Staple’s gift to the fans. But after a solid 2013 that included the Stolen Youth mixtape, which Mac Miller produced under the guise of Larry Fisherman, and some stellar guest appearances on Earl Sweatshirt’s Doris LP, he quietly signed to Def Jam Records. His Shyne Coldchain Vol. 2 mixtape arrived in March.
Fun Fact: Staples once admitted that he didn’t want his now good friends, Odd Future, to know about his street ties.