The rapper explains the title of his recent mixtape and details the influence of 50 Cent and "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" on his youth.
In a new interview with Complex, Long Beach native Vince Staples broke down the title of his recent release, working with No I.D., and how 50 Cent and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas affected his life and career.
Speaking on his Shyne Coldchain II release, Staples explained the title as an amalgam of two rappers’ stage names. “It was a joke,” he said. “I was like, ‘Alright, I’m about to drop a mixtape and I’m about to go to jail.’ Shyne dropped an album and went to jail and Roscoe P. Coldchain dropped an album and went to jail. That’s why we called it Shyne Coldchain. A lot of people think it’s Coltrane or gold chain or something, people can’t read man. That’s really what it comes down to.”
Asked about working with No I.D., Staples explained rapping on the producer’s beats and the lessons he’s heard from the industry veteran. “He just wanted to work from the label stuff, he works at Def Jam,” he said. “So he was a big part of that situation, he just gave me some beats to try to work on, see where I was at with it. The songs ended up being very good and very usable so we just put’em on the tape.” The Odd Future affiliate added that No I.D. taught him to stay true to himself. “That you not supposed to change nothing,” he said of the producer’s advice. “That’s where a lot of people mess up. A lot of people mess up and they change something when they feel like they gotta do this or gotta do that. you’re not supposed to change anything. As soon as you change something you mess up your growth and you’re kind of skewing your path, you’re not where you’re supposed to be because if you try to really do something with the music and have it mean something to you and the people where you come from, if that’s what it stands for, you’re not to supposed to change nothing.”
Talking about using his music as an outlet, Staples described being in the third grade when 50 Cent became popular and the influence the rapper had on him and his friends. “You can’t be happy all the time and music’s suppose to be an outlet so to say,” he said. “I try to use my music to—I don’t wanna say empower or help people, nothing like that, but it’s like, I done done a lot of stuff in my life that was unnecessary.
“When I was in the third grade, that’s when 50 Cent came out,” he said. “So, 50 Cent, [Grand Theft Auto:] San Andreas all at the same time, we was like, ‘This how it’s supposed to be.’ We really had to do all that. Really, over time, and it wasn’t even that long, we was like, ‘Okay, this is stupid. This is not worth it.’ But you can’t just be like, ‘I quit.’ So with my music I got a chance to really get away from all that even though every single person I associate myself with is still in that. Everybody can’t leave, everybody can’t go, so the music is a way to kind of help them go through what they going through and hopefully they find a way out before it’s too late, because you can help their mind be in a different place while they have to be in their living situation.”
Fielding a question about young artist he’s watching out for, Staples described wanting to see plenty of musicians thrive. “I want everybody to do well, I’m one of those people,” he said. “If you’re doing well and you’re not doing nothing to me, I want everybody to succeed ‘cause it’s wide open, it’s music, you gon’ always be able to find someone to relate to so whoever doing it, just make sure you do it the right way. You gotta really put something into the music, have a back-up plan ‘cause it don’t always work. Do it accordingly, do it the right way, and be realistic with your expectations and your goals. That’s all it is.”