Authenticity in Music and Media: Welcome to The Vince Staples Show


Vince Staples Announces New Album Dark Times, Shares Video for New Song: Watch | Pitchfork

Vince Staples has always been a unique voice in the rap game, known for his sharp wit, authenticity, and a perspective deeply rooted in his Long Beach upbringing. With the release of his fifth studio album, Dark Times, and his debut in writing, acting, and directing with The Vince Staples Show, Vince continues to break boundaries and offer genuine insights into his life and artistry.

The Unique Perspective of Vince Staples

Vince Staples is celebrated for his unfiltered approach to life and music. His philosophy is simple yet profound: “I just believe in leaning in on who you are. If I wasn’t honest, then I wouldn’t be.” This commitment to authenticity has earned him a dedicated fanbase and critical acclaim, despite his genuine disinterest towards mainstream success. Vince is the guy who says the quiet part out loud and makes music executives squirm and the fans rejoice, and he would be making art regardless of financial incentives because artistry is a part of him. When asked by Zane Lowe in a recent interview about what is more important for an artist when balancing ideation and execution in his work, he confidently responded. “The most important part is execution, but the part I care the most about is ideation.” While ideas are the fun part, he emphasizes that without execution, they remain just that—ideas.

In an industry often obsessed with commercial success, Vince offers a refreshing take: “You aren’t underperforming if you aren’t making money.” He encourages young artists to stay true to themselves and create what feels real to them. “People don’t know what the fuck they want. Listen to you,” he advises, urging artists to trust their instincts over public opinion.

“Dark Times”: An Album Born from Instinct

Dark Times, Vince’s latest album, showcases his ability to produce profound and lyrically rich music, even under seemingly benign circumstances. When asked by Zane Lowe about the inspiration for the album, Vince candidly responded, “Just to make it… we had a lot going on with the show… and I had one more on my contract with Def Jam, so let’s just get it out the way, to be completely transparent.” While this might sound dismissive, Vince added that true inspiration is never premeditated; it flows naturally. The album came together instinctively, proving that his creative process is deeply ingrained and genuine.  Vince told Zane Lowe that Dark Times is his first album that he views as a finished project. 

“Tell me, who shoot for the shooters? Who gon’ look after Medusa?”

The Vince Staples Show: A Visual Extension of His Music

Vince proved he is much more than a rapper when creating The Vince Staples Show, released in February 2024. The Show is Vince’s first major dive into the world of writing, acting, and directing. The show features themes like cops who are fans of his music yet simultaneously trying to jail him, and the challenges of being recognized in your hometown. The show also provides a vivid visualization of Long Beach, particularly his neighborhood, Ramona Park, which is frequently referenced in his music (“Ramona Park Legend pt. 1 & 2”, “Ramona Park Broke My Heart,” “Ramona Park is Yankee Stadium,” etc.). These scenes allow fans to see Vince’s lyrics and perspective manifested onto the screen, which is a rare opportunity for fans. Long Beach, known for its vibrant culture and rich musical history, has produced legendary rappers like Snoop Dogg and Warren G, and Vince Staples is a proud addition to this lineage.

The show’s opening scene sets the tone: a car door slams, gunshots ring out, and a woman walks completely unfazed toward an illuminated donut shop. This gritty, surreal introduction mirrors the authenticity and rawness that Vince brings to all his projects. Despite early skepticism from studio executives who doubted the show’s appeal, Vince’s persistence paid off. When asked which is more difficult between making an album and making a show, Vince quickly responded: “Shows. It’s more difficult, it’s more money at stake, more people getting their hands on it. It wasn’t easy but I don’t like easy things.” 

Surreal Storytelling and Honest Critique

A prime example of the show’s surreal humor is Episode Two, “Black Business,” which Vince describes as being about “paranoia and growth.” In this episode, Vince gets rejected for a loan, meets Rick Ross in a waiting room, and witnesses a bank robbery by familiar faces from his past. This episode, filled with humor and social commentary, reflects Vince’s ability to blend reality with the absurd, making poignant statements about society.

Vince’s dedication to creating content that resonates deeply with a niche audience, even if broader audiences might not immediately understand, is evident. “Making things that are in their own world are important to me,” he says. This philosophy is clear in the numerous Easter eggs throughout the show that only people from Long Beach or attentive listeners to his music would recognize.

Vince Staples’s work, from his latest album Dark Times to The Vince Staples Show, reflects his unwavering commitment to authenticity. His journey offers valuable lessons for young artists: stay true to yourself, trust your instincts, and don’t shy away from hard work. Vince Staples remains a compelling figure in both the music and entertainment worlds, continually reminding us of the bigger picture like real issues in his community, and the perils of greed. You won’t find Vince getting wrapped up in celebrity drama or meaningless content creation.

To stay up to date with Vince Staples, check out:
Instagram // Twitter // Facebook // YouTube // Spotify // Official Website

Joshua Madsen
Joshua Madsen
Joshua is a graduate of St. Lawrence University, holding a BA in Political Science and Journalism. He is currently a summer intern For Melodic Magazine, a freelance writer, and a woodworker.

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