In a new story for the May issue of GQ, Vince Staples sits down with late-night talk show host Desus Nice to talk about a myriad of topics, including: becoming the person he’s supposed to be, what contributes to impactful leadership in black communities, and his approach to music ahead of his upcoming self-titled LP, Vince Staples.
The stars first met one another a few years ago on Nice’s show, Desus & Mero, after which the two ended up having several long, meandering conversations that centered around the differences between the inner cities of Los Angeles and New York City. Desus describes speaking with Vince like “talking to a knucklehead nephew and an older, wiser, all-knowing uncle at the same time.”
“When I was younger, I used to like that people didn’t like me,” says Staples. “That was the identity of my neighborhood. Maturity changes that. At first I thought I was just picking myself up along with where I come from. But you can do that without putting others down. That’s something I didn’t know when I was younger.”
After growing up as a member of the Crips as a teenager, the Long Beach native also reflects on how he’s been able to live a life outside of that environment while still managing to help people from his community, trying to right some of his previous wrongs.
“Of course, some things aren’t forgiven, but I’m just trying to make sure that I’m becoming the person that I’m supposed to be,” he explains. “In a perfect world, more than anything musically or more than anything creatively, my goal in life is to be able to live in Long Beach peacefully. And for everybody else to be able to live in Long Beach peacefully. That means a lot to me.”