‘The Vince Staples Show’ Reflects Vince’s Nonchalant Chaos

2 views 2:55 pm 0 Comments February 16, 2024

At this point, Vince Staples is just completing side quests. Since cementing his place in the music industry over a decade ago, the 30-year-old has proven himself as a Renaissance man, having conquered the worlds of television, fashion and even comics with a signature nonchalant swag.

His newest venture, The Vince Staples Show, streaming now on Netflix, is another feat he can add to his impressive repertoire. The series, which was green-lit a few years ago but put on pause due to the pandemic, features Vince in many roles: protagonist, antagonist, narrator, hero.

“We had a lot of meetings and one of our producers was like, ‘I just want people to like Vince,’ and I was like, why?” he tells PAPER. “We don’t know how people are gonna view us, we’re just living, and then we deal with it after the fact. So I wanted to leave space for Vince to be either the hero or the villain, depending on how you view things.”

The show itself is a hybrid, like a live-action version of a throwback cartoon or old-school sitcom — think TV Land and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air vibes. Staples says it was inspired by weekends consuming media with his grandparents as a kid, glued to the TV watching shows like M*A*S*H, I Love Lucy, The Simpsons, and Reno 911. “I think everything you digest as a kid helps dictate how you view things later on in life,” he says.

His range of influences is felt in the show, manifesting in a self-aware script that sees Staples being thrust into an array of wacky situations and having to wiggle his way out of them. He gets pulled over for making a U-turn on the street in his hometown of Long Beach, California. He gets thrown in jail and served a sandwich topped with a Draw Two Uno card. At times hallucinatory and satirical, it’s an interesting reflection of the rapper’s inner workings and a commentary on modern-day fame itself.

“You could run down the street with a megaphone and ask people who Vince Staples is, and they wouldn’t know,” he says. A humble comment — but at the rate the artist is putting out compelling work like this, one that will surely prove false sooner rather than later.

Photography: Erik Carter

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