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Vince Staples Thinks the ’90s Are Overrated

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images
Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images

Time caught up with Long Beach rapper Vince Staples recently to talk musical tastes and influences. In a video interview, Staples dismisses the notion that the ’90s had the greatest music, noting that he’s never listened to an album by *NSYNC, the Backstreet Boys or the Spice Girls.

“The ’90s get a lot of credit, I don’t really know why,” Staples said. “Biggie and 2 Pac, those are the staples of the ’90s, I think that’s why they get the golden era credit.”

Vince then went on to champion early 2000s-era rap, citing the emergence of 50 Cent and Kanye West as well as the ascension of Jay Z and an unlikely first rap memory.

“The first song I remember listening to is Lil Bow Wow’s ‘Bounce with Me.’ Lil Bow Wow is one of my favorite rappers ever, you can never take that from me.”

Perhaps a mission statement of sorts, Vince also celebrated artists like the Rolling Stones who could never be replaced and thus remain relevant today.

“When there’s a replacement for something, it will always go away.” Staples noted. “In hop hop we have a habit of copying each other, we pretend to be something that were not. I’m lucky enough to be from a place that’s diverse enough that everybody mixed up in the pot.”

Staples ended the video interview meditating on the concept of authenticity and realness.

“What’s real?” he asked. “Real meaning urban and aggressive, is that what we mean by real? Your life is your life, no matter what that is I think that should be what your music is about, your outlook on life.”

The full interview can be streamed here.

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