Nearly 300 people gathered at the Echoplex night club on Jan. 16 in Los Angeles to await a performance from Long Beach MC Vince Staples. The event featured a Converse photo booth, two bars and a clothing station where Vince Staples posters and t-shirts were being sold, with the nightclub dimmed and a house DJ getting young hyped fans ready to dance and turn up.

San Jose rapper Antwon opened up the show after being hand selected by Staples himself. His sound sat well with the crowd as it resembled the 1990's vibe of The Notorious B.I.G. He was one of the performers for the Converse Rubber Tracks Live event recently, where he caught the attention of Staples.

"I think he [Staples] selected me because I make cool music," said 'Twon. "I'm excited about life."

Staples, only 21 years old, explained that he's happy to have Antwon open up the show but doesn't feel like he necessarily provided the opportunity for the rapper. "He's providing opportunities for himself," Staples said. "He's working hard and hard work pays off especially when you're working hard over time."

Shortly after 'Twon finished his set, Staples hit the stage wearing all black. The audience pulled out their phones and started screaming. Hits like "Nate" and "Fire" had the crowd go crazy as people kept pushing each other to be as close as possible to the stage. His performances of "Hands Up" seemed to be a crowd favorite along with "Blue Suede" as members from Staples' crew jumped off the stage and into the crowd. But though the show was great, Staples was focused on his upcoming debut album when XXL caught up with him before the show.

"It's a step up from the last project," the young MC said. "I'm trying to do something different so we're in the studio just working hard on it... [There's no date] but 2015 is the official year and we have good people behind the project. That's all we know so far but we're not gonna rush it. Just gonna take our time and give the people good quality music."

Staples' latest EP "Hell Can Wait" is available for purchase now on iTunes. —Kiki Ayers