Vince Staples Told Us Why He Isn’t Sweating Those ‘Atlanta’ Comparisons For ‘The Vince Staples Show’

The Vince Staples Show is the latest in a continuum of rap-centric comedies going back to the Fresh Prince Of Bel Air. While fans have already made comparisons to two of hip-hop’s most recent dark comedies, Atlanta and Dave, based on TVSSloopy trailer, a preview of all five episodes establishes it as its own, unique thing.

Vince Staples himself also did as much during a recent press junket to talk about the five-episode effort and how The Vince Staples Show both builds on the foundation laid by its predecessors and strives to subvert the expectations they may have built in viewers’ minds. Longtime Uproxx readers may remember that one of Vince’s first forays into the comedic format for the screen was our Snapchat show F*#! That. Those fans will be happy to know that all of his sharp sensibilities remain intact in The Vince Staples Show. Meanwhile, despite only having a few minutes with the Long Beach-bred superstar, he was able to go in-depth with Uproxx about the inspirations behind the show, what he hopes viewers take away from the experience, and why his hometown will always be a co-star in his work.

So when I’m watching the show, of course I’m from Long Beach/Compton, so I’m pointing at the screen like Leo DiCaprio the whole time. What does it mean to you to be able to put Long Beach on a screen like this, and what do you hope people take away from The Vince Staples Show about Vince Staples and Long Beach?

I think it’s very important to show the city in a unique light. I feel like a lot of the times people just think it’s just grimy and desolate all the time.

And growing up, I felt like it was a beautiful place and I just wanted to paint the suburban aspects of the city. Even though it does have its pitfalls and its issues, the scenery is very unique. And I feel like the takeaway for me is just… It’s all up to interpretation.

A lot of things in the show that we sprinkled throughout, I just hope people pay close attention to things that are going on and pick up on some of the Easter eggs and some of the B-stories.

[The show is] painting a new perspective of how people see things and just trying to show them what it actually looks like versus what it might seem like from their vantage point.

Originally, The Vince Staples Show was a YouTube thing, and then you got the opportunity to take it to Netflix. Why did you want to do it as a miniseries as opposed to a more traditional format?

That’s just the opportunity that we got, so we just try to make the best out of the opportunity. Hopefully, it performs well and we are able to keep it going. That’s kind of how we got situated over here with Netflix, and I think it came out good. I feel like no matter how it ends up, we gave a round story and gave it some closure, some context. So I think we’ll be good either way.

There are comparisons to Atlanta on Twitter after the trailer dropped. What are some of the advantages and drawbacks of having something that helps people contextualize what you are doing with your show?

I feel like when you alleviate ego, it is really no drawback. I think that’s an extremely successful show. It changed a lot. It’s had a lot of impact on film and television, just culture in general. So for people to even compare to something that is that coveted and I’m just grateful for it. So it’s a really, really great starting point.

Now I have a plot question, regarding the character “White Boy” from Episode 5. To quote Thugnificent, what did you do to make him that mad?

It’s really just more so commentary on the cycle of growth and what it’s like to grow up in this environment. So if you kind of think about that, then it opens up a lot of questions. You never really know the reason, and I think that was important to frame it in that way. I think that’s why it was important to showcase that Vince did not remember, or know who this person was and nobody else did. And there’s a lot of that in the show if you kind of get into the weeds of it. It was a commentary on how we all are the same, and still don’t like each other.

What’s something that you always wanted to talk about in one of these interviews that you never got a chance to? If you were to write the question for you, what would you want to ask?

I would honestly draw a blank, bro. I’m not really, the question kind of guy, but I appreciate just people’s interests and people’s perspective. That’s why you make these things: to have a commentary, a back-and-forth, [because] someone else’s perspective might not necessarily be mine.

So, every time somebody asks a question, it opens up the way that I view the project or the way that I view the things that I create as well. But if it was up to me, man, I could never do that.

Did you ever get around to listening to Nas?

Yeah man, I know Nas. Nas cool, man. You mean “I Gave You Power” specifically? Or just Nas in general?

Everybody was on your head about not listening to those albums.

Hey look, man, that was before my time. But we did go back and listened to a couple of them.

That’s good. Hey man, thank you so much. We miss you around the Uproxx office too!

I love and appreciate you as well.

The Vince Staples Show streams on Netflix 2/15.