'The Vince Staples Show' Reflects Vince's Nonchalant Chaos

'The Vince Staples Show' Reflects Vince's Nonchalant Chaos

By Ivan GuzmanFeb 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