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Interview: Vince Staples

“Life has a soundtrack. And certain music is a soundtrack to a certain type of identity or feeling. 50 Cent, the Game, and those kinds of guys—they made us feel like our lives were worth nothing, basically.”

Young Thug Is an ATLien

“Thug is alone even in a room full of people. He is unapproachable. He radiates volatility. I can't even imagine him making actual, on-purpose eye contact with another human. Looking into a person's eyes—seeking some kind of a connection—is an admission of neediness, and Young Thug would rather be shot dead in the street than need a thing from another human being.”

He's the Best

“On paper, [DJ Khaled] doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. He’s released eight full-length albums but doesn’t actually rap on any of them. He’s perhaps the most quoted figure in hip-hop, able to create viral catch phrases with an ease that marketing executives dream about. He’s played a serious role in the hip-hop industry throughout his career, yet he’s perceived almost exclusively as a meme by fans across the nation.”

The New Negro

“Missy (Misdemeanor) Elliott, the twenty-five-year-old hip-hop performer who is energetically redefining the boundaries of rap music, is a singer, a songwriter, an arranger, a producer, and a talent scout. Six months ago, few people outside the music industry had heard of her; six months from now, it will be necessary to pretend that you’ve known about Missy Elliott for years.”

Kanye West: A Brand-New Ye

“Like they said in Step Brothers: Never lose your dinosaur. This is the ultimate example of a person never losing his dinosaur. Meaning that even as I grew in cultural awareness and respect and was put higher in the class system in some way for being this musician, I never lost my dinosaur.”