Vince Staples on Why He's Lost Money on Most of His Tours: "My Shit Be Crazy"

“You should see how much I put into the show.”
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Vince Staples, 2018

Every Vince Staples interview is a pleasure to experience, often playing out more like satirical sketches of what interviews might look like in a parallel dimension. All the while, Staples still delivers insights into his creative process and the costs of being a forward-thinking entertainer. 

During his recent sitdown interview with Joe Budden for episode six of Pull Up, Staples explained why, more often than not, he has lost money going on tour.

“I gotta play either the radio game or the 'yes, master' game to get higher slots or bigger budgets,” he told Budden. “You should see how much I put into the show. I've probably done more tours in the red than I’ve done tours in the green ‘cause I want the screens that flip around and I want all the sound, man, and shit like that. My shit be crazy.”

Aside from the fact that Vince Staples most assuredly means "in the black" rather than "in the green," having seen the artist live in concert, twice, I can confirm that his shit is definitely crazy. His lighting is immaculate and adds a fourth dimension to the music. Fans are bathed in gold during “Señorita” and a smoky gray befalls the room during “Summertime.” On his recent tour with Tyler, The Creator, Staples projected an avant-garde film starring frequent collaborator Kilo Kish between songs.

Of course, these are big budget effects, but Vince Staples signed his deal with Def Jam fully aware that in order to maintain this level of creative control, he would have to personally incur higher costs.

Regardless of budget, as the old business adage goes, you must spend money in order to make money. By putting on such high-caliber shows, Staples ensures fans will come back for subsequent tours and festival bookings, purchase merch, and follow his career for the long-term. Orchestrating incredible concerts to develop lifelong fans will grant Vince Staples success in hip-hop far longer than a few radio hits.

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