Vince Staples Questions Why GQ Didn't Speak with Other Sober Rap Artists

"They could have talked to J. Cole about not smoking, they could have talked to Kendrick about it."
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Vince Staples is sober, but he's not the only sober rapper. In a new interview with Billboard, Vince expressed concern over his GQ sobriety piece not including additional sober rappers.

"One thing with that piece is I’m one of the only urban people on it, and there’s way more urban people that don’t subscribe to those things," Vince said. "They could have talked to J. Cole about not smoking, they could have talked to Kendrick about it. It was a lot of people to talk to. My whole thing with that is, if we’re going to have that conversation, let’s have a real one and not make it seem like it’s so out of the norm for someone to not do those things. Life is life. I’m blessed to not need that stuff."

From Vince's perspective, his worries make sense. By singling him out in the piece, GQ does portray sober hip-hop artists as an anomaly, which only serves to further the stigma surrounding sobriety. Having a real conversation is a wonderful thing, and Vince's segment could have been expanded to normalize the idea that these rap artists really are sober, and that drug use is not prevalent across the entire hip-hop landscape.

Yet, on the publisher side, there is also the question of availability and intent. Vince Staples might very well have been the only artist available for the interview at the time, and he is known to be a fantastic interview. The piece also seemed to want to portray artists from every genre, but in doing so, painted hip-hop artists in broad strokes.

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