In a recent interview with GQ, rapper Vince Staples reflects on one of the aspects that sets him apart from many other artists in the rap community: his sobriety.

As part of his dialogue, Staples got candid saying that his decision was a result of what he was exposed to as a childhood vs a conscious effort to stay substance-free. “The drug usage was the last thing on my mind. When you’re surrounded with death and dismay and poverty and all these things that happen every day, I didn’t have time to worry about using or partaking in certain things,” the FM! artist said. 

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Though the 25-year-old witnessed his father’s struggle with substance abuse, Staples doesn’t believe that’s what ultimately led him to living a sober life. “I never had time to think about whether my father’s addiction issues led to me not doing drugs, because I was too busy trying to cope with the reality of people dying and people trying to kill me every day,” Vince said. “That was really where my focus was.”

Because he always had to think about his next moves to survive, the Compton native couldn’t risk mental acuity and therefore the last thing on his mind was getting high. Being the “Sober Rapper” may be the key to Vince Staples’ success and possible longevity in music. Only time will tell.

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