Donald Glover helped create ‘The Vince Staples Show’
(Credits: Motown Records / ONE Media)

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Donald Glover helped create 'The Vince Staples Show'

The American rapper and singer Vince Staples seems to have fully embraced the big screen. Following his minor acting roles in Abbott Elementary and White Men Can’t Jump, he has now honed his writing and production skills while leading his new Netflix series, The Vince Staples Show.

In the first season of the show, we find Staples living his day-to-day life in Long Beach, California. Staples finds himself entangled in a whirlwind of mishaps, antics, and chaos despite his fame and wealth. The premiere episode, titled ‘Pink House’, kicks off with Staples’s unexpected arrest. During his brief stay in jail, he crosses paths with a fervent fan who happens to be a musician. Despite the fan’s enthusiasm, Staples admits that his interest in music has waned over time, revealing that acting isn’t exactly his top priority either.

“I’m just living life, you know, just kind of day-to-day life and making sure that you can live the best quality of life as possible, emotionally and mentally, because that infers the things that you create,” Staples tells Complex. “If I’m not right in my day-to-day life, I can’t give the world decent things. So I focus on that.”

It has taken the artist ten years to develop The Vince Staples Show, and he has shown touching gratitude to those involved in getting the idea to the screen, especially executive producer Kenya Barris. “He didn’t over-impose; he didn’t try to make my vision a vision that he would do, which is natural for us to do as people,” Staples says. “It takes good leadership to not interact with people in that way because it’s extremely hard to see it from their vantage point.”

With a vivid vision for his programme, Staples had a heavy hand on the rudder, choosing most of the cast members himself. The rapper is to be joined by the acting talent of Rick Ross, Vanessa Bell Calloway as Vince’s mom, Arturo Castro, and more. 

Staples cites HBO’s Barry, the Coen Brothers movies and The Simpsons as guiding influences and reveals that his pal Donald Glover proved instrumental in bringing the project to fruition. 

“I just spoke a lot to Donald [Glover] and fam in general, just about the process,” he said. “They helped me a lot. But visually, to be 100 per cent honest, my strongest influence would probably be Roy Andersson. Writing-wise, a lot of the Coen brothers’ films, especially A Serious Man, had a strong impact on the writing style and dialogue style. I wanted to make sure it was naturalistic, but you don’t want it to be too heady.”

The first season runs for just five episodes, but Staples reassures fans that there is much more in the pipeline. “I think that’s going to help us to get more,” he says. “I feel like a lot of streamers are doing shorter orders. Just to be honest, you don’t see the twenties, the fifteens, the tens anymore. It’s like really six to eight and we ended up with five. But I feel like we have the likelihood of getting a second swing at it, and we’ll be able to turn around fast.”

“So I think, especially with our tight group of writing and producing and things of that nature, that five can turn to 10 relatively quickly, as long as people press that little thumbs-up on Netflix. That little thumb matters,” Staples adds.

Watch the trailer for The Vince Staples Show below.