The first movies that inspired Vince Staples
(Credit: Motown Records)


The first movies that inspired Vince Staples

Vince Staples is one of hip hop’s most versatile young artists. Slowly but surely rising to prominence over the last decade, he has successfully carved out his own lane in the genre with a unique sound that can’t be labelled.

Akin to other Los Angeles acts such as Tyler The Creator and Kendrick Lamar, Staples has always been unscathed by trends, showing unparalleled authenticity and artistic integrity with his music.

However, the emcee is not strictly involved in music. The 30-year-old also dabbles in filmmaking, and his most recent endeavour has been the creation of an autobiographical, genre-bending, dark comedy series for Netflix. That said, during an interview with the Associated Press, the South California lyricist spoke about the various elements that steered the series’ direction.

While speaking to the publication, the Big Fish Theory creator was questioned about the Christian symbolism that appears throughout the series. His hometown of Long Beach is home to several black Baptist churches, and the lyricist explained how this influenced the series.

Speaking to the journalist, Staples detailed, “I feel like religion directly affects perception, and it directly affects what we deem to be real or not. So, I think when you add signs of religion within specific framing — like the way that you frame things in contrast with iconography helps you see it without saying it.”

He continued, “We were playing with the idea of reality and something being perceived or something being felt and not seen. When you’re doing that, I think that the easiest anchor that you can use, especially like in something contemporary in American — and specifically Black American — contexts, is religion because it’s something that everyone understands.”

The artist was then asked about the surrealism of the series and what movies inspired him growing up that he drew influence from. Responding to this, the emcee unveiled, “My first couple, I guess, introductions to cinema, as we see it, would probably be The Twilight Zone, The Wizard of Oz, those kinds of things, watching them with my grandparents. And I’ve always liked the idea of the unknown or just a perceived reality down to something as simple as Toy Story or A Bug’s Life, dealing with perception, especially as a child.

He concluded, “As you get older, you learn about David Lynch, you learn about the Coen brothers, you learn about Roy Anderson. You watch Donnie Darko and you’re like, okay, ‘What’s happening? What’s not happening?'”