The rapper claims he was never a state of mind that would have made him succumb to temptation or peer pressure.
Several artists recently opened up to GQ about their sober living. Among the bunch of creatives was the lifelong sober rapper Vince Staples. During his interview, the FM! artist revealed how he has navigated the trials of his life without ever touching a drop of alcohol or experimenting with drugs.
“I am very sure that I'm gonna think different answers than Steven Tyler or anyone involved in this piece. I've lived a completely different life. What I'm saying is: The drug usage was the last thing on my mind," the LA native said. "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. People where I come from don't use drugs in a recreational sense. We're not at a party, or at the rock show, or at the rap show, doing lines in the bathroom." From his perspective, their drug use is a coping mechanism leveraged to deal with the hood's daily struggle.
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Staples is aware of how many people perceive his lifestyle considering his public persona. “They don't expect this from a young black musician my age from where I come from,” he explained. “Like, how could you end up being in the ghetto, went through this, went through that, and not experienced drugs, not experienced alcohol?”
His concerns may help the skeptical understand his state of mind, one that was mostly focused on survival. "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," he recalled. "That was really where my focus was. When you have to think about your next 15 minutes—you have to think about the walk to the store, you have to think about how you're getting to school, you have to think about the bus ride home, you have to think about how you're going to sneak a gun into the football game—the last thing I was thinking about was getting high.”
Read his full testimony here.