Vince Staples says that the state of Hip Hop reflects the state of humanity.

“Of course when us as people, we’re not doing that well, everything that’s a medium or a way that we express ourselves isn’t going to be doing well,” he says on Los Angeles radio station Power 106’s The Cruz Show. “But I feel like we’re getting better, whether it’s through film, whether it’s through writing, whether it’s through music, it’s all getting better.”

The “Señorita” rapper says that in order to get kids to buy music, an artist has to be relatable and connect on an emotional level where the consumer will emotionally need the music. He says that today’s album sales prove his point.

“If you a kid, 15, 16-years old,” Staples says, “and you only got $20 that you probably got from your mom and you done had it for a minute, and you gotta pick between buying a CD or doing something that, probably getting some food or getting some weed, ’cause that’s what the kids like to do nowadays, what they gonna pick? Because the music ain’t really helping them in a sense of what we’re saying and what we’re doing. It’s just hindering them. So why would they spend they last on that? It’s not really a lot of expendable income in today’s society in general. So what do we expect for these kids to have? I feel like if you have something that they feel like affects them or is speaking for them, it’s always gonna do well. You look at the J. Coles the Kendricks, those are the people selling the most records. Drake, those are the people that are really the most transparent with their music.”

With his debut album, Summertime ’06, slated for a June 30 release date, Staples explains the importance of physical sales.

“What is it? Is it just the music? What’s the artwork behind it? What’s the direction behind it? ‘Cause that’s what you’re really buying,” he says. “The physical’s just a tangible form of music if it’s nothing artistically to draw someone’s eye. It makes them feel like it’s something they should keep over a long period of time, then it’s really no need for them to buy it. So that just really goes more into what we put into it and what we give the people. Because if you give them something worth buying, even if it’s not first week, even if it’s not first month, over time, people will appreciate it more. It will move off them shelves. That’s really what it’s about. It’s about making the best product over a long period of time.”

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