No I.D. says that he knew right away Vince Staples was a rapper he wanted to work with.

“I met Vince one time, looked in his eyes, and knew that he was in the realm of what I was looking for,” the executive vice president of A&R at Def Jam says to Complex. “The smartest thing that I did was not jumping in and not trying to make it something big immediately. You have to let people come to it on their own. It’s about watching people develop.”

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The producer says that he knows great rappers don’t start out at their peak. What he sees in Staples is something he knows other great rappers possess.

“If you think about Tupac, Biggie, and Nas, all of those guys were teenagers or in their early twenties when they got started,” No I.D. says. “Everybody acts like young people have to be silly and lack perspective. Those guys had incredible perspective and everything that they said was before 25-years-old. I don’t believe that those kinds of individuals don’t exist anymore.”

No I.D. has helped other artists blossom into stardom, including Big Sean and J. Cole. The producer says that now that those two have made a name for themselves, he has taken a backseat role.

“You’ve got to know when to let someone walk on their own two feet,” he says. “I’m not the artist, ever. I’m the producer. The players go play the game. I’m the coach. After a while, the players don’t need to sit and talk with the coach in order to play the game. There’s times when they think they’ve learned enough and there are times where they need more coaching.”

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Regarding Big Sean, No I.D. says that he convinced the Detroit rapper to release the DJ Mustard-produced “IDFWU” despite hesitation from Sean Don.

“He might have felt that it was a little commercial,” No I.D. says. “I was like, ‘No, it’s a great song. Don’t worry about that aspect of it.’ When you’ve got a good body of work and great songs, you just have to go with it. It was all organic. It wasn’t calculated. It just happened to be big.”

No I.D. says that J. Cole has found his own niche as well, which allows the producer to pass the torch.

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“I think Cole just found his groove,” No I.D. says. “He’s found what he believes in and he can put it in his music.”

For additional No I.D. coverage, watch the following DX Daily: