Vince Staples on Best Rapper Alive Debate: 'It's Kendrick. Easy. It's Not Even Close.'

Vince Staples in a video for Power 106 Los Angeles.
Courtesy of Power 106 Los Angeles

Vince Staples in a video for Power 106 Los Angeles.

Two days before the release of his highly-anticipated album DAMN, Kendrick Lamar received a huge co-sign from Long Beach native Vince Staples. During his interview with Power 106's The Cruz Show, Staples lauded Lamar for his rap prowess and dubbed him the best rapper alive.

“Talking about all-time, we can say Michael Jordan is still alive, but he’s not beating LeBron James one-on-one. You talking about right now, it’s Kendrick. Easy,” Staples said. “It’s not even close. Or [it's] Kanye.”

When Cruz hurled Eminem's name into the conversation, the "Bagbak" MC refused to budge on his stance. “I’ma tell you why I would put Kanye over Eminem as far as the best conversation,” he said. “Because there’s not really many kids walking around saying, ‘I wanna be Eminem.’ [There was not a lot] who were dressing like him, walking like him. That clothing line wasn’t booming. 'I’ll give you the [blond] Caesar cut.'”

Staples expanded the conversation by delving into record sales and why that shouldn't factor into being a great rapper. “As far as sales going in music, we can’t have that be in the conversation about who is best, because that’s what people use when they try to compensate for a lack how they feel about the art,” he said. Then, Staples ruminated on the value of influence and inspiration. “Even if Drake didn’t sell a crazy amount, his influence and how his music touches people, he’d still be Drake.” Same goes for Chance the Rapper, he added.

Watch the conversation below. The debate begins at the 24:30 mark.