Vince Staples and Mac Miller had a special bond. The Pittsburgh rapper was instrumental in Vince’s early career, persuading him to stick with rapping when he was starting to become disillusioned with it as a full-time profession. During an interview with Big Boy, the Staples described how he first met Mac.
“We was at the studio. Earl made me go to his house one day and he basically said what I told you earlier. Like, ‘why you not making music?’ Two days later, he picked me up from the ghetto,” Staples explained. “He’s like, ‘I don’t know where I’m at, but ummm.’ He wasn’t even trippin’. His windows was down. He had a dent in his car.”
Their chemistry eventually morphed into the collaborative project Stolen Youth. The mixtape was born from Staples complaining to Mac that he didn’t get good beats from other producers, which lead to the Swimming artist offering to assist him under his Larry Fisherman persona. “Mac’s the homie. He’s one of my closest friends,” he told Complex in a 2013 interview. “I don’t have a lot of friends, so it’s funny that I met him last and that’s become one of my best friends in music.”
When asked later in the Big Boy interview if he had conversations with Miller about taking care of himself, Vince replied “All the time.” In September, Mac died of an accidental fentanyl and cocaine overdose.
“He was trying. All you can ask for is for somebody to try,” he continued. “Can’t always win, you know?… To be honest the good ones always die, just from the streets. Them boys always go. It makes sense in retrospect, but I was never worried about him. I was worried about him, but never like to that extreme.”