Vince Staples on LA Culture and the Enduring Appeal of the Chuck Taylor
February 17, 2017
Directed by award-winning filmmaker Karim Huu Do, the second chapter of Converse’s Forever Chuck Scenes, follows Long Beach, CA recording artist Vince Staples on a powerful journey through greater Los Angeles.
The video taps into the city’s diverse youth culture — from the neighborhoods where LA’s underground hip-hop scene originated to some of the people that define the area today.
“Los Angeles has played an important role in revolutionizing youth culture far beyond the west coast — from the style to the music scenes,” says Julien Cahn, Chief Marketing Officer at Converse. “And Chuck Taylor was a part of that cultural movement, as a symbol for underdogs, rebels and individualists in Los Angeles and all around the world.”
In conversation, Staples echoes those thoughts. Here he breaks down the breadth of LA’s communities and the universality of the Chuck Taylor.
What characterizes LA culture?
LA is a large area complete with many different cultures. I’m from Long Beach. If you go to the LA projects, they are very different from where I’m from. And if you go to Venice Beach or Inglewood it’s completely different. So, I think diversity best defines LA culture. LA is so big, that you can’t define LA culture with a single term. It’s whatever it decides to be, and at any given moment there are a million different cultures doing their own thing.
What is the most overlooked aspect of LA youth culture?
I feel like the maturity of it is overlooked — there are a lot of young people that all stand for something. You won’t find a lot of kids out here who are lost; here they all know what they want to do and who they want to be. They start off early knowing what they want to grow into.
What does the Chuck Taylor mean to you?
The Chuck Taylor is able to co-exist in any surrounding or event. It’s never too little or never too much. It’s a good tool to have in the world when everyone is looking at what the next person is wearing. Culturally it’s covered a lot of ground.
I haven’t worn another shoe other than the Chuck for the past two years. It makes me relatable and reachable, and that’s important for me to be relatable to the people who listen to my music.
What does the Chuck Taylor mean to LA?
That shoe is always going to permeate, I don’t see it going anywhere any time soon. It’s something correlated directly with Southern California. It’s something that’s consistent.
About The Forever Chuck Scenes
The Forever Chuck Scenes videos explore the diverse cultural settings that have been influenced by the iconic Chuck Taylor. The newly launched series focuses in on the confident and daring spirit of youth, which has embodied the soul of Converse evangelists in the past, present and future.
Converse’s Forever Chuck Scenes is formatted for digital consumption through platforms such as Instagram Stories, Snapchat and as online video content with the Chucks and LA Culture scene launching on February 17.