Actual milliseconds after hanging up the phone following an extensive interview with Long Beach, California rapper Vince Staples, the long-awaited 2015 XXL Freshman cover is revealed on Twitter, presenting my latest interviewee on side left in blue plaid, slouched alongside his regarded hip-hop peers.

"Terrible timing," I selfishly think at first, staring at the cover, a moment short. But then I catch myself. Vince's words transcribe themselves in my head and I realize that the topic wouldn't have even come up, even if the viral post had been displayed an hour before.

Vince Staples doesn't care about accolades. He doesn't care about critics, industry opinions or even the fact that his upcoming album, Summertime 06 will be his Def Jam full-length debut. It's not that he's indignant or even ungrateful for his success, but rather the opposite. It's that those things aren't significant to his undertaking. "The hierarchies in music should never matter and to me, it's always going to be about giving people the music," Vince says, earnestly.

Our conversation isn't overtly serious. He's even eager at times, joking about his inability to pull himself from his Long Beach home and his adoration for sleep. But when the conversation turns to music and his upcoming album out on June 30, Vince Staples has something significant and specific to say.

You've explained before that your music career happened by accident, but now that you've made it here, what does a debut album with Def Jam signify or you in your life and your career?

Honestly, nothing. Music belongs to the people, not a record label, not the person that creates it, so it should never change. When it changes, it becomes about something else and I don't think it should be about anything except helping people enjoy their life. Because, when you can make someone escape from harsh realities that they're not comfortable with - whether it's for two minutes or for five minutes, whether it's for the length of the entire project - that's what matters. The hierarchies in music should never matter and to me, it's always going to be about giving people the music and giving them the help that I never received when I was growing up.

Summertime 06, which drops on June 30 is your coming of age story. You're going to take us on a real time tour of your life at 12 and 13. So why are these stories about things like money, your parents' impact and the cycle of violence, so important for you to highlight on your debut full-length?

Because it's human nature. There is no civilization without violence and no civilization without money. And that's something everyone can relate to. And whether or not your story is the same as mine, you understand the concepts. I can't speak to anything I don't know about. But what I can say is that life is built around loss and gain, love and hatred and those simple things. When you start with those simple things, it's impossible for you to not be relatable to people. I would say it's less focused on the things that you said and more focused on the underlying causes of those things. Everything has depth to it and I really feel like the best way to connect with people is the understanding that we're all the same. I think that's the focus of where this project comes from and my experiences have allowed me to understand life in general.

You've been through a lot in your life, which you share with us in your music, but you haven't always had that support system to help guide you to that understanding. Where does your self-awareness come from?

I think it comes from my origin, whether that comes from my family or people I've associated myself with. I was blessed to be in a position to be given leadership from people that were very honest about situations in life and that led me to understand what my life actually was and these support teams were in life. You can't focus too much on what you don't have. I try to focus on the reality of the situation and the reality is, it's not that bad, because it could be worse. You have to be positive with how you go about things. I don't know man, I've just always been grateful for what I've had. I know things happen for a reason. I've never really had to worry.

You've said before that the impact on people's lives is what's missing in music, so what impact are you looking to make with Summertime 06?

I just had an interview and the dude actually asked me, 'How is gang culture?' and stuff like that bothers me, because why is there a misconception that no one in our community loves each other? Why is there a misconception that you have to be a certain way to survive? People might look at me and not understand half of the things I've done or why I had to be who I had to be and why I became who I became and why I've become a part of certain cultures. But, the culture is the community. And I feel like it's because we aren't looked at as people. I want to bring the actuality of my community. There are bad people that come from there and good people that come from there, there's rich people, poor people, white people, black people - all different people. But if you turn on the TV, you're going to see a bunch of black people in low-riders. That's not realistic. I've never seen that in my life. That's not real. But everywhere else in the world, they think that it's Boyz n the Hood. People don't look at us and see themselves. They look at us and see criminals. Yeah, I spent part of my life being a criminal. But can you look at me and tell me that I'm a bad person and tell me I'm not hard working and that I don't have the same wants, needs and desires that you have? No. And that needs to be something that needs to be showcased throughout the music and culture and generations. I want to do that with this album.

I think you're off to a great start with your latest video, 'Señorita'. I think a lot of people were able to take that away from the video. And you've also come a long way in terms of altering your lifestyle from the teen that we're going to be hearing about on the album, but what pitfalls do you currently struggle with and need to change in your life right now?

I need to understand that certain things that used to matter to me don't matter anymore, because the world is a big place. Hatred is something we need to get rid of and I work on things like that every day. I feel like my pitfalls are the pitfalls of my hood and the pitfalls of the people that surround me in my community, so these are problems we all have and I want to help people. The problems of my listeners are my problems. I think that's what makes you an artist - that you take on that burden of other individuals. I won't ever overcome those things, because problems are always going to exist. And when you decide to do what I do, you decide to carry the burden of the people you represent.

When it comes to the specifics of the upcoming album, you're working with people like No I.D and Clams Casino, and minimal features that have yet to be announced. But what can you tell me about who you chose to collaborate with and why?

Production-wise, we went with No I.D, who did the bulk of the album, DJ Dahi, Clams Casino and we also had Christian Rich. What I can say is that, everyone that is involved in the album wanted to come with us and create something that's never been done before. What I can tell you about Summertime 06 is that you've never heard it before. That might be a good thing, that might be a bad thing, but I'm not focused on good, bad, successful or unsuccessful. I'm more focused on the impact it will have culturally and shifting the identity of a place that I know very well and that the world thinks that they know.

It doesn't matter to you if it's good or bad, as long as it's the truth.

Because the truth is what's missing. The truth is absolute. Authenticity is what's missing and when we watch the culture shift from sports, to gangs to money to girls to drugs - hip-hop is a culture of drugs right now.

And people are also so focused on numbers, first-week sales and who is at the top of lists. Do you feel like you have anything to prove with this album?

This is something we've made up, because we don't care about affecting people's lives as much. We care about all the personal gain. What is the industry? The industry is something that we've created, because it's human nature to destroy ourselves. I refuse to take part in that. If I sell 1000 records and change all 1000 of those people's lives, then I've probably done more than most.

How do you feel when reading things about yourselves and people use those industry narratives and attempt to profile you with titles like street rapper or conscious rapper?

Every Sam Smith article is not about him being gay. Every Adele article is not about her being heartbroken. Every Aerosmith article isn't about them being on drugs. Why can't we get that same just due? It's damn near impossible for some people to look at us as human beings. I don't hear them labeling other genres of music. Is she country? Is she pop? Who cares, she's Taylor Swift at the end of the day. I've never seen anyone of another genre brag about first week album sales. They're more focused on their outreach. I think that's what we need to get. If we love the streets so much and the hood so much, we need to do something to better it.

You also have a role in the upcoming film Dope. What was that entire experience like filming?

It was great. I met a lot of good people. I learned something new and it's definitely something that I wish to do more of in the future. Everyone who had a part in that film really believed in it. I'm glad I'm a part of it.

So as we anticipate Summertime 06, how will you be enjoying Summertime 2015?

On tour. That's how it works. You've got to work and go speak to the people, because you belong to them now. So, wherever they need me to be at, if it's feasible, that's exactly where I'll be. If not, I'll be at home sleeping, which is one of my favourite past-times.


Summertime 06 drops via Def Jam Recordings on June 30.