For native "norfside" Long Beach rapper, Vince Staples, teaming up with the YMCA and local Long Beach, California officials to launch a youth program in his community is no surprise. One of the central themes within his latest album, Summertime 06, expresses the fatal consequences of the lack of opportunity for the impoverished youth. Vince announced the project alongside Councilman Rex Richardson within his home neighborhood of Ramona Park. Within the program entitled, Youth Institute, twenty local students from grades eighth and ninth will be able to learn various forms of art, including filmmaking, 3D printing, product design, music production, and graphic design. Staples conveys the importance for cities to develop relationships with the youth, creating environments for them to flourish.
"I think the most important thing is opportunities," Staples said. "What I can say is, living over here my entire life, I've never had an opportunity given to me from the area, only examples of how to mess up, and what I didn't want to do."
Long Beach Councilman Rex Richardson and Def Jam Recording Artist Vince Staples talk after they announce their support for and launch of the Youth Institute in North Long Beach