California rapper Vince Staples announced his participation Tuesday in a YMCA program that will benefit young people in his hometown of North Long Beach. According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, the Youth Institute in North Long Beach will teach filmmaking, graphic design, music production, 3D printing, and product design to 20 eighth and ninth graders at Hamilton Middle School.
Staples appeared alongside Ninth District Councilman Rex Richardson in North Beach’s Ramona Park to discuss the news. “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. … I want to be able to be one of the people that reinforces the fact that we matter just as much as the next person.”
Staples donated an undisclosed amount to the program. The lyrics on his acclaimed 2015 debut Summertime ’06 often address the flaws in public programs like the education system that drive young people to gang culture and violence.
Head over to the Long Beach Press-Telegram for more information about the new YMCA program.