Published on February 6th, 2023 | by MuzikScribe0
Reuben Vincent: The New Classic
Let’s hop right into this lead single, “Trickin,“ featuring Domani — Tell me about this particular track; how did it come to fruition?
My bro, Andre Mego, and I watch a lot of comedies together, and one of our favorite ones is Katt Wiilliams’ It’s Pimpin’ Pimpin’. We also have real conversations about today’s dating scene, and how interesting it is. When he called me, he was like he made this funny beat and played it. I told him, “this ain’t funny, this is classic.” Katt Williams was perfect for the intro. Recorded it in my room, drove to Atlanta, played it for Domani and the rest is history.
Of course “ Trickin” comes courtesy of your brand new LP, LOVE IS WAR — Conceptually, what does this title represent both to and for you?
The title represents the battle for self-love within myself. I was realizing that some of my pursuits were out of the search for love, but I was doing things wrong. I was overcompensating for things I lacked, and insecurities were starting to project into my life and relationships. I recorded this album on my pursuit to come back home to who I am. Sometimes to get to that love, you have to go through battles and wars.
How then does LOVE IS WAR either differ and / or compare to previous Reuben Vincent entries?
It’s my most personal record and vulnerable. It’s also way more mature, I’m only 22, but I’ve lived many lives in this one and my past ones. But, in this life or at least the last 3 years since Boy Meets World, I went from boy to young man, and with that comes a lot of growing pains.
LOVE IS WAR is a Jamla / Roc Nation Records release — What particular string of events actually led to this inking?
A lot of persistence, a lot of hard work, sacrifice and dedication. I just stayed consistent and they saw what I was doing, and became intrigued with me. Shoutout to my OG’s though, 9th Wonder and Young Guru, ‘cause they played a part…and one of my biggest supporters and someone who’s like a sister, Rapsody.
As an emcee, when you sit down to pen your rhymes where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from real life experiences, what I go through and conversations I have. Anything can inspire a song for me; I live life, listen deeply and pay attention to my surroundings. I put my observations on paper. I also grasp inspiration from some of the artists I admire, and how they translate their life on beat.
Reflecting, tell me your whole inception into music — When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for Reuben Vincent?
I’ve been into music since I could remember. My father used to pick me up from my Mama house with All Eyez on Me playing in the stereo, that or Ready to Die. He would tell me about them; 50 Cent and Jay-Z come up stories. I was in love since I was a child, and wrote my first rap at 4 years old. My cousin was babysitting me, and told me to do some spelling words. Once she fell asleep, I turned it into a rap. I used to draw album covers at school with fake tracklists. I always knew.
Now where exactly do you hail from? And growing up there, who all did / do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?
I’m from Charlotte, NC. East Charlotte to be exact. Moved to the South though at 16. And growing up being from the Carolinas, J. Cole definitely had influence on me, Kendrick, Drake. I studied OutKast, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Biggie, 2pac, Nas, Mos Def. Also dived into underground legends like MF DOOM, Dilla, etcetera. I’m also a big Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley and Fela Kuti fan
In having said that, how do you classify your overall sound and / or style?
The New Classic. Timeless music. Shoutout to Emory for that New Classic title. I studied the greats but I make it fresh and new, and make it Reuben.
Switching gears here…
What do you feel has and will continue to be the key to your longevity?
The key to longevity to me is to continue to be myself authentically, and that will change with time. You can’t fear that change and that growth. As long as I continue to be a student of the new things and of what came before but also be real to me, I’m sure I will have longevity. Also, embracing anything new will keep you here.
What do you want people to get from your music?
A sense of freedom. That’s what I do it for. Even with my lowest moments or highest moments and how I translate that on record…I want the people to embrace their ups and downs because it’s what makes us whole. This life is yin & yang. I’m not perfect and neither are you. But embracing those imperfections and how we grow past them makes us who we are. I just want to share my struggles ‘cause I know someone can relate, but also embrace that and my accomplishments enough to show I’m confident through it all…and you can be, too.
On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of Hip Hop?
I think there’s some dope artists on the rise, and a variety of what’s being shown as in energy and personality. But my discernment with Hip Hop is how we have sold the music away to these social media platforms, and now we are getting into the AI technology thing. I think it’s taking away from the music. Having TikTok, Instagram and YouTube numbers are good for visibility and community, but I don’t think that should be the end all be all for artists now, but labels are now using those platforms to pour money into novelty artists instead of real artists. There’s no artist development anymore; everything is a money grab, and that’s because we have sold our music away. We are slaves to social media and the internet so much that making great bodies of work are a lost cause.
Do you have any other outside / additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?
I want to get back to school one day and study psychology, just because I’m interested in how the human mind works. I want to also get into philanthropist things for my parents’ homeland, Liberia. I have a few show / movie ideas in my mind, just waiting for the right resources. I also want to act and make an impact in the sneaker / streetwear world.
To date, what has been your greatest career moment(s), at least thus far anyway?
For me, it’s just getting to this level and still being able to be myself honestly. That’s the hardest part for some, but I don’t have that issue. I’m on the Roc, and I’m doing it my way. All the accolades and accomplishments will come, but none of that is fulfilling if I’m not Reuben.
What’s an average day like for you?
On a good day, I wake up early, go to the gym, meditate, talk to God in some shape or form and then it’s either meetings or a studio. That’s all I really have time for right now. I don’t have major responsibilities like kids or bills, so my time is dedicated to my career and setting myself and team up for success. If I’m not at work, I’m at home with my family.
Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans…
I love them. I try to make sure I’m present online for them, and I make sure I show them love & appreciation when they see me in person. I love learning their stories as much as they love learning mine.
What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? And, why?
My favorite part of this work is making the music and performing because those are the parts of passion…my least favorite is the fake politicking, and all the shady industry things. But, again, this game got valleys and peaks, so you just gotta take the punches.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Follow your own footsteps, not mine. They will lead to exactly where you need to be.
Lastly, what’s next for Reuben Vincent?
More music, more creative endeavors, growth as a young man and artist. And I truly don’t know what else to expect either, but I’m here for the ride.
Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention?
Third World Co. is coming, just remember I said that.
Connect w/Reuben Vincent Online: