“I missed my prom senior year. From that point, I would always tell myself, ‘since I didn’t go to prom, imma go to the Grammy’s.'”
Getting his first look from the eminent Hip-Hop producer, 9th Wonder, at 16 years old, Reuben Vincent became the producer's prodigy, adding him to his Jamla Records roster with fellow North Carolina MC, Rapsody. Vincent is far from a child star, showing vast maturity and determination at a young age; Reuben was set on reaching the top of his class, releasing his debut album Myers Park in 2017. Four years later, a 20-year-old Vincent is preparing to drop his EP, An Eastside Sunset, where the rapper displays his massive growth and versatility after years of sharpening his pen.
Growing up on the east side of Charlotte, North Carolina, Vincent would find his passion for painting pictures of the city he grew up in through his vivid lyricism and vulnerable delivery. Vincent expresses his love of the city’s culture and how it inspires his music.
"I started rapping as Ea$tside tha Don.”
Vincent talks about his early days. “I was recording on Apple headphones.” Vincent recorded his first record Iddlescent which caught the attention of his mentor, 9th Wonder. “He told me I had potential.” Vincent describes his first interaction with the producer.
“I feel like Charlotte is the perfect mixture of southern culture and northeast culture. I just write about my life and things I’ve seen in the city,” the rapper explains. Many of the rapper’s songs are inspired by the city’s landmarks and places he grew up. The namesake of his debut album, Myers Park, comes from the high school he was attending the year he missed his senior prom to attend an event where he would meet his idol, Kendrick Lamar.
Reuben Vincent has undying respect for the old school. From the Hype Williams’Belly reference in his music video for “Expedition,” to his interpolation of Nas', “N.Y State of Mind” on his latest single.
“You gotta respect the ones that came before you,” explained Vincent.
From a young age, Vincent would be surrounded by hip-hop greats. Reuben Vincent keeps a prolific circle, with his mentors 9th Wonder, Rapsody, and Young Guru. “ I was a sponge to it all,” Vincent describes his appreciation for his camp. “I was in high school when 9th hit me up on Twitter and told me he’d like to help. When I was 17, I signed to Jamla, and ever since then, I hit the ground running.”
Vincent is a standout from his new school contemporaries. Rapping with a hungry conventional flow, Vincent puts a modern twist on a timeless sound. “Growing up, my dad played all the old school shit. Growing up, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne all had a huge influence on me.” Vincent tells me. “This is a conversation me and 9th had. I’m 20 years old Nas was 20 when Illmatic came out. In this day and age, a lot of younger artists disrespect the OGs, this is my way of carrying the torch.”
He is in his BAG on the new project, spitting at a high level that proves his hunger and unparalleled lyrical ability. Vincent shows versatility and poise from track to track, reaching into different flows and pockets throughout the project. “What I can say about the music is growth; I feel like with this project, I really tapped in. I’m even melodic on there.”
Vincent shows off his growth and maturity on this new project. He’s not the 17-year-old rapper we heard on Myers Park. He shows growth in perspective and insight, his pen is sharper than ever, and he is the most confident he’s been on any project.
“On this project, I talk about ego. I talk about money, and I‘m flexing a little.”
Vincent balances his rap career as he attends North Carolina A&T University studying business. He has expressed that he values education because his mother, who originates from Liberia, did not get the chance to. The artist shows pride in his Liberian heritage, taking to his Instagram on Liberian Independence Day flaunting his countries flag while announcing his first LLC in Third Ward Recordings. “My family is from a third-world country, so everything is bigger than me when I look at it. God showed me I’m on the right path because today my LLC for Third World Recordings just got approved.” Vincent announced to his fans.
The rapper shouts out his peers from fellow Charlotte rapper, Mavi, Niko Brim, and frequent collaborator Domani as the other leaders of the new school who choose to go against the grain. Reuben Vincent is genuinely one of a kind. On his way to being one of the most prolific MCs coming out of the southeast, the Charlotte rapper is proving to be an act to keep an eye on.
Be on the lookout for his upcoming studio album, An East Side Sunset.