By Cameron Lee
October 27, 2019
There’s sure been a lot of attention on North Carolina’s burgeoning hip-hop industry. While DaBaby is now a full-fledged rap superstar, another young Charlotte native has been patiently waiting in the wings. Under the tutelage of super producer and recent North Carolina Hall of Fame inductee, 9th Wonder, and Grammy-nominated Snow Hill, NC Jamla/Roc Nation artist, Rapsody, 18-year-old Reuben Vincent is carefully devising his next album release. “Being around 9th and Rap, getting advice is a blessing. I’m surrounded by some of the greatest to do it, while I’m in hopes of being one of the greatest, too. When I see how they execute things I take mental notes, so when it’s my time I already know how and what to do,” said Vincent.
Signed to 9th Wonder’s Jamla Records since 2016, Vincent released his debut mixtape Myers Park in October of 2017 and contributed to the label’s compilation album Jamla Is The Squad II, which featured rap titans like Black Thought, J. Cole, Busta Rhymes, and Pharoahe Monch. Showcasing a wide array of flows with a rare introspective adolescent consciousness, Vincent flexes a prodigy-like Golden Era aura similar to Brookyln’s Joey Bada$$.
With his latest single, “Albemarle Road,” Vincent pays homage to the Queen City taking it back to where it all started at the Lake Point Apartments, where he wrote his first rap at four years old. “Albemarle Road is the road I grew up on. First road I got familiar with as a child, on the East side of Charlotte,” he said. The visuals give you a nostalgic feeling of the less-occupied Charlotte streets and carefree youthful autumn energy. With a classic ‘90s era drum slap with eerily theatrical synths by veteran Justus League producer Khrysis, the lyrics are soulfully uplifting:
“I got to run up a ban, I gotta make me a stack, I gotta do it for fam, I am related to Black, I ain’t related to Sam, tell uncle go and step back, we gonna take it from here, promised by momma I will, chase situations this year, I’ve been going so forward I ain’t looking at the rear.”
The song also paints a vivid picture of the unforgiving life underprivileged kids can live in the city and the paths that can mold our lives. “Some of my friends started following the wrong crowd, leading to trouble, while some are doing great, in college or following their dreams. It just shows how these roads can make us,” said Vincent.
While Vincent is currently at North Carolina A&T studying business, he is working eagerly on his debut full-length album: “Myers Park was a mixtape, so this next one is the real deal. I’m giving my all, and I’m making sure the world knows I’m here to stay for a long time.”