“When you don’t know how to love yourself, you can’t love others the right way.”
Reuben Vincent’s “Love Is War,” an 11-track album released through Jamla/Roc Nation, is an innovative and well-crafted work that places Reuben at the center of discussions about rising rap icons. Throughout the album, Reuben explores relationships and romantic affairs through soulful beats produced by 9th Wonder, Young Guru, The Soul Council, and himself, modernizing and transforming boom-bap in fluid and eclectic flows that illustrate the balance between time spent on love and the pursuit of passions and objectives. The album features guest appearances by Rapsody, Reason, Domani, and Stacey Barthe.
According to Reuben, “Love Is War is an acknowledgment that as young black men, I feel like we aren’t taught and given the tools to love properly. We don’t know how to love our people, women, brothers, and most importantly ourselves.” He adds, “when you don’t know how to love yourself, you can’t love others the right way. Love Is War addresses that. These last two years, I’ve learned a lot about myself, but I still have much to learn. My goal is to love myself properly, and that comes with exploration, internally and externally. That is why I titled the album Love Is War because it is a constant battle to get to that center in your life. We all battle ourselves to get to a place where we can both love and be loved.”
Reuben recognizes the role of love and war in his success. Currently, he prioritizes being a role model for his peers, particularly for first-generation Liberian Americans, as his parents fled Liberia during the civil war and relocated to Charlotte. He acknowledges that his parents’ struggles serve as a constant reminder of the idea that challenges strengthen one’s character. “My parents left Liberia in the midst of a war and came here searching for love. I’m their only child together, and being that my parents were separated from me since birth; I had to accept what I was given and find some type of peace and love in it. Love Is War is me going through the tug of war to get to the self-love at the end.”
Reuben Vincent’s ambition to show the world that brilliance and individualism coexist is evident in his music and his approach to life. He believes that to succeed and overcome the battles we face, it is important to stay true to oneself. After all, being dedicated to your craft and self-discovery is the key to winning the war.
Listen to “Love Is War” below.