Vince the Messenger
Charlottetown, PEI
RIYL: LXVNDR; Chong Wizard; Da Grassroots

I think I learned about the risks of trust falls before I ever took part in one. By the time it came up in elementary school as a team-building exercise, I was already well aware of the chance that whoever I was paired with might choose comedy or cruelty over actually catching me. 

Whether those lessons actually help to engender trust amongst a group of people remains to be seen, but maybe the deepest truth they offer is that the nagging fear of misplacing your trust in someone never quite goes away. With Trustfall, Charlottetown’s preeminent emcee Vince the Messenger explores what happens when that trust is betrayed. 

The album art depicts Vince plummeting solo through the sky—leaving it open-ended as to whether he’s waiting to be caught—or falling because someone he’s relied upon has already let him down. 

“La Vie En Noir” suggests that regardless, Vince is persevering. Over a murky boom-bap beat, courtesy of local phenom niimo (who has been Vince’s primary collaborator, and who also produced LXVNDR’s killer Warmth EP), he finds renewed clarity and drive, rapping “Still the same Black boy, but now the wind in my sails / Momma told me go get ’em, so I’ma give ’em hell / They might wanna see me fail, but they fake when I prevail.” Elsewhere, a syrupy Smokey Robinson sample is the soundtrack to Vince outlining that the root of his power lies in his outsider status on album highlight “Black Sheep.” 

Though it’s made clear across the album’s 31 minutes that he’s been let down by others, the overlying message isn’t “trust no one” as much as it is “trust yourself”—as having that faith in your own abilities is key to picking yourself back up any time you fall. 

Michael Rancic