Vinnie-Dangerous drops ‘Dream ‘Til It’s Over’: A raw and honest reflection on life, fatherhood, and the future of music

"It's not enough to write cool punchlines and make hard hitting beats, I want to make sure I reach the listener on an emotion level"
27 May 2024

Vinnie-Dangerous, a dynamic artist and producer from Fayetteville, NC, opens up about the idea behind his latest album, Dream ‘Til It’s Over. Known for his innovative approach to rap and production, he is renowned for his aggressive, thought-provoking lyrics and fearlessly holds everyone accountable, including himself. This unwavering authenticity permeates every release, offering listeners a raw and honest experience.

Once again, Vinnie-Dangerous’ authenticity offers listeners a raw and honest experience. Dream ‘Til It’s Over, dedicated to his son and his younger self, reflects on his upbringing and the lessons he aims to impart as a father.

Dream ‘Til It’s Over, Vinnie-Dangerous concludes his dream trilogy—a deeply personal narrative that began with Yes, I Am A Dreamer in 2016 and continued with Dream To Escape Hell in 2018.

While staying true to his roots, Vinnie-Dangerous reveals the emotional and creative journey of crafting an album that juxtaposes optimism with darkness. He also shares insights into his home studio setup and his thoughts on the future of the music industry in the age of AI.

I remain authentic because I am as critical of the world as I am with myself and it’s all from a place of love

What inspired you to create a brand new sound for your latest album, Dream ‘Til It’s Over?

My sound was inspired by combining themes from the previous 2 albums in the trilogy as kind of an update to my life since the events that inspired those previous releases. I wanted a balance of the optimism of Yes, I Am A Dreamer and the dark pessimism of Dream To Escape Hell because my life now is a combination of both.

How has your perspective as both a rapper and a producer influenced the direction of your music?

I’m a big fan of putting emotion into my music from the chords and the notes of the music to the passion in my lyrics. It’s not enough to write cool punchlines and make hard hitting beats, I want to make sure I reach the listener on an emotion level. Since I decided to produce this album myself, I was able to match both as close to perfect as I could at the moment.

Can you tell us more about the thematic progression across your “dream trilogy” albums, from Yes, I Am A Dreamer to Dream ‘Til It’s Over?

The albums are like journey entries of my adult life since I graduated from NCCU in 2015. Yes, I AM a Dreamer was me at my most optimistic with the whole world in front of me. Everything changed when I lost my brother and fell into a deep depression for 2 years that inspired Dream To Escape Hell in 2018. This new album is me overcoming that through music and becoming a father and husband.

How did the process of crafting this album, dedicated to both your son and your younger self, influence your reflection on your upbringing and your journey as a father?

Having my son and watching him develop and grow alongside my wife has been so inspiring and giving me the inspiration to keep going. This album was originally called Dream Deferred and it was going to be my last album but my son and falling in love again with music during this process made me think of my younger self and how much music has truly meant to me. I felt like I owed it to my son and my younger self to make the album I always wanted to make and to keep going so to show my son you can do what you put your mind to despite what the world throws at you.

Your lyricism is known for being strong and thought-provoking, often holding various sides accountable. How do you balance expressing your personal truths while still remaining authentic to yourself?

I remain authentic because I am as critical of the world as I am with myself and it’s all from a place of love. I know the world can be better just like I know I can be better so when I’m being critical, it’s to shine a light on problems so we don’t sweep them under the rug for them to appear again.

How does your current studio setup enhance your creative process?

Just before my son was born, I was fortunate to purchase a house with my wife to build my own home studio in. To have my own permanent space really helped me be comfortable and more intentional with my music. Not worrying about being in anyone else’s time and space really helps me expand my creativity.

Which studio equipment do you often find yourself drawn to, and what sets it apart as your favorite?

My microphone is the jewel in the crown so to speak. Everything is geared to getting my vocals on the track.

What factors guided your choice of Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), and how does it contribute to your creative workflow?

I use FL Studios for both recording and music production. It was the 1st daw I was able to get when I was in middle school and it completely guided my workflow of creativity. I’ve thought of using other daws in the past but as the saying goes, if it isn’t broken don’t fix it.

Is there a specific gear or equipment you’ve been eager to add to your setup? If so, what is it and what about it attracts you the most?

I’d love to get my hands on a hardware Neve 1073 preamp. I’ve used it once in another studio and I use the Artuira and Ik Multimedia plug in versions so they always sound great on my voice. I’d also love to get a Juno-106 synth and a Roland 808 drum machine. The classics.

Considering the future, what transformations do you foresee happening in the music industry within the next few years? Are there any specific advancements or changes you’re hoping for in the industry’s landscape?

With AI becoming a more prominent presence in music, I see it going one of 2 ways: Either we are going to be pushed out or we will have to elevate our art to outpace machine learning. I believe it will make it to where only the best and most unique artists will be able to stand out and I think it’ll make the music a lot better overall. It’s gonna be tough but I’m optimistic.