Three weeks ago, I wasn’t sure if local MC Vinnie Dewayne was dead or alive. Twitter and Facebook were littered with requests to “pray for Vinnie Dewayne” and assurances that “we’re thinking of you, Vinnie.” As it turns out, he and a friend had gotten in a severe car crash. Luckily, he walked away from the situation relatively unscathed. But, as seen here in a mini documentary filmed by V1 Creative, the incident had a profound effect on Vinnie. The video shows him in New York, where he recently performed at the Dunkxchange, which doubles as a concert and a Nike sneaker event. Vinnie discusses how when he first visited the Big Apple, he found it overwhelming and vowed to never come back. Things are different now, he says, in part because of the crash. Now, he vows that he will “go harder” and that “everything has changed.” All this serves as a backdrop to footage of him giving interviews and talking to prominent figures in the music industry. It’s a captivating look into where Vinnie has been and where he may be going.   

The video arrives the same week as his new single, “You Ain’t Goin Nowhere,” which will be on his upcoming St. Johns Scholar project. Against a backdrop of guitar strums, vocal samples and raindrops (undoubtedly a nod to his hometown), Vinnie talks about the hardships of moving on from past love. Everything we’ve come to expect from a Vinnie track is here: the storytelling, the intricate wordplay, the emotional pulse. But it also shows some growth. The production is richer and more layered, and the songwriting—the chorus, the way the verses align with the beat—is more polished. If the rest of the project is like this, Vinnie will undoubtedly be visiting NYC again soon.