MANSFIELD – Local hip-hop artist Vaughn Robinson, known as ‘VaunDoom,’ doesn’t listen to other music when he’s crafting his own beats and lyrics. Although a fan and student of hip-hop, he seeks a style that is 100% authentic and original.
“The inspiration for my latest project came from myself,” said Robinson, a 2007 Lexington graduate. “It’s more of a reflective album based on my life and experiences.”
His latest project is a 15-track album called, “This Thing I’ve Built.” It’s VaunDoom’s 19th album and is available for purchase on Bandcamp. It will hit streaming platforms at a later date.
Creative blocks, or barriers to inspiration, is something many writers, musicians and other artists experience at some point in their journey. It's no stranger to Robinson either, but the work he’s put in has paid off and resulted in original lyrics and beats that flow out of him.
“Creating comes quite naturally to me,” Robinson said. “I’ve had the same process for a while.
"I make all my beats so I start there first and when I finish with that, I start writing and when that's finished, I record then move right to the next one all in my kitchen.”
“This Thing I’ve Built” was developed entirely by Robinson from writing to production to recording. His father narrates the album and it includes features from a host of other artists - K1NG ELJAY, from Alabama, as well as KBlock, Henry Rich, Carrera, Yung 23 and James Williams all from Mansfield.
The Mansfield rapper mixed and mastered the album with different techniques that proved very satisfactory.
“I just love how gorgeous it sounds sonically. It sounds very silky,” he said with a laugh. “I also think it’s my best lyrically put together project. No line is wasted and they all hold value towards their songs.
"Structure wise, I think I did a great job with flows. There were certain songs I was aiming for a poetic type of structure and style and I believe I achieved that quite well.”
Robinson seeks to inspire fans of hip-hop and other creators with whatever sticks out to them from his work, whether that is the beats, rhymes or life messages.
“One particular thing I made this album to be is a confidence builder, so after people listen I hope they feel more inspired,” Robinson said. “I'm also excited to see if rap nerds can catch all the cool wordplay I have on the album.”
Above: VaunDoom performs Be Safe from his album, Black Gods & Shooting Stars at Newsroom After Hours Hip Hop Halloween show on Oct. 15, 2021.
With 19 albums released, 23 if you count remasters, Robinson isn’t stopping here.
“After this album, I have a project with a dope artist and friend, Paul AKA Lupasan that I’m producing,” he said. “Then, I have an EP in mind that might be darker and bleak, but it’s a reflection on the past few years and what has happened in the world.
Robinson wants to take his talents as an independent artist as far as possible and that’s why he sees “This Thing I’ve Built” as a pivotal moment.
“This album marks me taking the chance in independence, using all my talents to maximize my brand and make it a worldwide success,” he said. “I'm forming a blueprint and a plan on this journey of independence and hopefully it works the way I want it to. Time will tell.”
Robinson, who is a Mansfield resident and graduate of Lexington High School, shares a sentiment with Richland Source in that there is a plethora of local music talent in this area that needs to be showcased more often.
“There's so much talent in this city, there should never be a week where there isn't a show going on,” he said. “I've always had a wish to do a really dope hip hop showcase with my peers at the Renaissance.
"I believe we are talented enough to bring that big of a crowd to enjoy local music and have a great time and also show that together, we are valuable enough to bring money into the community and raise the value on the Mansfield dollar.
“The average person should know there is a plethora of talent in Mansfield but the talent outweighs the platform and opportunity, so support local talent as much as you can because we definitely have creative geniuses here like Thuh Koz, Young leak, KBlock, the Deaf Note crew which are Daton, Yung 23 and Henry Rich, of course Dotti Lyne, Sempel, Armani G, DiveBomb, The Afrxnts, ILL WIll and many more, that's just off the top of my head.”
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