Local Rapper Kent Archie Talks About Starting From ‘Ground Zero’
On a sunny but brisk day, rapper Kent Archie sits in Dewey’s, a Shaker Square coffee shop where he once worked, and recalls his time abroad as he reflects on the journey that has prepared him to release his new album, The Thoughts in My Head.
He sports a black jacket with patches depicting the countries he’s been to in his lifetime. There’s the United States, Canada, Austria and Holland among others — then there’s Romania. Romania?
“I was born and raised in Cleveland, but I’ve only been back here for about two years or so,” Archie says as he takes a sip of his drink. “I was living in Romania for about five years on and off. I had a group out there — the Bridge Committee.”
Archie credits an ex-girlfriend for his first exposure to the country.
“I dated a girl from Romania,” he says. “We even went to prom together. She asked me to come visit and I liked it a lot. I also met some kids from Bulgaria when I was working at Geauga Lake, so I would go out there as well. I just ended up staying out there and doing music. The vibe was really nice. I’ve been to a couple places. I’m trying to even travel more.”
Archie’s first musical influences were courtesy of his dad, but he would play more than just rap music. The neighborhood kids also held a pivotal role in his gravitation towards this cool and new thing called hip-hop.