THE CHEATS FILES: WINTERFEST 2012

Words & Photos by Cheats

There is no doubt that Kingdom has become one of the leading venues for hip hop in Richond over the last few months. I credit this to the hard work of Broad Street Elite caption So !lla who has been putting in work all over Richmond in 2012. Last Friday, I took the Cheats Movement camera to Winterfest 2012 to catch a strong collection on local hip hop in one place.

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Ms. Proper rocking the stage with the entire click. BSE X So Proper Ent is under one umbrella and ready to ride in 2013

Though Winterfest ultimately met the same “key” hiccup as most RVA hip hop shows, either too many acts or not enough time. I was pleased to see a nice size crowd of hip hop fans when I arrived. Though I was upset that I showed up right after my dude Octavion Xcellence finished his set, the crowd was still buzzing and it’s clear I may have missed one of the best performances of the night. Octavion just released his mixtape “Vigilante” and he has some fire on it (Check the track: Get It How You Live).

20121208-IMG_0148-2 Octavion and Artik Phreeze

I did arrive in time to see Broad Street Elite turn it up. Ms. Proper, So !lla, Conci$e, WhopDaSquire, Rich P, were laced up and ready to go. I’ve said this before but it bears repeating…I would need to hit the gym for about 3 years straight to join that click – where do they find the time. I’ve also said this before (and I’m sure I will say again), Ms. Proper is the truth on stage, it’s another level.  She commands the stage – rocks the mic – and does her thing and bounces, I’m always happy to catch her on set.

I then saw Petersburg spitta Rockstarr Gunna. This was my first time seeing him rock live and I must say, I was impressed with his performance. The performance was high energy with strong lyrical flow. I genuinely like the music so I’m not sure if  he needed to highlight the “guitar” element of the show as much as he did. The guitar was dope but until they really got into it – at the very end of the set due to some mic issue (not their fault), the guitar just seemed to be more of a distraction for the fans then a real strong part of the live performance. With that said, I would attend another Rockstarr Gunna performance, absolutely. It’s worth seeing and I have a feeling only going to get better.

20121208-IMG_0108-2 Rockstarr Gunna and the guitar (FYI – that dude can really play the guitar, he got busy at the end of the set)

Next to perform were HaBitS and I’m a fan of their work. I’ve covered a few of their performances in the past (and missed a few more – my bad). I’m a fan of what I call “true east coast hip hop.” Don’t get me wrong – I like a lot of music – but there is nothing like that Eric B and Rakim type flow, that Nas type flow, that a pull out a milk carton or have you man make a beat on a cafeteria table type flow – Habits has it – and a lot of that is missing or won’t pop off in 2012 hip hop. There are some exceptions – Stalley comes to mind but HaBitS seems to bring that type of flow and I’m rooting for them to have big 2013.

20121208-IMG_0093-2 HaBits ready for a break out year.

The final act I covered were my brothers the New Juice Crew. If you read this blog – you know TNJC is family to me so you really have to see their set for yourself to get a unbiased opinion BUT I will say Black Liq is poised to have huge 2013. I spoke to him at the show and the stuff he has planned will get you excited for RVA hip hop as a whole. BC Music 1st deserves mention in this posted because he is really putting in work with, photos, videos, and music. BC’s grind has caught up to Black’s and along with Lord Slugg, Brother Starks, Bandolero, and RT I’m really looking forward to seeing what the TNJC can pull off in 2013.

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BC has showed Liquid type grind in recent months and now locked and loaded for 2013 the TNJC focus’ is on a trillion.

Finally, I have to give some love to YFD Clothing – my man DaQuan Williams and Artik Phreeze. I’m not sure if Phreeze took the stage late but he’s on the The Cheats Movement X RVA Mag mixtape: RVA HOT SAUCE Volume 1 coming out real soon on the RVA Mag Bandcamp page. I don’t know – never met – DJ Gringo but he held it down Friday night – #Salute. I saw Rah Srcilla  – DoeBoydaDude – and the crew from Natural Talent (those brothers are always working) in building. Overall, a good reprentation of RVA hip hop – always glad to be in the building. WE SEE IT!

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