Brand new from the homie Chance Fischer directed by Soul Live Media AKA Smoothmatic AKA Rob Roby. I haven’t posted too much hip hop on the blog recently but I couldn’t let this video slide. Every time I see Chance Fischer on the mic, I am impressed with his ability to draw his audience closer to him and his style. He can do it all: rhyme, write, perform, you name it. And don’t get me started on the body of work Rob Roby is putting together in the RVA hip hop community. He gets the job done. Check out the RVA images in the video. I think shooting at the Cathedral was perfect for Chance. Also the B-Roll shots on Monument Avenue were a great selection for the duo. I hope they continue to work together in the future. There is no telling how far they can push the envelope in RVA’s hip hop community.
Last Saturday night, the Cheats Movement Blog joined a sold-out crowd at Baliceaux for the first ever RCC’s Battledecks. Battledecks is a comedic presentation using never seen before slides by daring and hilarious presenters; improv at its finest. I knew from the time the first slide was reveled, “Raving in your 30′s” it was going to be a great night. Congrats to the nine brave souls that took the stage (2 were selected randomly from the audience). The night was a massive success. Scott Beckett was the winner of Battledecks and also a new laser-etched iPad Mini. The night was hosted by the owner of BIG SECRET Jason Lefton with slide presentation assistance from his good friends at the Richmond Comedy Coalition. The slides along with comedic courage of each presenter made the night fantastic. I look forward to many more Battledecks at Balliceaux. CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE PHOTOS FROM LAST SATURDAY NIGHT
CLICK HERE for all the photos from Battledecks and make sure to follow: the Richmond Comedy Coalition, BIG SECRET, and the Cheats Movement Blog on Facebook.
Angela Patton is a real hurricane. She is a storm of positive activity and she is changing not only RVA – she is changing the world. Angela started Camp Diva in 2004 to support young girls and provide them with a positive support system. This Sunday, Camp Diva will hold its 6th Annual Date with Dad Dinner and Dance. In addition to the dance, the entire weekend will be filled with father-daughter activities:
Friday 3/15: ACTIVE DADS – 5:30 PM Downtown YMCA – An evening of fun, ‘fit’ for dads and their daughters (ages 6 and up), with Zumba, Twister, Yoga by Ryan McPhee, Cooking Demo by FIT FOR KIDS, Kickboxing by DNA Fitness, Hoop Dance by RVA Hoop House, Cheerleading by VSU Woo Woos, and Door Prizes!
Saturday 3/16: DASH FOR DADS 5K/WALK-RUN – 7:00 AM East District Family Resource Center (FRC)
Saturday 3/16: 2ND ANNUAL DANCE OF THEIR OWN – 1:00 PM Richmond City Jail – Camp Diva hosts a special “Date with Dad” dance for a group of inmates at the Richmond City Jail and their daughters, giving them an afternoon of their own with dining, dancing, and fun!
Sunday 3/17: 6TH ANNUAL DATE WITH DAD DINNER AND DANCE – 4:00 PM Richmond Marriott Downtown – The Main Event with Special Guest Actor Chad L. Coleman and Master of Ceremonies Juan Conde
Camp Diva has a Kickstarter to fund, “Locked In NOT Locked Out,” a documentary film about the Father -Daughter dance held at the Richmond City Jail – CLICK HERE to view the Kickstarter.
I’ve seen a lot of great causes in RVA and supporting positivity for young women – while recognizing fathers at the same time has to be one of the best causes that I have ever seen. Huge S/O to Angela and Camp Diva for all the work they have done since 2004. Much success for a great weekend and prayers for many more. #WESEEIT
There has been so much RVA hip hop coming out lately that I really can’t keep up with it all. I appreciate every artist that sends me their latest work: mixtapes, singles, videos, etc. and I apologize that I can’t get everything posted as fast as I would like BUT keep sending it my way (CheatsMWC@gmail.com). The Cheats Movement Blog will continue to be a outlet for all RVA music and, in particular, RVA hip hop. So with no further delay — Here is what I’m turning up right now:
What can I say about Sweet Petey’s latest joint. Nick F brought it hard on, “Vices.” He is receiving well deserved national attention for the mixtape that features RVA emcees, Radio B and Michael Millions along with his Tokyo Ave Fam, Conrizzle AKA Loochey Lovely, and YMCMB’s Drizzy Drake. Of course, Nick is a beast when it comes to his rhymes and he killed it on Vices. My favorite track on the tape today (it changes all the time) is Pem Pen.
Pem Pen – Sweet Petey ft. Loochey Lovely
Number 15 – Sweet Petey ft. Drake
The Grindaholic himself Octavion X dropped his latest solo project, “Vigilante” in November of last year. While many folks that I’ve talked to believe “Vigliante” to be his best solo project to date (I believe this as well), it has been a slow build for tape. I sat down with Octavion last week for my Grindaholic series and he agreed that, “Vigilante” is in the process of deliberate and targeted branding effort. He wants everything to be right – the marketing, the videos, etc. because he believes in the music. I agree, the music is very impressive. My favorite track is, Get it How I Live ft. Artik Phreeze, Chance Fischer, BC Music 1st, produced by Mr. Ivory Snow.
We R VA ft Suburban District
Noah-O’s New Video, “Looking Down”
Charged Up General Noah O took it back to the Bay for his latest video, “Looking Down.” Check out the new visual. The upcoming record is called, “Thug Wilders Revenge.” It’s coming soon and RVA is on notice.
I’m a fan on HaBits. I’ve seen them rock a few times live and really appreciate the element of hip hop they bring to RVA. It’s a return to the emcee. Their feel reminds me of the throwback origins of NYC hip hop. The new record is called, “Soul Connection.” It is dropping very soon and here is a new single from the record.
HaBits – I Wanna Be
When I sat down with So !lla for the first ever Grindaholic interview, he made it clear to me that Broad Street Elite is the focus and 2013 is year. I respect his grind. Check out the music and see what BSE is all about. My favorite track? This one is tough because I’ve been sitting back watching what !lla have been going through and because of seeing some of his journey I’m going to post the track, Runnin Too Long.” I feel l like !lla has turned a corner and this track sounds like victory to me.
So !lla – Runnin Too long
There it is for now. There is so much more but again, I can only do so much at a time. Keep supporting The Cheats Movement and I’m going to keep supporting your work and RVA. #WESEEIT!
Words by Cheats, Photos by Greg Garner (BlueGoo Studios)
WRIR threw one heck of a party last Friday night. The independent radio station packed out the Renaissance Ballroom for their 8th annual benefit, “Party for the Rest of Us.” This is easily becoming one of my favorite annual events because of its extremely diverse, and RVA based, line up of performers which included some of my favorite bands like: Wolf/Goat and Dead Fame. And it introduced me to ”my” surprise of the night, The Upper East Side Big Band (pictured above), who were flat out amazing.
Last year, I was able to cover the benefit for The Cheats Movement Blog and had a great time running around, taking photos, hanging with friends, and meeting bands. This year it was my honor to curate a Cheats Movement Presents Showcase for the Adams Room. I was asked by my main man Shannon Cleary (WRIR, Commonwealth of Notions) to present some of my favorite artist from RVA’s hip hop community and it was my honor to do so. Right away, I made three calls, Ohbliv, Artik Phreeze, and Black Liquid. I didn’t know exactly how I was going to pull it off but I knew I wanted to work with these hardworking artist and their teams. Ultimately, the showcase turned out even better than I could have imagined because we were able to expand the performers to include team YFD Clothing (Doe, Chris Haskins, Destiny Da Chef, and Flight Crew), and The New Juice Crew.
There is not much I can say about my brother Ohbliv. RVA’s Mad Genius did it again. He had the crowd stunned with his beats and was the perfect lead off to a unreal hour of hip hop.
RVA’s Mad Genius Ohbiv
If you are not familar with YFD Clothing, The Williams brothers, along with emcee Artik Phreeze, are really making an impact in both RVA fashion and music. Their music roster includes, Phreeze, who is really becoming a star in the RVA hip hop scene, Doe & Chris Haskins, who often perform together but both can carry a strong set indivdually, newcomers Flight Crew, Ms. Proper (who was under the weather last Friday but well worth seeing live), and Destiny Da Chef, who did her thang and killed her set on short notice.
Doe rockin “YFD” clothing
Artik Phreeze, Chris Haskins, Destiny Da Chef holding it down for YFD.
Once the crowd was turned up by YFD, then came the show-stoppers known as The New Juice Crew. Led by the one and only Black Liquid, The New Juice Crew took the stage and, as they say, “melted faces.” My good friend from the RCC Matt Newman said it best, “There is no middle ground with The New Juice Crew. No one ever leaves their show and says, ‘They really didn’t bring it tonight.” They bring it every night and I’m glad the WRIR crowd got to see if first hand. Special S/O to my man Bandolero for holding down the dj set all night, as well as performing with TNJC. My brother Corey Starks has a track, “Wurk Wit It” that stands out on the mixtape, “Know The Ledge” but hearing that track live proves it’s clearly a fan favorite. Also the song, “Trackaholic” really showcases all that is TNJC. It was great to see the team on that track.
Bandolero of TNJC, held it down by djing the set and performing.
After the Cheats Movement Showcase was complete, I was able to relax a bit and enjoy one of my favorite bands Dead Fame. I first saw Dead Fame perform live at the RVA Playlist Birthday Bash, last year. They are fantastic. And their live show comes with great music, balloons, and a crazy light show. I just love it.
I will close by mentioning the amazing performances from Wolf/Goat and “my’ surprise of the night The Upper East Side Big Band. Wolf/Goat is just cool to see play. Who doesn’t like a band with a banjo and violin? They have a great sound and perform well live. Their record, “In Watermelon Sugar,” was on of the best RVA records of last year. I truly believe they can go a long way.
Do yourself a favor - check out Wolf/Goat.
WRIR always seem to hit me with pleasant surprise every year. And this year’s surprise was major, “The Upper East Side Big Band.” The are amazing and just left me wondering, “Why haven’t I seen this before?” It’s huge, it’s modern, it’s jazz, it’s everything amazing. I can’t wait to see them again. I loved it.
I could not have asked for a better night to be a part of in RVA. The WRIR Party is truly one of the best Richmond events of the year. Thanks to Shannon and Lindsey for inviting me to be a part of the evening. #WESEEIT
It has become very clear that the goal of The Cheats Movement Blog in 2013 is to do something bigger for the RVA community. What do I mean by, “bigger?” I mean the blog, myself, the entire Cheats Movement Family will deliberately take on the task of creating and presenting the type of Richmond community that we want see spread throughout this city. I think that has always been the underling goal of the blog, to present RVA as the positive, diverse, creative community that I see daily but is not reported in the RVA media. With the growth of the blog it has become clear, or should I say even more real, that this blog (with the help of a lot of amazing friends and supporters) can be a driving force to bring Richmond’s community together. If you were not there last month at Gallery 5 when Photosythesizers, JPS, and Glows in the Dark performed on the same stage, you missed the very best of what I’m talking about. The most diverse audenice in the city coming together to enjoy Cheats Movement Family, The Richmond Comedy Coalition and these bands, that may not have been billed together if it wasn’t for a platform like the one we created together.
It happened again last night at WRIR’s Party for the Rest of Us. Seeing such a diverse crowd, in a small room, grooving to the music of Ohbliv, and then turning it up with YFD and The New Juice Crew gives me a feeling that I can’t explain but I know I want to duplicate over and over again. Immediately following the showcase last night, as well as the Richmond Famous show at Gallery 5, and even follow the RVA HOT SAUCE show nearly 2 years ago, strangers come up to me wondering when are we going to do “that” again. How can we get that vibe again. I feel the same way.
HEAR IS THE POINT – I can’t do it – WE can’t do it without everyone playing their part. Step 1 – if you are not following the Cheats Movement Facebook Page – Click HERE and follow, share it with your friends. We need to spread what is happening in the city. Step 2 – If you see that The Cheats Movement Blog is hosting/supporting a event or cause – rest assured that it will be one that is worth attending or supporting. I am very clear that this blog is about positivity, creativity, diversity, and anything that lift up RVA. Feel comfortable knowing that while you may not feel every blog post, it all serves a goal. Step 3 – if you see something that this blog “should” be supporting, send me an email (CheatsMWC@gmail.com) and let me know. If it is positive and good for the RVA community, you have a friend in me.
I strongly believe that celebrating Richmond’s creative diversity will go a long way in healing some of the lasting bitterness of the past. It’s not the only answer but I can’t solve every problem with a blog post or event. I can take action to create a better city. We can together. I need you to be a part – will you help?
Yoooooo…the hits just keep on coming for The Cheats Movement Blog in 2013. I’ve wanted to hook up with my brother Ohbliv for a long time now and this Friday it is going down at the WRIR Party for the Rest of Us 8. The mad genius himself will be in the building for a set that start promptly at 9:15 PM. RVA, you don’t want to miss this. Ohbliv has been doing his thing in LA and NYC but will be back in RVA for this set. And that is not all…I have more in store for Friday – much more…
Much more indeed in the form of the entire YFD crew. That’s right I’m talking Artik Phreeze, Ms. Proper, Haskins and Doe, all in the building to rock this Friday with the Cheats Movement. YFD has been really making moves this year and this is going to be a very cool opportunity to see the whole crew in one place.
If you’ve never seen my brother Artik Phreeze rock live – come out Friday 9:15 PM at the Renaissance Ballroom.
Last but not least, the entire New Juice Crew will close out the Cheats Movement set. Fresh off shutting down Face Melt Friday and releasing their new mixtape, the entire crew will be rocking on Friday. All I can say about my brothers Black Liquid, BC Music 1st, Corey Starks, Bandolero, Lord Slugg, RT, Emphasys, Swerve 36, Azreal, and the entire crew is that you have to see them rock live to believe it.
So there it is…this Friday WRIR Party with the Rest of Us 8. Cheats Movement Presents…come out at 9:15 PM – don’t be late. And rock with the Cheats Movement Family. Tell a friend – WE-R-VA!
There it is…is that definitive enough. I always shy away from making such bold statement simply because when I do there is something out there that proves me wrong — some unturned rock in RVA that I’ve yet to find that makes me reevaluate such a declarative statements BUT, in this case, all I can say is: good luck proving me wrong. Tuesday Verses is the truth and has been for 11 years now. I was first made aware of Tuesday Verses a few years ago – Yes, I said years ago – when it was operating out of Tropical Soul on 2nd street. I went as far as trying to attend one night and remember showing up only to see a line spiraling around the building. At that point, I turned away thinking I would make it another time. Well, months, even years passed before I had the opportunity to meet Lorna “L-Boogie” Pinckney last year at the Happily Natural Day/Tuesday Verses Anniversary concert featuring Phonte. It was there that we first got a chance to talk and I told her I would love to bring the Cheats Movement camera through in 2013.
So what exactly happens at Tuesday Verses? Well, the thing is – you never know. Every week is different but you will ultimately see and combination of spoken word, talented singing (not your weekly karaoke talent – much better), live musicians, and if your lucky something special. Last week that something special was violist Eric Stanley who blessed the crowd with a few gems. In addition to JeRoyd Dyore Strother, Narrator, Nickey McMullen, the list could go on an on.
Eric Stanley was in the building last Tuesday night.
I would say equal to the Verses talent, what makes it the best open mic in RVA is the family atmosphere. Once you walk in – you are no longer a stranger. As someone that prides this blog as Cheats Movement family – I can tell you Tuesday Verses is a family atmosphere that is inviting and supporting. Lorna and her team gets a lot of credit for that – they set that warm mood from the jump.
Tuesday Verses vet Narrator blessed the crowd last Tuesday.
Tuesday Verses is every Tuesday at Addis Ethiopian restaurant 9 N. 17th St, Richmond, VA. Doors open at 8 PM – Open mic from 9 PM to midnight. Make sure you support Tuesday Verses on Facebook and of course The Cheats Movement Blog on Facebook. Without those followers on social media we may not have to opportunity to do what we do. It’s very important to like both our pages to keep this momentum going.
When you really think about it, there are only a few days in life that you know you will remember forever. For me, Saturday was that one of those magical days.
I woke up carrying a secret that only four people, my immediate family, knew: I was planning to propose to my amazing girlfriend Aria. And I was planning to propose to her in front of a live audience, including a lot of our family and friends during the Richmond Comedy Coalitions’ Richmond Famous show at Gallery 5.
The morning started with my nerves in knots. I woke up slightly anxious about the proposal but in absolute terror about the attendance of the Richmond Famous show. I was honestly worried that no one would show up that night at Gallery 5. I was worrying Aria sick by asking her, “Babe, what happens if no one comes,” I would ask her every 20 minutes.
ARIA: He was so worried that only 6 people would show up. I constantly assured him that people would show. He is insanely modest; he didn’t understand how much of an impact he had made in the community. I kept telling him that people would come out to support him and RCC.
That morning, I started sharing the secret. I called Aria’s mother and let her know my intentions and, of course, asked for her blessing. Her excitement gave me not only ease but confidence that I was proceeding in the right direction.
ARIA: Who knew I could be so gullible. All of a sudden he had an urgent need to go pull the trash can in from the driveway. It was 8:30 in the morning; most would have thought something was up. Little did I know, he was in full master plan mode.
The next challenge was waiting. I needed to keep my emotions in check and not tip off Aria that I was a little more “worked up” than normal. I was helped by some very quality Starz on Demand, I played, “Beat Rhymes and Life,” the documentary movie featuring A Tribe Called Quest. Aria watched most of it with me and just being with her on the couch further cemented, for me, that I was 100% doing the right thing.
Then the phone rang. It was David, from the RCC, letting me know that we would not be alone tonight, if fact the presales were on their way to 100 and he anticipated a sold out show. It’s a strange emotion to feel relieved and excited at the same time – I was honestly relieved that the night was going to be populated – if not historic.
ARIA: While I had no idea he was planning a proposal, during those few hours on the couch watching the Tribe documentary and then Fade to Black I kept thinking of how amazing it felt to be so connected to him.
So when I was telling my mother “the plan”, I could see the utter panic on her face about the “surprise” element of the proposal. It gave her more than “hesitation.” I have always relied on my mother’s advice and Aria’s personality often reminds me of what, I think, my mom was like before she raised me and my siblings. My mother looked at me and immediately said, “Marc, you can’t do that to a women, you have to give her some time to digest what is happening and you don’t want to do that in front of a lot of people.” I thought about it and agreed with her. So I retooled the plan and adjusted to propose in Church Hill right before our planned dinner at Proper Pie.
Fast forward a bit to the car ride to Church Hill, I can’t remember if we even talked. ARIA: He was a bit quiet in the car, but I just assumed he was nervous about the show. I just let him be with his thoughts. The ring was in my pocket and I convinced her we had to go to take a few photos of the city for the blog. I really didn’t think that anyone would be at my planned proposal spot, a wonderful view of the city near Richmond Hill, but as we were pulling up, I saw a few people at the spot. As we got closer, it turned out to be a small wedding. A good sign indeed but I was not thinking about that – I was thinking, “Yo! Where am I going to propose?” ARIA: After seeing the wedding at that particular spot, I was thinking cool, maybe we can just go to dinner, I was starving. Luckily I just continued to go with the flow. I made a quick audible to the park with the statue and the great view of the Lucky Strike building. I asked her to take a few photos and then I pulled out the ring. I waited for what felt like a year before she was able to answer; she was too busy being shocked and smiling. ARIA: I honestly have not been more surprised in my entire life. For a split second, I didn’t want to yell out yes, thinking maybe there were just earrings in the box and I’d be embarrassed. Then I quickly realized of course it was a ring and he was proposing; I was so shocked. I didn’t even realize I hadn’t said yes. Once she said, “Yes,” and I can’t really tell you exactly how I felt. It’s not overconfidence when you’re on the same page with the person you love – you just know it’s going to be cool. I knew we were on the same page and asking was bit of a formality to me.
ARIA: I was ecstatic; I was so excited and nervous at the same time. I wanted to tell everyone we encountered that I just got engaged! I loved the man, I loved the ring. It was amazing!
Once the proposal was done, I had to convince Aria to put her, “poker face,” on because no one knew about the proposal but our families and a very special friend, who may or may not, be back in town from Washington D.C. in time for the show.
Just because the “actual” proposal was done, it strangely didn’t make me feel relief about proposing on stage. I – once again – had the ring in my pocket and it hadn’t really registered that she’s just said yes. Once Gallery 5 started filling up with our friends, I started to get distracted – speaking with friends and running around – that took my mind a bit off the show. Aria left her phone at my house in the West End so she drove back to get it – I’m sure the car ride helped her collect her emotions. When she came back the show, she was almost calm.
I got word that the show was sold out around the same time our “special guests” arrived at Gallery 5. I blocked out most emotions immediately before the show and took solace in RCC cast members telling me, “I got your back,” it was awesome.
The moment I pulled out the ring, my world was a flash. I am so grateful for the people quick enough to break out their phones and, of course, my good friends with cameras because I got so many great photos of my on 1 knee. I honestly don’t even remember doing it. ARIA: I think I was just as nervous as he was, I knew it was coming and I had to sit in my seat for about an hour waiting for it to happen. As he went through the story and then pulled out the ring box, I didn’t have to feign excitement or surprise. I was still so excited and probably still a little stunned. Looking back, I am so thankful that I made it up to the stage without falling. As I stood there as he proposed again, it was still amazing. I just focused on him. Plus I got to see my ring again, and this time I got to keep it!
The rest of the night was easily one of the best nights of my life with Just Plain Sounds, Glows in the Dark, and Photosynthesizers. I smiled, hugged, dance, loved and just had the best night. ARIA: It was a great night. We essentially had our engagement party right there. It was so amazing to have been able to share the experience with so many of our friends and family. It was great to get so many well wishes from people I didn’t even know. Everyone was so happy for us and there was just a lot of love and positivity in the air. I loved both of my proposals and I couldn’t have planned it better myself. I am so blessed to have such an amazing and thoughtful fiancé. He aight!
All I can say is, “Thank you RVA,” I love this place some much – but, to me, when I think of, “RVA” I think of more than geography, I think of family and home. I love my Cheats Movement Family and it was such a unreal experience to share this night with you.
My family was in the front row with those “special guest”
Glows in the Dark killed it – I can’t thank them enough.
The RCC was amazing Saturday night! Please check out one of their shows.
Photos by Cheats – Follow the most diverse blog in Richmond on Facebook. CLICK HERE
Tonight’s Art Karma fundraiser was amazing. Don’t take my word for it check out these two photos from tonight - more photos coming. WE SEE IT!
Great performances all night!
And a great crowd all night!
Go behind the scenes with Cheats, Barz, and Mastro on the set of “Spells.” We shot this video in front of the amazing, I AM A MAN, mural by famous street artist JR on 14th and T in Washington DC. The “official” video is coming soon.
High Standards – No Limits – The most diverse blog in RVA. WE SEE IT. Follow The Cheats Movement Blog on Facebook. Email me at CheatsMWC@gmail.com if you want to collab on content…We do this for Richmond.
The Cheats Movement “Almost” World Premier - Nicholas Mastro “Mastro Time Photography” hooked up with The Cheats Movement and of course the lovely Maat Free for a VEGI ♥ LUV Promo for What’s the Tea with Malcolm V. This video features good friends of The Cheats Movement Fam: Mike Kemetic, Lady V, Team Awesome (Julian and Vic), Aria “In Progress”, and Sam “Sunny Harmonic.” The crew runs deep!
As I stood in line waiting to board the 7 AM Megabus from Union Station (Washington DC) thoughts were still rushing through my mind, Man, am I crazy? This is just a bit crazy isn’t it? This is certainly not normal. Yo, is this really happening? And those were some of my more relaxed thoughts, I had spent the first 2 hours of the trip, driving from RVA to D.C., thinking to myself, What am I going to ask him and how can I get the entire interview done in just 5 minutes. And of course, reminding myself not to spend the first 4 minutes of the interview wasting time on pictures and autographs. The “him” I was referring to was the one and only Bobbito Garcia AKA Kool Bob Love AKA Bob the Baber AKA Soul Food Bob, AKA DJ Cucumberslice.
Garcia, 45, is a true legend in hip hop culture and entrepreneurial pioneer for modern culture all over the world. Let me be clear, hip hop culture is modern culture throughout the world and Bobbito Garcia has successfully transitioned his passion for the culture into a career that benefits the entire world. As a writer, DJ, radio host, and sneaker expert, Bobbito Garcia wears many hats and I was making my way up to NYC, on 3 days’ notice, to speak with him about his passions, career, and latest project, a feature film titled, “Doin’ In The Park: Pick-Up Basketball, New York City.”
I have closely followed Bobbito Garcia’s career for over 10 years. I can’t remember the first time I heard his name but as a fan of hip hop and sneakers, he has always been a person that I considered an authority on both subjects. It was only later that I became aware of his history in basketball and then I really began to understand that we shared very similar passions. I credit his career as one of the major inspirations for this blog and my success as a writer and photographer. If someone like Bobbito can turn his passions into a career, why can’t I?
So you can understand that I was excited to even be in a position to reach out to him for a Cheats Movement interview. And I was even more enthusiastic when he quickly responded with a yes and an invitation to come up to Brooklyn and see a screening of the film. Without any hesitation, I quickly accepted and started making plans to travel up to the Planet Brooklyn.
Upon my arrival to the Big Apple, I noticed that the weather was not lining up for an outdoor screening that evening. Though the weather was nice in the Lower East Side, I had heard reports of rain in BK and even worse a tornado touching down in Queens. I sent an email to Bobbito with my number just in case we could save the interview and save it we did. A few hours later, he called me and asked me to meet him in Tillary Park in Brooklyn; rain or shine. At this point, he did not have to do the interview but he did it anyway because that is his character. That’s really all you need I need to know about him as a person – he went out of his way for a stranger to do something he didn’t have to do – just because he said he would.
The following is my interview with Bobbito Garcia:
Bobbito: What up everybody and peace to Richmond. My name is Bobbito Garcia AKA Kool Bob Love, representing New York and Puerto Rico and honored to be with my man Cheats.
Cheats: How have you been able to transition your passions (DJing, Basketball, Shoes, etc.) into a career?
Bobbito: That’s a difficult question to answer in retrospect. Along the way, I really didn’t anticipate all of this happening. So much of my success comes from cross-pollinating. For example, I started at Def Jam and I use to play ball with Russell Simmons, RUN DMC, and Rakim – I started getting a rep as a ball player in the hip hop industry because I always had ill sneakers. I would have customized sneakers in 1989 – 90 it was unheard of at the time. I would paint and customize my sneakers. That led to The Source recognizing me for my sneakers and me writing an article. That article was read by the person that ultimately published my book – 13 years later she put my book out.
Then though Def Jam I met Stretch (Armstrong) and that’s how I got on the radio show (the Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito Show) . The radio show introduced me to the whole world. And I would always shout out basketball, “Yo, I’m playing at Tillary Park tonight. I got another game tomorrow night.” So people started knowing me as a ball player…overall it’s just kept growing…Cheats so much happened.
Cheats: It sounds like a perfect NYC story. Perfect timing…
Bobbito: Cheats, I have been blessed. Now I’ve been to 35 countries and 5 continents playing ball in each and djing in each. I look back on it all and really don’t know how I was able to do it all. But I do feel blessed. I’ve been kind to so many different people and that always plays infinite dividends.
Bobbito: I really don’t know if there was a defining moment. When I was 19 years old, I played professional basketball in Puerto Rico. That was the first time that I got paid to do what I loved to do and that could have been the original seed that everything else grew from.
Cheats: And now you can add something new to the resume. You can add filmmaker. Tell me about the film and the process of making the film.
Bobbito: The film is, “Doin It In The Park: Pick Up Basketball NYC,” is co-directed by myself and Kevin Couliau. We both took our passions for basketball and film and combined them to create a really unique project. We went to 180 courts in 75 days, 90% of them on our bicycles, and because of technology, we shot the film with at Canon 5D camera, we were able to carry our equipment in our backpacks and make a proper feature film that when you see it – you’re going to bug out. The film is shot beautifully. We got phenomenal interviews; we have amazing archive footage due to the research we completed….
Cheats: And the film was all self-financed?
Bobbito: 100% self-financed. No one commissioned us to do it. Now that the film is done, we are working on distribution so that the world can see it. And hopefully it can be released in theaters and for downloads but for now we are just doing a lot of community screenings.
Cheats: What did you learn about filmmaking that you did not know before the start of this project?
Bobbito: Well, I’ve been in a lot of documentaries Cheats – Just For Kicks, Beats, Rhymes, and Life, Freshest Kids, around about 30 films – Freestyle by Kevin Fitzgerald – so I’ve learned a lot but I can’t really take credit for the film because it was truly a team effort in that regard. David Couliau, our editor, put the film in a structure that made sense to a viewing audience. I’m just a dude that knows a lot about basketball and I love to play the game.
Cheats: I know topics like legacy is tough for you to talk about – most people will end up doing that for you – but as you put things in perspective with music – with everything – what are the moments that you most proud of right now?
Bobbito: Right now I would say two things, playing professional basketball in Puerto Rico. I’m proud of that because that is my homeland; and because I’m 5’10, 160 pounds. I don’t think I was born to play pro basketball. I made that happen through hard work. That is special to me because I beat the odds by achieving that dream. I was cut from my college team 3 years in a row and the spring after that I played professional basketball. I was the second pro basketball player in my college’s history.
I would say my second might be writing the book, “Where Did You Get Those? New York City Sneaker Culture: 1960 – 1987?” I went to Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and I graduated in the bottom 10% of my class. It took me a long time to have confidence as a writer and I built that confidence over the years writing for The Source, Rap Pages, and Vibe, to the point where I felt like I could take on the challenge of a book; which is a lot bigger than at 2,000 word article. It took me 4 years to put it together. It took a lot of research…so right now I would say those two but you never know because this film may be the defining thing. Film is such a bigger medium than books and I have already seen the way the audience reacts to the film. And the film is a combination of me as a DJ as well because I supervised the score of the film. I also wrote the script, so the film really combines my music skills, my writing skills, and my basketball skills. You will see me playing ball in the film.
Cheats: And I’m about to see you play ball in a minute so last question. What advice would you give to yourself 20 years ago – knowing what you know now?
Bobbito: I say this to a lot of people, just figure out what is missing and fill the void. That has been my whole career. No one did a film about pick-up basketball before, no one had written a book about sneaker culture before, on the radio show, we had Nas, Biggie, Wu Tang, Jay Z, Big L, before anyone had ever heard of them. We were just filling the void – that’s it Cheats, I’m about to run.
There is no doubt about it – Lisa Leone is hot in the streets. The streets of LA, the streets of NYC, she’s just hot right now. Coming off a very successful solo show at HVW8 in LA, Lisa’s latest show, THEN dominated the art scene and captivated the hip hop community. THEN, a collection of personal portraits taken in the late eighties of the world’s biggest hip hop artist such as: Snoop, Notorious BIG, Lauryn Hill, Nas, Tribe, the Roots, and many more. It was the photos from THEN that caught my attention about Lisa’s work. However, I had no idea what I was getting into. Lisa is truly an artistic genius. Born in the Bronx, she has worked for British Vogue and VIBE. She was the cinematographer on videos for TLC, The Brand New Heavies, and VA’s own D”Angelo. She has worked with and been mentored by Stanley Kubrick. In addition, Lisa has made her own films and even co-directed one of my favorite documentary movies of all-time, “Just For Kicks.” I reached out to Lisa and she was gracious enough to answer my questions for the Cheats Movement.
If a person walked up to you on the street and asked you what did you do for a living – you would say?
I would say that I am a filmmaker/photographer.
I knew I was in love with photography when…
…when I realized I can tell a story with one image.
For me, filmmaking is a way for me to……
…express feeling, light and beauty…a full expression.
THEN was/is a very personal solo show for me because….
…it’s where it started. Personally as a photographer, but also the beginnings of a movement. When I was at HS of Art & Design and Fabel, Wiggles, and Doze were dancing in the hallways we had no idea it would become a world wide phenomena. Seeing people react to these photos 20 years later is pretty incredible.
While directing “Just For Kicks” the illest pair of sneakers I saw were (fill in the blank) and they were worn by…
hummm, that’s a tough one…I’d have to say the custom painted ones really blew me away…the detail was sick.
Right now I’m working on…
…getting THEN published. There area lot more photos to be included. I’m developing a feature film which I’ll direct. I’m also working with an amazing organization called Young Arts. They bring together master teachers and high school kids to work within 9 different disciplines of the arts. Check it out… youngarts.org
My inspiration comes from….
…so many things….nature, life, friends, dancing!
The best advice I’ve ever received….
It’s not advice that was given to me, but something I observed…when I worked with Kubrick I learned that it was ok to say, I don’t know. Sometimes when we’re on set or in the midst of the creative process we always think we have to know everything at that moment…how to light it, where the camera goes, etc. Sometimes you don’t know and it’s ok…it will come.
Thanks Lisa! Check out Lisa’s work at www.thereallisaleone.com.
Keep checking back…The Cheats Movement X RVA X WE SEE IT!
I profiled my friends Joey Tran and Shawn Hambright back in April to highlight their film, “Singularium.” We’ll the boys are back at it. I dropped by the set of their new film, “Ghost Mom Detective.” It was great to see the process of a film being made. I felt like I learned a little about film-making just seeing those guys work. It was an extra bonus to see so many friends either working production or acting in the film. S/O my improv peeps Rachel, Aaron, Kristen, Robert, and all the good people I saw Saturday. Looks like it’s going to be a great film. CLICK HERE to see my set photos.
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Joey on the set with the camera.
It was really cool seeing how Shawn improved some of the script on site.
Joey and Aaron – someone is telling a joke.
Check out my improv classmate Rachel slapping some bass.
I’m very excited to post my interview with Aaron Vazquez; better known as Aaronisnotcool. I first viewed an Aaronisnotcool video before I even realized it was him. I was blown away by Blu’s video for the track, “Jesus.” At the time, I just remember thinking that video is pure Cali, pure Blu, and pure hip hop. The song was on point (Blu is pretty much always on point) but the visuals really stood out to me as a perfect complement to the vision. It’s a video that I would have love to have witnessed being made. I played it on repeat for weeks but I didn’t notice or seek out the director. It wasn’t until I saw the stop motion video for Sene’s “Footprints” that I noticed the name Aaronisnotcool. I must have showed the “Footprints” video to everyone I knew. I just loved the concept and wanted to learn more about this “not cool” director.
The best thing about living in the present is that the power of the internet leads us to the right places and it wasn’t long before I was following Aaron’s work on vimeo and a regular visitor to his tumblr page. I checked out his entire catalog (you should too) and though Aaron is a young man (24) – he has learned the trade and is only getting better. He recently dropped the video for Backboards featuring both Sene and Blu. It’s one of the best videos that I’ve seen in 2012.
I shot Aaron a note for an interview on The Cheats Movement and he graciously took some time out of his schedule to rock with it….Classic Material right here WE SEE IT!
If a person walked up to you on the street and asked you what did you do for a living – you would say?
I’d say, “I make rap videos.” I think that sounds a lot more interesting than having to modestly stumble around calling myself a filmmaker/photographer. Now, while I don’t just make rap videos, I do consider myself as director/photographer, I really enjoy the reactions to the “rap videos” answer. Most people think “rap video” and the first thing that will pop into their heads is naked girls objectifying themselves in front of guys with cash and cars. But that’s not what hip-hop videos are about anymore (at least what I considered to be the good ones).
I knew I was in love with film-making when…
I convinced my English teacher to let me make a short film about George Orwell’s 1984 instead of writing a paper. I rounded up a group of my friends and over a few weekends we shot every major scene in that book. The short turn out to be really terrible. It was my first experience trying to tell a story, the camera was horrible, and we cut it using Windows Movie Maker. Everyone laughed the whole time during the showing but we all got an A for it. I didn’t make anything else for a few more years.
I first met Blu….
In sunny Los Angeles. At the time I was the only Blu fan I knew. Nobody had heard of him. I would later find out that he had an extremely passionate and loyal fan base but at the time, living in Austin, it was really hard to come across a guy like Blu if you weren’t looking. After making the one of my first music videos, I sent him a message with a long explanation about how big of a fan I was and a link to my best work so far, Understand by M.i.
A few days passed until I got a message back, saying, “Here’s my number. When can you fly out to Cali?” I pooled all the money that I had for a ticket. I hopped on a plane a few days later. Initially I thought I was making a video for Blu, but I’m happy I didn’t at the time. I wouldn’t have been able to handle it. With Blu’s vision and spot in hip-hop I was too inexperienced at the time to do anything I would’ve been proud of. I did end up doing a music video for ScienZe featuring Versis where they are CVS employees which was so much fun. Later that year I would end up making “My Sunshine” and “Jesus∆” and those both really helped me get where I am now.
Sene’s Footprints video took me (how long) long to make. The stop-motion video concept came from?
It took Sene and I about 8 hours to make. We did the whole project in one day at his place. We had originally agreed the night before to make a montage video because I had been following Sene and The Clubhouse around for so long that I had all this great candid footage that we were going to chop. Sene is a really creative guy. He likes to build things, go outside the box, try new ideas out, so the next morning he comes up with this Stop Motion idea and I’m all for it.
Neither of us had done anything like it, we didn’t know how long nor tedious it would be. It was risky as a hip-hop video. The viewer has to listen to the words and be patient with the vision. With everything being so on-demand and instant in our culture now, we were taking a little bit of a risk with making a music video like that.
Right now I’m working on….
A few different projects with fellow director Pace Rivers. One is a music video for “Doses and Mimosas” by one of the coolest bands out, Cherub. We are shooting a short film for the cycling brand Deux North in the next couple of days. We are doing a feature on education in September. Finally, we have about 8 videos finished and on hold just waiting for those artists to say the word.
My inspiration comes from….
Everything. Most of the things I want to write about are re-creations of situations that I’ve seen in real life. Like a moment on a subway between two strangers; that’s interesting to me. Also, being on Tumblr, or other parts of the Internet, you come across something like a photo or a song that just changes the whole mood or gives me a really good idea. I’ll just start writing. The most inspirational people to me (that aren’t my parents) are Kanye West, Tina Fey, Aaron Sorkin, Christopher and Jonathan Nolan, Jerry Seinfeld, Quentin Tarantino, Louis C.K. and Nabil Elderkin.
The best advice I’ve ever received….
I remember being in New York with Sene one afternoon and not really sure what direction I was supposed to take. At the time, I was stuck being the tradition: finish college, get a “real” job and be a full time director. He just told me, “Don’t go the tradition route, I can tell that is your “plan B”. Don’t plan your life around “plan B”. It’s not going to make you happy. Take a chance on yourself.” That was really one of the biggest reason for me to take what I do seriously and moving to New York.
Best night that I’ve ever had with a camera was when…
The #2 ranked Texas Longhorns played the Kansas Jayhawks in November of ’09. A lot of great things ended that night. I made a video of the whole experience. It wasn’t amazing, but it’s very personal and it’s still my favorite video I’ve ever made.
The best city for a young person to do what I do….
is New York City. LA is too spread out.
Before I go – I want you to know…
I love soccer. I work really hard. I usually have on my backpack. I want to create something that will be loved and remembered.
Keep it locked on The Cheats Movement – MAJOR MOVES WILL BE MADE IN AUGUST! RVA- WE SEE IT!
Ice T has been associated with hip hop culture since his debut album, Rhyme Pays, was released 25 years ago. The rapper, once known for gritty rhymes about L.A. gang culture, has matured into a groundbreaking actor, business mogul, and even reality star. It was only a matter of time before he took on filmmaking. In his directorial debut, Ice decided to give back to the culture that gave him his start. For his film, Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap, Ice hooked up with some of hip hop’s greatest rappers to talk about the craft of rhyming. The movie doesn’t have any talk about the flashy cars, the groupies, or the bling – not at all. It is about the love of hip hop and understanding the process of how the great emcees, both past and present, create those classic flows that stand the test of time. Ice is currently on a worldwide media tour to promote the self-financed film. I spoke with him earlier this week about the film, the current state of hip hop, and the recent passing of Rodney King.
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I was hit up by my man Duron Chavis AKA Brother Manifest to check out his RVA Feast award winning project: The McDonough Community Garden. This is a community based garden located at 3300 McDonough Street on the Southside of RVA. The garden is being built in an area designated by the USDA as a food dessert – which means the area has limited access to fresh grown fruits and vegetables. The visuals speak for themselves but the scene Saturday was a diverse group of Richmonders coming together for a common good. It was great to see. S/O to all those that helped out. Make sure the visit the McDonough Community Garden Facebook page for more information. #WESEEIT
This defiantly a cool edition of, Why I Love RVA Today. I’m posted two amazing videos: The first is directed by my dude Robert Roby. He is doing his thing with Soul Live Media. He hooked up with Doe The Paperboy a while back and together they have killed 2012 with music and visuals. Rob dropped a tweet a few weeks ago telling RVA that the Picasso visual was going to be a game changer. He did not lie. It’s one of the best videos I have seen from any RVA artist. I’m looking up at it myself and shaking my head. Well done to both Doe and Rob on this instant classic.
The second video is courtesy of my friends over at Dirty Richmond. It was created by Bree El over at Style on the Move. I don’t make any bones about it – I’m a huge fan of Dirty Richmond. Brian’s site was once again voted the Best Blog/Tumblr in RVA by the readers of Style Weekly. It is very cool to see him grow and see how Dirty Richmond had grown in the last 2 years. This video is great example of how much of a force Dirty Richmond is in RVA. Both Brian and Bree have been featured on The Cheats Movement before and I am sure we will continue to work together in the future.
IT’S MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!!! SMILE, DRINK, BE MERRY…IT’S A CELEBRATION!!!
I kicked off my holiday weekend in a big way. Here is an inside look at my Grind Date Friday: Dropped The Passion of (The) Sleaze video trailer. I’m so excited to be shooting, directing, and editing a video from start to finish. I could not be working with better brothers than The Honorable Sleaze and Brad Ohbliv. S/O Just Plain Sounds. Check out the trailer and let me know what you think.
After the trailer dropped, I headed out to The Shop to meet Sleaze and Ohbliv to finish the video. It’s not done yet but we got most of the work done. Watch out for the full video in June!
7:00 PM It was time to hit West Coast Kix in Carytown to see more Cheats Movement Fam, the very talented Hamilton Glass AKA HAM?. HAM? was kicking off his Last Friday Art Show. I’d been looking forward to the show for about a month and it was great to see RVA come out to support. I also met the lovely Shannon Santiago. Shannon is a photographer extraordinaire that collaborated with HAM? for the show. She also comes with a very funny bodyguard – S/O Cindy (JRT). S/O to the amazing Glass family – Taekia and Sanaa I see you. And my man Distant Dee!
8:30 PM Off to Gallery 5 to catch the Richmond Comedy Coalition (Voted Best Comedy Group in RVA for the 2nd year in a row). Richmond Famous is one of my favorite shows because the RCC takes great stories from some of RVA’s most interesting peeps and do improv motivated by the stories. Last night’s featured guest were the ladies from Rumors Boutique. I’ve always been a huge fan of Casey Longyear and Marshe Wyche since I heard their story years ago. I met them both before but I’ve haven’t been able to land a The Cheats Movement profile with them just yet… but I have not given up hope . The show was great – The RCC is always awesome. S/O to Dirty Richmond and Bree El – spoiler alert: the much missed (by me) Sunday Cypher will return! And word on the street…there will be a great comedy night coming up a Pie (on Lombardy). S/O to Kristen – Have fun in France.
11:00 PM Final stop of the night was at Belly Timber to meet up with Bar Codez and J. Bryant from Photosynthesizers. Photos had just played Friday Night Cheers earlier in the evening. I also caught up with the lovely Maat Free (2011 Vegi Iron Chief)…big plans in the works! All this and not to mention, I just spoke with Black Liquid and he said another great Face Melt Friday went down last night
RVA has some crazy energy right night now. And it’s all love. Go out and see it all – WE SEE IT! Enjoy your holiday weekend.
I just ran across this today on the Steady Sounds Facebook Page – DOPE!
The very talented Hamilton Glass (AKA HAM?) is the featured artist at the next, “Last Friday Art Show” at West Coast Kix. The show is May 25th starting at 6:30 PM. HAM? has been making major moves in RVA with his work in both the G40 Art Summit and the RVA Street Art Festival. He recently finished up his latest mural at S@mple Restaurant (1 North Morris Street). It has been a pleasure getting to know HAM? over the last few months. Many more things to coming in 2012. Please share this youtube link and come out to the show on the 25th.
l first posted about No Name No Brain earlier this year – they killed the “Where I Am” video for their fam Mix Breed. It’s one of my favorite RVA videos. I later met up with videographer (Patrick) Arya Rossman and designer Tom Hart at Globe Hopper just to connect and learn more about their company. Tom and Arya are No Name No Brain and they are on the move…both figuratively and literally. They are putting in work in every aspect: videos, graphics, photography, all of it. They work fast and turn out quality products. On a personal level, I would say that the loyalty they show to their team represents them well. I’ve never met Jo Casino, Cons, or a lot of the artist that No Name consistently works with but I get a strong sense of their lifestyles through No Name’s work…and that is what it’s all about…telling those stories through art. Follow them on twitter: @nonamenobrain – Like them on Facebook [HERE] or go directly to: www.NoNameNoBrian.com. Hit them up – and do it soon – Cali won’t wait forever.