Coming live from the Southside, Radio B’s new album “Whole Foods” hit the streets yesterday. What started as “bridge the gap” album between “Live Good and Be Great” and the next installment of that series, “Whole Foods” was suppose to be a lower profile album – but in the true form of his click Association of Great Minds (AGM), Radio couldn’t just do “any” album, so Whole Foods organically turned into something much more.
I sat down with Radio at The Shop – in the Manchester section of RVA – earlier this summer – following AGM’s classic performance at Epic Fest – and he told me about the motivation he has to make good music and elevate the city’s hip hop scene.
One of the first things people need to understand is that Radio Blitz is a true fan of hip hop. His knowledge of classic records, beats, rhymes, and culture is something that most people won’t fully comprehend unless you draw it out of him – one on one. Our conversation ran the gambit: from Tribe to Jay to Nas to AZ – but what really struck me about Radio’s approach to Whole Foods was his goal of reaching a particular “classic” feeling, “I want to provide a pure, authentic and organic hip hop experience. Something nostalgic – that reminded you why you fell in love with hip hop and to remind me why I started rapping.”
The most appropriate review I can give of “Whole Foods” is that it’s quality hip hop from top to bottom. Radio really shows his range and diversity as an MC. The track, Live From the Southside – produced by Trac-Qaeda – gives you a real introduction to the record and Radio’s heady rhyme style. I think of Radio – both rhyme style and presence – as the AZ of Richmond. He’s not the most acclaimed feature on a record but it’s often his verse that you find yourself repeating over and over again.
Live From The Southside – Radio B
He gets his swag on talking – what MC’s talk on the Nickelus F produced track “Dixie Normus” and then gets his Nas/Slick Rick story telling on with his brother Nick F on the track, The Cart B4 The Horse.
Whole Foods is the first album that Radio has work with wide range of producers. Don’t worry – AGM super-producer NameBrand still has the title track – but production really comes from Cashby, Trac-Qaeda, and Nickelus F. Radio takes you into a “Public Service Announcement” moment – without the reintroduction – on the Ohbliv produced “Journal Entry.” Radio is clear on, “If you can’t see my motivation/I don’t need to bring you around…”.
When speaking about his peers in RVA hip hop and, particularly those in AGM, Radio was candid, “It’s healthy competition within our group – I see what my brothers are doing and it motivates me to work harder – go further. My brothers in AGM is who I look at and listen to – to really spark that fire within me.” He went on to say, “sometimes we (AGM) can come across as misunderstood a bit – like we are too into our own movements – and that’s not really the case. We really motivate each other and that competition pushes us to the next level. We’re never pulling others down – we’re about elevating our music.” That sentiment comes across in Whole Foods because the real highlight of the album is the Whole Foods cyphers – 3 editions – spread throughout the album that features 17 local spittas. I’ve never seen anything like it on record in RVA hip hop. The cyphers alone is reason enough to support the album but the album itself is the real gem. Radio B delivers a classic for RVA. #WE SEE IT
I’ve never rated an album before – so this is a Cheats Movement first: 4.6 mics out of 5. The best Radio B album to date – and in my 2013 RVA Hip Hop classic albums of the year.
Radio B will be performing at The RETURN OF RVA HOT SAUCE on December 8th at Gallery 5. Tickets are available right now at: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-return-of-rva-hot-sauce-tickets-9233715291?aff=eac2
To view the entire photo album – visit the Cheats Movement Facebook Page - Share & Follow! WE SEE IT!
History was made last night at the Old Towne Civic Center in Petersburg. The God Emcee Rakim was in the building. Thanks to Soul Logistics Radio – S/O the brothers J.D. Haze – Doug Evans – Rodney “Soul Singer” – and everyone that work so hard to make a historic night happen. In addition to Rakim the night featured performances by Narubi Selah, Rodney “Soul Singer”, J.D. Haze, & Jasmine.
The evening was hosted by Doug Evans. I had a minute to catch up with Doug after the show and asked him why it was so important that this event came to the Burg, “There is a a lot of shooting – a lot of killing – and a lot of wanna be rappers in our community – so I thought if I bring the God Emcee – the best of the best Rakim – he would enlighten the town and give people hope an inspiration.”
J. D. Haze echoed those comments, “Us being emcees and inspiring emcees, Rakim defiantly had an impact on us by having a righteous posture and keeping it funky for the people. With all the negativity that goes on in our community it is important that we can show that we can have fun in hip-hop in the original way it was intended: peace, love, unity, and having fun, and that’s what we did tonight.
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Yesterday I visited with Movement Family at the First Annual Harvest Festival presented by Renew Richmond. The Green Harvest Festival celebrated healthy food, urban agriculture and community health. Despite the unpredictable weather and some outdoor sound issues we gathered at Jerusalem Connection Community Garden on Richmond’s south side to bond and enjoy some good food and music. Any day that I can hear one of my favorite songs “The Call” performed live by my brother JD Haze – it’s a good day. I was able to capture some special family moments on camera. To see all the photos from the event – visit and LIKE the Cheats Movement Facebook page.
There something really special happening in RVA right now surrounding urban gardening and producing healthy food in areas designated as food deserts. One of the people leading these efforts is my brother Duron Chavis (pictured above). Make sure you follow him on Facebook and twitter to learn more about his urban garden efforts in the RVA Community.
JD Haze (above) Any day I can hear The Call performed live it’s a good day
For all the photos visit and Like the Cheats Movement Facebook page. WE SEE IT!
Why I Love RVA Today: The Horn RVA’s video on this weekend’s Fall Line Fest. There will be more recap and photos to come this week on The Cheats Movement and The Cheats Movement Facebook Page. WE SEE IT.
Big Shout to the homie Jonathan Martin (Love RVA Gallery) for this great video of the Richmond Mural Project. WE SEE IT!
While there are a number of talented songstresses in the Central Virginia area, I’ve had a hard time highlighting their presence on The Cheats Movement Blog which is why I’m very excited to share new music from RVA based singer/songwriter Erikka J. The EP is called “Love Finds Its Way” and it was released earlier this month on Itunes.
“Love Finds Its Way” is a well-rounded 6 track project that highlights Erikka’s diversity in vocals and songwriting. The lead track, “Love n’ Life” (produced by the late Kleph Dollaz) is a classic R&B/Soul track worthy of Erikka’s influence Mary J. Yet, she shows compelling range on “$2 Bill” a slower groove that lets you know she has the range to slow it down and hang with the more soulful singers in the game. You can hear both tracks below:
Erikka will be performing this Wednesday (6 PM – 9 PM) at, “Spotlight at Aqua” (Aqua Lounge in Shockoe Bottom, 1708 E Main Street, RVA). It is a special event for her EP release. She will be performing with a live band, “Hi Definition” and those that attend will get a copy of “Love Finds Its Way.” In addition, a portion of the proceeds from the show will benefit the mural dedicated to the her friend and musical mentor, the late Kleph Dollaz. As well as the foundation set up in his honor “God’s Morning.”
Last night, I made two separate trips to Gallery 5 to catch day three of WRIR X Commonwealth of Notions: Volume Three. It was a great time even though I only saw two of the near ten bands that took the stage. I made a special early trip to see my friends Jameson and Laney of Lobo Marino play live. It’s been a long time coming for me to see them perform. I’m a huge fan of another event they do in RVA, The Silent Music Revival and have been looking a chance to see them perform as a band.
All I can tell you about their performance is 1. I loved it and 2. Jameson and Laney are on a different level. It’s hard for me to describe but their music is spiritual and soulful at the same time. I love their use of various instruments – including a accordion and recorder – and how both Jameson and Laney use their voices as instruments. It’s a dope groove and every song takes you to a different place. I loved it and can’t wait to see them again.
After a long break to do family activities – yes, I have to do family activities – I made it back to Gallery 5 to see the final performance of the night, Baby Help Me Forget. The first time I saw Baby Help Me Forget was their final show at the WRIR annual fundraiser nearly two years ago. I remember the band being flat out awesome and wondering aloud – why are they calling it quits. Nonetheless- they were back for a reunion performance and they were again awesome. Baby Help Me Forget is a concert photographer’s dream. They have so much energy it is unreal.
What started as – what I thought – would be a normal night for me changed into one of the more special nights of the summer. I decided to stop through Balliceaux to check in on my buddy Shannon Cleary’s Commonwealth of Notions: Volume Three. This was day 2 of the 4 day event. Last night featured, one of my favorite RVA bands, The Diamond Center.
I first saw The Diamond Center rock live about 2 years ago at the RVA Music Festival and later saw them perform at Nelly Kate’s Ish Ish album release. I just love their band – and on a personal note the entire band are some of the nicest people I’ve ever been around. With that said, they haven’t performed in RVA in about a year so I was looking forward to seeing them rock the stage.
Turns out, I was not the only person in RVA looking forward to seeing The Diamond Center play live. Balliceaux filled up to standing room only capacity as soon as The Diamond Center started tuning in. It was very cool to be there – the night sort of turn into a who’s who of the RVA music scene. I found myself visiting with friends in some of RVA’s best local bands, some of my favorite bloggers, and just family from all over RVA.
The show last night was awesome. In a very rare move for me – I ended up staying until last call with my friends, enjoying the evening. Day Three of Commonwealth of Notions kicks off today at 4 PM at Gallery 5.
Inspired by the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia, HaBitS (Hawk and Bez is the Smoothest) links up with RVA’s mad genius Ohbliv, the conscience of the city Brother Manifest and creative director Cheats of the Cheats Movement to create Inner Workings. WE SEE IT. Please follow the entire team on twitter: @AllGoodHaBitS, @BrotherManifest, @Ohbliv, @CheatsMWC and share this video on Facebook and twitter. Show love for RVA.
I knew going into the last day of Epic Fest that – on paper – it was the best line-up of the festival. That’s not a diss to the other events, every day had artist that I would gladly pay the admission price to see but when you put: Nick F, Radio B, Michael Millions, Conrizzle, Dr. Millionaire, JFK, along with Noah-O, that is a roster built for headlining and it was: EPIC.
I’ll start with the obvious – the night belong to Nickelus F and the entire Association of Great Minds (AGM) click. Period. When Radio B hit the stage to lead of the set – the mood in Aurora changed. The air sort of shifted and you knew something special was going down.
Fighting what can only be described as a “difficult” sound system, act after act blazed through showing nothing but professionalism and respect for the music but overall it seemed that the sound trouble allowed the back half of the room to fade away a bit – that was until AGM took the stage and forced everyone to pay attention.
NameBrand, Radio B, Nick F, Michael Millions
Radio B lead off the set. One of favorite artist that is still slepted on too much – in my opinion. His latest album Live Good Be Great is a must listen. Michael Millions then blazed the stage with all new music, captivating the stage with his latest single, Slagin Tapes, produced by Nickelus F. Then Sweet Petey took the stage with music from Vices. It’s clear that Nick F’s Vices is the album that took over local hip hop for the first half of 2013. Nick F worked all night adding his rhymes to sets from Conrizzle and Noah-O. In a bit of a surprise appearance Audra the Rapper, took over the impromptu MC duties during AGM’s set. And Monsee, the man behind some of the best hip hop visuals in the area was also in the building.
I have to S/O Noah-O and Charged Up, time restraints at the end of the event impacted his set but he did his thing with a few cuts from the upcoming Monument Ave. Conrizzle returned to a RVA stage after a little break. He performed new music and one of my favorite tracks Pem Pen (from Vices). It was my first time seeing JFK and Badio – they did it big on-stage.
I have over 100 photos linked on The Cheat Movement Page so I’ll cut the write up just to get the images up. S/O to Slapdash. Follow The Cheats Movement Blog. WE SEE IT
Day two of Epic Fest brought a strong hip hop crowd to the Canal Club in Shockoe Bottom. More and more RVA’s hip hop scene is uniting to make Epic Fest the place to be this weekend. Last night featured some dope performances from RVA artist and other from around the state: Wize (reppin the YFD Fam) did it big, S/O to the young homie Zae Kinchen (reppin Natural Talent) – it was good to see my friend Cain McCoy get back on the mic. And this was the second time I’ve been able to see DJ Gringo hold it down. It got a little too late and I missed my homie Chance Fischer and one of my favorites from up north Kevin Sinatra, I know they did it big. But I have to say, the night belong to my dude: RVA’s Mad Genius Ohbliv.
In the age of down south club anthem by DJ Khalid and Mike Will, Ohbliv represent something different. His sound makes you nod, feel, and think. Most of the faces in the crowd were a combination of, “Yes” and “What.” Ohbliv left the crowd stunned. Not to mention there was a brief “Yellow Gold” reunion when Nickelus F grabbed the mic and started rocking out.
The event was hosted by iPower 92.1 DJ A-Plus, who kept the crowd involved and really spread the message of supporting local artist.
I just want to take a minute to Thank the entire family for “EVERYTHING.” For the love and support of The Cheats Movement Blog, the special projects, the live music events, just EVERYTHING. This has been an amazing year so far and it’s only going to get better this summer. The blog is only a reflection of RVA’s diversity and community. If the community is doing well – if the family is doing well – the blog reflects that. And RVA…We are doing great. I have to blink sometimes and think to myself…is this Richmond.
If you’re working to support RVA’s diversity and community – then you are family. This year alone, I’ve met so many new friends that read The Cheats Movement and it’s awesome, Thank you. And to the readers that have been their since the start…all I can say is, Wow…right. Nothing would be happening if it wasn’t for you. I’m so happy about what’s happening in RVA. And with that said….please believe that I’m still hungry to cover it all. No time for rest…my goal is to have the best blog in Richmond. I’m going back on the grind this summer. Cheats Movement Family Photo Coming Soon! Here is the thing…I’m easy to find. Hit me up: CheatsMWC@gmail.com. Twitter: CheatsMWC Facebook – I’m on. WE SEE IT THIS IS OUR RICHMOND!
Words and Photos by Cheats
So far, Stone Soul 2013 has to be the best RVA music event of the year. It was a lights out show from top to bottom. A Radio One collaboration between iPower, Kiss FM and Praise, the show featured diversity across urban music like no other event this year. And not only diversity we are talking star power to the max. Heavy hitter in hip hop: B.o.B, French Montana, Yo Gotti, and Future.
B.o.B rocked the stage with crazy energy.
R&B took center stage with Raheem DeVaughn, SWV, BBD, and Fantasia. If you thought acts like SWV, BBD or even Fantasia would be rusty…you were mistaken. They brought their A-games from start to finish and showed why so many fans love their work.
Future was a crowd favorite at Stone Soul 2013.
There were so many highs and not many lows, I will mention only a few:
1. I was skeptical about the venue change from Brown’s Island to the RIR amphitheater bu let me just say this change was the single best change of the event. No need for lawn chairs – the food vendors are a much better walk, and the venue is covered. The stage, sound and security were amazing and it really made for a great day. Not to mention some of the best weather of the year.
2. The show was the smoothest that I have seen in a long time. There were very little delays between acts and when there were delays King Tutt jumped in a DJ’ed to keep the crowd moving. The varies radio host keep it fun and the show rolled on with major act after major act.
3. While the no curse word rule may have stiffed Webby and Yo Gotti, it made the show very family friendly. And I’m glad all of the acts did their best to respect the rule. Great work Webby (I know it was tough).
4. The award for most body guards goes to Yo Gotti. The best part of this is if you know anything about Yo Gotti – you would not mess with Yo Gotti. Yo Gotti is no joke. But nevertheless he had his crew with him.
There were a lot of brothers with CMG shirts…but no one would or should ever mess with Yo Gotti
5. Fantasia is the real deal. Say what you will about American Idol and reality shows, Fantasia is the modern day Patti LaBelle and is well worth the price of admission. She looked and sounded amazing. She was a worthy headliner.
CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL OF THE CHEATS MOVEMENT PHOTOS FROM STONE SOUL 2013!
Thanks to Community Clovia for always show love to the Cheats Movement Blog and RVA. Follow The Cheats Movement of Facebook and Twitter. The most diverse blog in RVA – WE SEE IT.
One of the best bands in RVA is back! S/O to Bar Codez, Sam Reed, and the entire Photosynthesizer’s family (which The Cheats Movement is a proud member). This Saturday night – it’s called LISTEN Vol 1: The Light in Sound. The show is featuring R&B singers Lela Bizz and Anhayla. RSVP HERE on Facebook.
Last Sunday, I stopped by the Silent Music Revival at Gallery 5. The night featured one of my favorite RVA bands: Wolf//Goat; the movie was Charlie Chaplin’s THE KID (1921). It was a great night. Make sure you check out a Silent Music Revival. Jameson Price does such a great job with this event.
I’m paraphrasing but my brief part of my conversation with songstress Nickey McMullen before her Easter Sunday night set at the Camel went something like this:
Cheats: Are you nervous?
Nickey: No. I’m doing what I love to do…I’m just going to go up there and have fun with it.
And have fun she did! There is no doubt that RVA has a lot of talented singers BUT Nickey McMullen possess intangibles that go beyond just vocal ability. I believe it’s the difference between, what I consider, “young adults” and “grown folks.” It comes down to knowledge of self, knowledge of musical direction, and happiness. On stage, Nickey knows who she is, she knows where she wants to go (and take the audience), and she is having a great time performing. She has found her pocket, mixing original Jazz, Blues & Soul numbers with her unique contemporary versions. Her voice has the power that you expect but when she hits particular notes – there is a genuine moment of whoa….I didn’t see that one coming. Nickey is a staple at Tuesday Verses and rocks with Lyric Ave. I hope you get a chance to she her perform this summer. Check out her Facebook Page: CLICK HERE #WESEEIT
Photos and Words by Cheats
Face Melt Friday has a special place in my heart. It’s the first show I ever shot and I give a lot of love to the people that invited me (Azreal & Black Liq). I’ve been away for a minute – working on other project in RVA, and build The Cheats Movement Presents live concerts, but last Friday I was able to break out the camera and get some photos of some up and coming hip hop artists working in RVA.
I’m starting to feel that FMF is kind of rite of passage for RVA hip hop. Everyone hits the stage a Strange Matter and Black Liq orchestrates the whole thing. I hope it becomes sort of like the Tunnel in NYC or the 8 mile battles in Detroit. RVA is not at that level just yet but I enjoy the fact that the stage is open to all types of hip hop at both Face Melt and at the Rebirth.
Black Liq host FMF once a month at Strange Matter
I always leave FMF with a couple of reflections from the night. Who killed the stage, who I need to see next time, etc. Friday night was a big night for my dude Ice James. He did killed it solo and with Big Ty. I could tell he was just having a good time performing on stage. Big Ty killed the stage – good to see him perform with features from: J-Nero, Lil Omar, Ice James, and Sam Reed, my favorite set of the night. S/O to Official Freeze, Tatum and the homie Spazz. Spazz – I will catch your set next time ( it got too late).
Much luv to YFD (always) and TNJC (always), and my brother Sleaze (always) for holding it down. Keep up with the most diverse blog in RVA. Click here to view all the photos from FMF and support the blog on Facebook.
S/O to the homie Noah-O. RVA, in general, has been dealing with a lot of grief lately…good people leaving us too early. Noah-O hooks up with the homie Taylor Whitelow to remember Kleph Dollaz. The video is directed by another Grindaholic Rob Roby (Soul Live Media). In tough times – I love how these brothers are channeling their energy.
Words by Duron Chavis (Brother Manifest)
Richmond is a very complicated place. Despite how complex its history, the one thing that is indisputable is that Richmond was once the biggest enslaved African trading industry outside of New Orleans. One can’t begin to part lips to speak on Richmond as a historical city without taking a moment of silence over its role in the Maafa, or African Holocaust. Why Richmond though? What made Richmond such a pivotal place for the traffic of human beings? There is so much to talk about on this topic, for the sake of brevity and your attention span I am going to get straight to the point. Richmond made a name for itself as the market for enslaved Africans.
The earliest sales of kidnapped Africans took place at Manchester Docks in areas such as Rocketts Landing. During the 1700’s the importation of kidnapped Africans was seen as a lucrative business opportunity by British merchants. Once the country broke revolted against Britain in 1775 and gained independence in 1782; the question of whether importing kidnapped Africans from overseas was raised, not from the stance of whether it was morally destitute to keep African people in perpetual servitude – more so if it was financially savvy to keep importing them from overseas. In the North, they built ships to import kidnapped Africans. In Virginia, the argument was raised that if the importation stopped the financial value of the children of kidnapped Africans would rise. The Virginia General Assembly outlawed the importation of kidnapped Africans in 1778. The federal government outlawed the practice 30 years later in 1808.
Virginia saw a vision for African people in the late 1700s and that was as a commodity. The expansion into the lower South gave rise to states such Louisana, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas. The tobacco that had made the original colonies successful was failing due to depleted soils from over cultivation of the land. Planters decided to move south. They took the children of kidnapped Africans with them and the interstate slave trade exploded with these migrations due to the ban on importation. Historians theorize that the origin of the term being “sold down the river” has its origins in Virginia, for much of the work in the lower south cotton fields was so intensive. It is estimated that from 1830 to 1860 Virginia sold 300,000 of the progeny of kidnapped Africans into the lower south for perpetual bondage. Wealthy plantation owners took advantage of the ban on importation. Virginia was known as a slave trading state and Richmond was its capital.
By 1845, less than 40 years after the ban on importation of kidnapped Africans – the city of Richmond listed 9 agents associated with the slave trade. By 1860 it listed 18 negro traders, 18 agents and 33 auctioneers all of whom were in the business of selling enslaved Africans. The Richmond Enquirer reported in 1857 that the receipts for slave auctions in the city totaled $3.5 million dollars. If we calculate for inflation that is the equivalent of $92,000,000 dollars today.
The sale of enslaved Africans was big business. There were large traders, small traders, agents, brokers, jail houses and auctioneers not to mention specialty retail merchants that sold the chains and shackles. You remember the movie Django right? Remember in the opening scene where you saw the shackles on the feet of Django and the rest of the coffle? A coffle was group of slaves that were manacled together and walked to auction for sale while attached to a wagon. Somebody specialized in selling shackles. Somebody specialized in selling clothing for enslaved Africans, because when sold at auction they would get a much better price. You had people who sold enslaved African women as sex slaves, domestic servants, concubines and prostitutes. Businessmen specialized in being bounty hunters or paddy rollers to capture runaway enslaved Africans. There were insurance salesmen who would insure an enslaved African as someone’s property or as part of their estate. There were ships that were contracted to transport slaves down the river and along the coast lines. Railroads companies were used to do the same. There were ad agencies that advertised the auctions. The physique, specialty, skill, mental ability or training and temperament all played a role in determining price and there were businesses that catalogued and assessed what characteristics an enslaved African had in order to determine how much he or she would be sold for. The purchase and sale of enslaved Africans was interwoven into the very fabric of the city.
Auctions took place in the streets, taverns and hotels of Shockoe Bottom. The most infamous jail was Lumpkins jail – located at 15th street between Franklin and Broad Street. Countless enslaved Africans passed through the jailhouses as they awaited sale. The African Burial Ground on the opposite side is where Africans who died in the jail from diseases, or were too rebellious and were hanged. Free blacks were also buried in the African Burial Ground. Gabriel, an enslaved African who led a rebellion in Richmond, Virginia with a plan and strategy to kidnap the governor and hold him hostage was also hanged and it is said he is buried in the African Burial Ground as well. It is only recently within the last 3 years that the African Burial Ground has been recognized by the city officially and there has been no archeological studies on the site to determine the size and scope of this mass grave.
Each time I walk in Shockoe Bottom, when I walk past the farmers market on 17th Street – when my feet hit those cobble stones, I think to myself these are the same cobblestones my ancestors feet walked on in shackles to be sold to the highest bidder. I walk past restaurants and clubs and think to myself – these places of entertainment and food were once boudoirs and auction houses. I visited a similar farmers market in London England that had the same exact cobblestones and design as Shockoe Bottom. The offices used to hold businesses that made their profit on the backs of my ancestors, for I am the progeny of enslaved Africans – living in Richmond Virginia. Slavery was an international business that localized itself in the states particularly Richmond ,VA to maximize its profit margin. Each time I pick up a magazine that promotes Richmond as a historic city – I crack a half smile – understanding that the whole story is hardly ever told. When I hear about plans to rebrand the city – that gloss over one of the most important aspects of the cities past – I say a silent prayer that one day we will realize we can’t run from this history; it lives with us to this day. When I think about the systemic poverty in the city, the disparity between those who have and those who have not – I remember that the roots of that disparity were created right here in Richmond, Virginia.
Take a moment to review the work of the Richmond City Council Slave Trail Commission. CLICK HERE
Duron Chavis (Brother Manifest) is the director of Happily Natural Day and coordinator of the Mcdonough Community Garden. He will be writing about RVA Black History every Friday this month.
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!
The New Juice Crew will release their long awaited mixtape, “Know the Ledge Vol 1.” tonight at Face Melt Friday.
Words and Photos by Cheats
So here is the question: Is the New Juice Crew RVA’s very own Wu-Tang Clan? I think the make-up is there, the diversity in style is there, even the drive to succeed is there….only time will tell how this story plays out. Okay Okay…I know they are not RZA, GZA, ODB, Rae and Ghost but let’s face it – NO ONE is - WU-TANG change the game forever. But the brothers known as, “The New Juice Crew,” have the building blocks to follow in the path blazed by those NYC emcee Gods nearly 20 years ago. Tonight is a bit of a coming out party for TNJC. They are releasing their new mixtape, “Know the Ledge Vol. 1″ at Face Melt Friday (Stange Matter, doors open at 7 PM).
The good brother Black Liquid hit me with an advance copy of the tape to drop a few tracks on the Cheats Movement Family. My first read of the tape is really positive. TNJC is not known for studio work – they are known for action-packed live performances, but ”Know the Ledge” plays well in the car - it gives off a lot of energy.
Your Welcome- BC Music 1st, Lord Slugg, Azrael Onassis, Black Liqud
The Cheats Movement Blog is very familiar with the sounds of Black Liq, Lord Slugg, Emphasys, and my dude Azreal Onassis, and they all brought their usaual heat. However, the tape was a bit of a coming out party for my dudes Bandolero, and Corey Starks. They provide a nice suprise – each fronting their own solo tracks on the tape.
Don’t Waste my Time – Azreal Onassis, Emphasys, Corey Starks, Black Liq
BC Music 1st made his mark on the tape as the newest “official” member of the crew. Even though he’s been rocking TNJC for a long time now – BC is a grindaholic and I’m glad Richmond will get to hear his voice.
BC Music 1st – Arrogant
And yo, I can’t leave this post without a S/O to Swerve 36. Hey laid it down. Always one to rock the 1s and 2s and keep the party going - Swerve got on the mic on this tape and did his thing with “This Feeling.”
This Feeling – Swerve 36
I can’t name all the brothers on the tape – too many to name - but trust me when I say it worth checking out. Make sure you come out tonight to get a copy of the full mixtape. As well as see some of the best RVA hip hop talent in one place. Face Melt Friday at Strange Matter tonight.