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
My brother Mikemetic put in serious work on this documentary short featuring his son Meechi – and their trip to Graffiti Mecca 5 Pointz in NYC. Mike has been putting in work all over RVA social media and is making a splash with his newest social media project NATIVES – make sure to visit the site. WE SEE IT!
“About 6 months ago Meech and I took a trip to NYC to visit the international graffiti museum 5 Pointz. The building has been in a legal struggle the past couple of months as developers and the owner of the property want to demolish it and turn it into high rise condos. I put this short vid together in support of 5 pointz and as a preview to a more expansive street art retrospective coming out December 2013. Check it out and visit 5ptz.com to see how you can help.”
TICKETS ON SALE NOW!!!! http://www.eventbrite.com/event/9233715291/es2?rank=1&sid=a16d1b8f487211e3acdd22000aa821d4
I’m so excited to announce the return of RVA HOT SAUCE! RVA HOT SAUCE is one of the best live events in Richmond, hosted by The Cheats Movement Blog. Think RVA David Letterman on steroids. HOT SAUCE was first done in 2011 at The Shop. This year we are taking the event to Gallery 5 and it’s already shaping up to be one of the best live events of the year.
(SO FAR) The event will feature live performances by: Photosynthesizers, Anousheh, J.D. Haze, Ohbliv, Radio B, Michael Millions, and Noah O. Along with a performance by the Coalition Theater, a kindness mission from Kindness Girl Patience Salgado, and in HOT SAUCE fashion – an open mic hip hop cypher. And that’s not all, there will be information available and commentary presented by some of the most active community organizations in RVA. RVA HOT SAUCE is a can’t miss event so mark your calendar for Sunday December 8th.
WHEN: Sunday, December 8, 2013 – Doors open at 6:30 PM
WHERE: Gallery 5, 200 West Marshall Street, Richmond, VA 23220
PRICE: $10 at the door – $8 in advance
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.
Twitter: @CheatsMWC Email via the FB page!
Kids and Cameras
No matter the time
No matter the place
There are no language barriers
There are no communication breakdowns
Smiles are universal
Laughs are universal
Love crosses all boundaries
I took the Cheats Movement camera to the heart of the Dominican Republic, the historic city of Santo Domingo. It was there that I found school children wearing Knicks and Red Sox hats . They all stopped, smiled, and stunted for photos. They all ran the streets with happiness – glad to be on a field trip. I couldn’t help myself to break-off from my tour group and join them in the universal language of fun. WE SEE IT!
Thank you for supporting the Cheats Movement Photography! The movement is growing – WE SEE IT!
I was not able to spend a lot of time at this year’s Street Art Festival but here are a few photos from my visit Sunday. Let me know which mural you think is the best.
For more photos check out and follow: The Cheats Movement on FB. #WESEEIT
I know that it has been a minute but I have so many photos from Fall Line Fest, I can’t drop them all on the blog. I will have them up on the Cheats Movement Facebook Page. Like the Cheats Movement FB Page and check out all the photos. Fall Line Fest was a huge success for RVA. I can’t wait until next year. Thanks to all that performed and supported. #WE SEE IT. This is exactly what RVA needs. Lovin my city right now!
The entire Cheats Movement X Fall Line Fest photo album will be on the Cheats Movement Facebook Page!
The interactive Light of Human Kindness mural debuted last night as a part of the RVA Street Art Festival. Richmonders from all over came out to test out the first of its kind mural project created by Richmond’s Kindness Hero Patience Salgado.
Strangers, friends, and family joined hands last night to activate 1,000 LED lights on the Light of Human Kindness mural. The technology was produced by the Martin Agency and the mural design was completed by HAM?, along with a great number of volunteers.
After nearly a year of planning and fundraising, Patience Salgado turned her idea into a reality with the first of its kind interactive mural in RVA; powered by kindness missions and human connection.
The LOHK mural is located at: 2401 W. Cary Street. The RVA Street Art Festival started yesterday and is going all weekend. Please visit both the Light of Human Kindness website and The RVA Street Art Festival site for updates. #WESEEIT
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.
LIGHT OF HUMAN KINDNESS UPDATE: Hamilton Glass is on the scene and started painting today. I took a few photos of his progress. HAM? is really going freestyle with the mural. I asked him earlier today did he have a sketch and he does but he’s really trying to feel out the project; it seems that the end result will be much more organic. Follow the Light of Human Kindness both HERE and on Facebook.
I also have to give a huge S/O and happy birthday to Ed Trask. Ed is the architect of the RVA Street Art Festival and has really moved through a lot of challenges this year to pull the festival off. Happy Birthday Ed!
Come out right now (& this weekend) to help with the Light of Human Kindness Mural Project…The Light of Human Kindness is an interactive mural in RVA that explores what happens when art, technology and kindness come together to illuminate the power of human connection. At the kindness wall at the old GRTC Depot on Cary Street across from Selba.
Big Shout to the homie Jonathan Martin (Love RVA Gallery) for this great video of the Richmond Mural Project. WE SEE IT!
No doubt about it – this year’s 2013 Richmond Mural Project brought a new level of attention to RVA’s art scene. The media coverage was elevated and the murals seemed to take on a more inviting style to the general public. Popular artist like Angry Woebots, Stormie Mills, Etam Cru, Greg Mike, & Gaia brought art enthusiast from afar and gave instant credibility to the vision. I was able to catch up with the man behind the Richmond Mural Project Shane Pomajambo of Art Whino to chat with him about this year’s success, lessons learned, and his plan of the future. WE SEE IT!
This year’s Richmond Mural Project seemed to explode in regards to media coverage and overall reception. What is your take on RVA’s interest in enthusiasm regarding public art and the mural project?
The coverage has been overwhelming. Everyone around the world is buzzing about the Richmond Mural Project mostly because of the star line-up of artists painting in the city and their big following both in fans and press. As we go into the second year more and more people are aware of what we are doing and the mission of the Richmond Mural project. I am looking forward to those same people telling their friends and quadrupling the support next year.
Compare this year’s Richmond Mural Project to last year’s G40 and tell me what lessons did you learn from last year and how they were able to assist you this year.
A lot of lessons were definitely learned last year - from organizing and getting muralist up in the morning up at the same time in the morning to organization of the smaller items which have to fall into place. This year was a slam dunk in all aspects and we have definitely had smooth sailings.
What was the final total on artist and murals?
This year we had 13 muralist in town with a total of 22 Mural implemented for a grand total of 45 so far.
What has been the major challenge in ensuring live art projects –like the Richmond Mural Project – succeed in places like Richmond?
If I understand your question correctly you are asking what is the major challenge in producing the Richmond Mural project? Funny enough there really has been a major challenge which is why the project is so successful. From day one the Mayors office has been quick to adopt the project as a official Arts District project. The business owners have been overwhelming supportive such as Alan and Todd from Selba and Meeshell, Ernst and Johnny from business such as Sidewalk Cafe and Kitchen 64. Of course the people have been super supportive as well. People such as you Marc who help spread the word!
What is your long-term vision for the Richmond Mural Project?
My long term vision for the Richmond Mural project is to have the largest collection of murals from the greatest Muralists in the world right here in good ole Richmond. This will attract visitors from all over the world for years on end to come to Richmond and enjoy its amazing multidimensional offerings it has.
Do you have a favorite mural in Richmond?
I don’t because for me my favorite thing about the murals is the process. When you place the perfect muralist in the perfect spot and they create a piece that is his or her reaction to their experience in Richmond for me is my favorite part. So with that said they are all my favorite!
ATL’s Greg Mike destroyed my book of tags earlier this week. He went out of his way to hook it up while he was in town for the Richmond Mural Project. Check out his work at: http://gregmike.com/ Follow The Cheats Movement for more Richmond Mural Project work drops. Greg Mike is the TRUTH! WE SEE IT!
This is the first mural ETAM CRU (BEZT & SAINER) has done in the U.S. Honestly, this is their first time across the pond to the U.S. but that didn’t stop them from making an impact with one of the best murals of the Richmond Mural Project. Located in the 7-11 parking lot on West Grace right by the Village Cafe (heart of VCU), ETAM CRU’s mural is beautiful and though provoking. WE SEE IT.
For the second year in a row, B-More s artist Gaia, took the trip down to RVA to bless our city with a fantastic mural. Gaia has been on a grind like no other in the past 12 months, traveling all over the world, and was recently ranked #1 on Complex Magazine’s list of the 50 greatest street artist right now. You can see his mural on the corner of Main and Rowland in the fan.
The Richmond Mural Project is rolling along. EVER finished the first mural at Selba (on Cary St.) and in a very swift two-day mural, EVER’s fellow Argentinean Sonni, went up at Portrait House (2907 W. Cary Street) in Carytown. WE SEE IT!
The creators of last year’s G40 Art Summit are back to work in RVA. Shane Pomajambo, founder and director of Art Whino, and his creative partner Tony Harris of RVA Mag have a goal to bring 20 new murals to RVA in over the next two weeks as a part of The Richmond Mural Project. EVER (Nicolás Romeo) of Buenos Aires, Argentina is the first internationally known artist to visit and complete a mural for this year’s project. EVER’s finished mural can been seen at Selba (2416 W Cary St Richmond, VA). Ever, along with local based collaborator, Ben Larsen are heading down to Harrison street today to start a new wall at 534. Check back on The Cheats Movement Blog and Facebook for new update of the Richmond Mural Project. WE SEE IT
The Cheats Movement Blog (Follow this blog) will be bringing you all-access coverage of Epic Fest 2013. S/O to Octavion X, Cain McCoy, and the entire team Slapdash for having the vision and foresight to host a four day hip hop event featuring local and regional acts. You have to understand, Epic Fest gives love to the underrepresented hip hop community in the Greater Richmond area – that’s love. I hope you check out the imagines on The Cheats Movement over the next four days, S/O to RVA Mag (who I saw in the building), and any of the other outlet shining the light on RVA hip hop (truly it’s not that many).
Epic Fest is so big this year they had to split day one between two venues: Summer Breeze, which featured some of my favorite R&B acts such Lela Biz, Mimi Velez, Erika J, and Anhayla – I “heard” was live! I say heard because I was not there…I know but Epic Fest was so large that I had to make a choice on which event to cover last night and I had to go with my roots – the more hip hop based show Project Wake Up!! at Infuzion.
I’m doing something different for Epic Fest 2013. In honor of one of my favorite photographers Mel D. Cole who often kills events in Black & White, I’m shooting all 4 days in Black & White. I love the medium and want to add an unique spin to what everyone else is doing – so check for the Cheats Movement Logo and the Black & White the next 4 days.
Hawk – HaBitS
The “Real” YFD – S/O Chris Haskins
Doe Boy Tha Dude (YFD)
It was definitely NOLA in RVA Friday night at the National. The Rebirth Brass Band took the stage and brought Mardi Gras to Richmond. I love New Orleans jazz and gospel music. I go out of my way to catch a show from Trombone Shorty or the Lil Rascals Brass Band and to have Rebirth, 30 years in the game and the only brass band of its kind to win a Grammy, in RVA…it was a can’t miss show.
Rebirth performed with the energy and skill that makes you understand – there is only one place in the world that could produce this type of sound – New Orleans. New Orleans is the brass band equivalent to Nashville for country music. It’s the place that births musicians with an appreciation for jazz, gospel, swing, soul, hip hop and country – and the city mixes them all together like their signature dish gumbo.
Every Rebirth songs have a classic NOLA sound. The band played tracks from their 2012 Grammy Award winning album, Rebirth of New Orleans and their insanely popular compilation, Ultimate Rebirth Brass Band. They gave a tribute to NOLA great Professor Longhair with their cover of, “Go To the Mardi Gras” and killed their anthem, “Do Whatcha Wanna.” My personal favorite song of the night was their cover of, “Cassanova.”
I was so proud that the crowd at the National was packed with music lovers. I have to admit I was worried the RVA may not coming out in large numbers for NOLA jazz. Again, I was wrong and Richmond proved to be a better place than I could ever imagine.
It was a party baby!
I love it when the Fam comes together in unique ways. I’ve been a fan of the Silent Music Revival for a while now. Jameson Price does an amazing job keeping this event going with great RVA talent. And tomorrow night at Gallery 5, I think, SMR will reach a brand new level with the one and only RVA Mad Genius Ohbliv.
Ohbliv is a rare talent for RVA. His beats and production reaches far beyond RVA to levels as far as Iceland (No really – the brother released a record with a label in Iceland). The best way to describe to Ohbliv’s music is to truly say there is not description BUT there are moods, feelings, and emotions. He takes the listener through these moods, feelings, and emotions with him. His musical journey is so deep it moves into the realm of something spirtiual. “I’m looking to get an emotional response with my sound. My music is all about spirit and emotion,” is what Ohbliv said to me during an RVA Mag interview last year. This show is one not to be missed.
If you’ve never been to a Silent Music Revival before, it’s truly a gem in RVA. A silent movie is played (tomorrow night Mechanical Man) and the featured musician or band plays their music over the movie. Though the artist has never seen the movie prior to the gig, the film is curated in a way that always makes the artist fit the type of film. It really is something special. I hope to see you tomorrow night.
If you haven’t noticed, RVA artist Hamilton Glass has been on a tear in 2013. Mural after mural, the artist known as HAM? has been leaving his mark all over RVA with his signature structured style and though provoking images. As HAM? prepares to show new canvas work for the first time since 2010, I caught up with the fam to check-in and find out what to expect from Between the Lines on July 2, 2013 at the LOVE RVA GALLERY (202 West Broad Street). RSVP for the show HERE!
I’m very excited about your upcoming gallery show, Between the Lines, tell me what excites you about the upcoming show?
The show “Between the lines” is my latest conviction to myself that art/creativity is what I’m born to do. It’s also a celebration of me excepting the evolution of my work and coming into my own style. Unlike past shows, I have complete creative control on what and how I show my work. I finally feel like I have enough of a following for people to understand my work as well.
Timing is very important when considering showing new work, why is the timing right for you now?
The timing with this show just falls at a great time in my life where I’ve decided to make a go at being a full time artist. It’s something I’ve been looking to do ever since I first showed my work in 2009 but never really had the confidence to truly pursue. Another interesting aspect to the timing of this show is that I have not shown new canvas work publicly since 2010. Over the last couple of years, I’ve been so caught up with mural and commission work that I hadn’t taken the time to produce work of my own.
How is Between the Lines different from your other gallery shows?
The Between the Lines show will be a lot different from any show I’ve ever done just by the pure evolution of my work. I feel as though I am a bit more conscious of who I am as a artist, which in turn makes me a stronger artist. I’m designing the show from top to bottom, which will include several new works and an installation which shows my appreciation to Love RVA gallery for hosting my work.
In 2013, you’ve made the decision to focus on art full-time, how did you come to that decision and how has that decision influenced your approach to art?
This year my company downsized their staff which gave me the opportunity to go after my dream of being a full time artist. So far it has been a blessing in disguise and I could not be happier with the way things have turned out. Having more time to create and work on bigger projects has helped me develop my identity as an artist.
What do you have planned for the rest of the summer?
Really excited about the rest of the summer. I’m looking forward to doing a couple of community murals around the city along with my participation in the 2013 Street Art Festival. I’m also looking to push some mural work outside of RVA sometime soon. All in all the goal is to keep moving and evolving.