LIVE AND NATURAL: PHONTE, PHOTOSYNTHESIZERS, DEREK 32ZERO, – PHOTOS FROM THE HAPPILY NATURAL DAY CONCERT
Hip hop heads were out in full force Saturday night for the man they call Tigallo – Phonte of Foreign Exchange (formally of Little Brother). When I spoke to him last week he told me that RVA should expect a good time – he was right. Phonte delivered one hell of a show. He brought high energy, amazing stage presence, and a connection with the crowd on every song. Of course, it helps when your fans are hanging on every word and know every lyric. Phonte’s fans new every track – weather it was from his solo album, Charity Starts at Home, or Foreign Exchange, or Little Brother – they sung almost every word. He could do no wrong Saturday night and represented to the fullest. I commend the organizers of Happily Natural Day for such a perfect selection. Beyond the performance, Phonte appeared to be having a great time doing what he loves. He is fully aware of his place in hip hop and appreciates the support he gets and the fans that came out. He didn’t take too many breaks but during the breaks he did take – he took a moment to talk to the audience about real life. And his chats were mostly hilarious. His best line of the night was, “There are two types of people in the room – people that are sad that the summer is over – and people with kids.” Well, I’m sad that the night had to end but it was well worth it. One of the best shows of the year.
Also holding it down Saturday night was my family: Photosynthesizers. I was glad to hear that Photos had spent all day in the studio recording new tracks. You know how I feel about them as a group (BEST BAND IN RVA). I can’t wait for the new music to come and and kill the RVA scene. Also, they got on the merch grind too – check out and pick up one of their new T-Shirts.
Finally, shout out to the brother Derek 32Zero. This was my first time seeing him perform but he held it down. You could tell he was a seasoned live performer. He kept the crowd engaged, worked the stage, and represented for real hip hop. He put in work to a crowd that wasn’t really familiar with his music (and the music was dope). Always good to see new hip hop talent in VA. I will be looking to see him perform again. He also brought with him VA super producer Nottz. S/O to him for coming through.
A great show and night all the way around…follow the Cheats Movement on FB for more updates. WE SEE IT.
This week has been great for RVA comedy. It started on Wednesday with Midnight Suggestion featuring my friend The Checkout Girl, Jeff (Jeph) Kelly and Kenny Wingle. The show was already going well and then it got even better when they announced that Sara Schaefer had just showed up and was going to tell a few jokes. I’d never met Sara before but growing up here in RVA, I had heard of her success working in NYC and of course, being the Head Blogger for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. She took the mic and told some really funny, detailed, and explicit jokes. Not only was I pointed out for having a camera – I was also the only black person in the room (of about 14 people) – so Sara’s bit about ending racism went over great with this guy :). I loved every minute of it. So much in fact, that she won a fan for her tour Stop at Gallery 5 Thursday night. My good friends from the RCC Katie Holcomb and David Pijor AKA Middle Management opened for Scott Moran and Sara at Gallery 5. They were great! The show had great energy because earlier in the day it was made public that Sara and her comedy partner Nikki Glaser would host a new late night show on MTV! I’m so happy for Sara!
The great comedy continues tonight as the Richmond Comedy Coalition is presenting their 3 year anniversary show at Gallery 5. Trust me…they are not the best comedy group in RVA for nothing. Make sure you check it out.
Sara Schaefer crashed Midnight Suggestion at Steady Sounds.
Jeff Kelly, The Check Out Girl, Kenny Wingle, and Sara at Midnight Suggestion.
Leave it up to the cats from the suburbs to take over the summer. Beer for Breakfast, the highly anticipated summer release from Suburban District is available today. It took some work but I got to hear some of the tracks last night. The District hooked up with producer Conrizzle for a large part of the album and the team hits on all levels. The majority of the new record keeps the classic District sound, up tempo party records that keep your head nodding, if not completely wildin out. You can tell that The District is taking their music to another level with this album. The record is more polished than their previous work. And as a guy that really appreciates and analyzes music videos, their new videos (which have always been strong) seem to be on par with the quality of this record. Both the videos for Candy Flip and Hands Up are very strong. Tim Porter, Octavion, and Fair have moved up a level with this record. I’m really looking forward to seeing them shut down Epic Fest and how they handle the rest of the summer.
Hello X Goodbye [Produced by Conrizzle]
Slow Down ft. Patch Carr [Produced by Conrizzle]
Album cover art work by Nicky Chulo.
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
The best thing about The Cheats Movement blog is that it allows me to meet new people and learn about new things in RVA. I met my dude Sheb AKA Skywalk3R at the Shadrock Music Fest and he told me about his weekly radio show Electronica Weekly. I told him that I didn’t know much about electronica music beside the amazing photos that I have seen of his live shows (Skywalk3R does his thing with the trio Nint3ndo). He invited me down to the U of R radio station to check out his show in person. It was a really cool trip. His studio partner Justin AKA E!i Cash was in the mix, djing some on-air sets. I was able to talk Cheats Movement but mostly learn about the EDM music scene in RVA . I had now idea what was going on right here in this city. I can’t wait to shoot one of these crazy shows. Make sure you stay up one Tuesday night and check out the show: The Electronica Weekly Radio Show airs every Tuesday Night from 11pm-1am on WCDE’s 90.1 – Richmond, VA! For live listening, please go to www.wdce.org.
SKYWALK3R AND E!i CASH – The host of Electronica Weekly
E!i CASH: Lil Wayne vs. Minnesota – Babylon Stuntin (Dubstep Mashup 320 DL)
SKYWALK3r: NINT3NDO (SKYWALK3R Glitchfvk) – X1
What a blessing it was to cover the Stone Soul Music Festival on Saturday at Brown’s Island. I have to again thank Community Clovia for her help allowing me to cover the amazing day. Stone Soul was fantastic! Great weather, live performances, and friendly people made for a spectacular event. I know a lot of photographers covered the festival but I was able to really get some strong work done backstage (mostly stalking the new love of my life Melanie Fiona). Parliament killed it and George Clinton is just a great dude. Tank is wonderful guy. And my man Special Ed…true hip hop history. Boyz II Men were very friendly and professional.Travis Porter and V.I.C were great backstage. I really didn’t see Fabolous backstage because of his bodygaurd …that all I will say about that. Always good to see my sista Mimi and Black RVA…luv to them for all they do.
I will say that all the on air personalities at Radio One were great to me. I was humbled to be there and hope I can do more to cover these types of events in the future. No one is doing it quite like The Cheats Movement Blog – and I need your continued support. I’m not saying that I’m doing it better by any means…just a different look. A look that relates directly to the city that I love. #WE SEE IT! and it’s all for RVA! PLEASE KEEP SUPPORTING THE CHEATS MOVEMENT ON FACEBOOK
Melanie Fiona and George Clinton Backstage at Stone Soul.
My path first intersected with the lovely Sara Gossett the weekend of the Shadrock Music Festival. After battling horrible weather and ultimately shooting De La Soul at Brown’s Island, a group of us danced the night away at Balliceaux. Sara, aka Sister Goldenhaze, was spinning old school dance tunes with her friend DJ Mixie. I was blown away. So blown away that the following week I reached out to Sara and DJ Mixie to get them both on the blog.
I was delighted to learn that Sara also paints and draws. I stopped by her first solo show last night at Steady Sounds to officially introduce myself and check out her show.
Sara was great to meet in person. I look forward to showcasing more of her talent on The Cheats Movement. If you can, swing by Steady Sounds to check out her showing and also click here to buy her work online.
It was a who’s who of RVA music at The Camel last night to celebrate the 2nd birthday of RVA Playlist. If you are not aware, RVA Playlist is what I call, “the RVA music people’s music blog.” It is run by my friend Andrew Cothern. Andrew and I met in January of last year thanks to the Richmond Comedy Coalition and we have been friends ever since.
Last night the RVA music scene came out in full force to support Playlist and to see some amazing RVA bands: Against Grace (helped out by my man Doe the Paperboy), Dead Fame, and Marionette. Let me just say, I had never seen Dead Fame or Against Grace play live before and I am sold on them both. I first saw Marionette play last year at the K&B showcase and they are great. Andrew did a great job with the line up and on best of all, the show was free.
Side Note: It’s always nice to meet a fellow RVA blogger that I feel like I know from twitter and Facebook – S/O to to Your Hear That blog. So great to meet you last night.
CLICK HERE TO SEE ALL THE PHOTOS FROM THE GREAT PARTY LAST NIGHT!
All artist living and working in Richmond understand the challenge of being fully accepted in this town. I have often heard that RVA is even more critical to home grown talent than most other places. I’m not sure if that is 100% the case, but I know gaining a dedicated fan base in RVA is not easy. That is why I’m so excited to see the excitement currently surrounding my friend and very talented artist Hamilton Glass, aka HAM?. HAM? has taken 2012 by storm. He has been killing work all over RVA: the RVA Street Art Festival, the G40 Art Summit, murals, gallery shows, and even skateboards. HAM? has been on point. And it’s cool to see RVA starting to take notice and support his work. At his most recent art opening, a solo show for West Coast Kix, there were people from all over that came to check out his display. His work is powerful and pleasing at the same time.
Spending time with HAM?, and his family, has allowed me to see the effort it takes for a major artist to be successful. It’s a merger between talent and opportunity. HAM? defiantly has the talent, it is nice to see that he is starting to get more opportunities. Be sure to check out his display this month at West Coast Kix and visit his web site: whosham.com.
For the second year in a row, the Richmond Comedy Coalition has been named the Best Local Comedy Group by the readers of Style Weekly. They took back to the Gallery 5 stage last Friday night for another addition of their show, Richmond Famous. Friday’s featured guests were Casey and Marshe, the founders of Rumors Boutique. Their stories were great: recounts of the first time Casey and Marshe met each other, a story about international blind dating via Myspace ,and Casey’s desire to race people without warning – were all hilarious. The improv was equally solid. David (who was also voted one of the best beards in RVA from Style Weekly), Katie, Jason, Dustin, Steve, Aaron, Josh, and Patrick once again brought the house down with their all out style of live comedy. There was was beard licking, slam dancing, and someone got Pottered!
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.
The crowd far exceeded what was anticipated last Saturday at Dominion River Rocks. There is no doubt the attendance was helped by another glorious RVA day. I must say, as much as RVA is a trending hippster town, there has always been strong support for hiking, climbing, running, and all the outdoor events that River Rocks brought to Browns Island last weekend. I was extremely impressed with the slack line competition. Slack line is definitely a reminder that I’m getting older and there is a generation of kids that are growing up with cool things that I never had. In addition to slack line, competitive wall climbing, and bike jumping, River Rocks brought a ton of cool things to RVA: air dog competition, mud runs, food vendors, and of course, live music. One of the best live bands in the world closed out Saturday night, the one and only Galactic from New Orleans. I was unable to make it back down to the island on Sunday so my photos are from all day Saturday. Check them out and let me know what you think.
First and foremost – a huge shout out to Don Harrison, Toni Stevens, Jason Roop, anyone and everyone at Style Weekly for granting The Cheats Movement Blog press access to let me do what I do yesterday at the first ever Shadrock Music Festival. It really gives me a good feeling that my blog (one guy with a camera) can really start to grow something positive in RVA. I can’t put into words how great everything is going for The Cheats Movement Blog this year…
With that – The Shadrock Festival was really dope! Here is what’s going to happen – a few years from now, everyone is going to say they were there for the first Shadrock Music Festival and De La Soul. That’s what’s going to happen but the truth is….poor weather made a significant impact on the attendance. Not just the rain – which it rained really hard in pockets – but it was cold. It was a bad weather day – no way around it but Style Weekly did an amazing job with the bill. The bill was fantastic! And the decision to headline the show with Yo La Tengo and De La Soul was perfect.
Both Yo La Tengo and De La Soul brought completely different sounds and fan bases to the festival but there is something special about RVA that made it work well – it was such a RVA experience last night and it was perfect. Also, Shabazz Palaces and Dum Dum Girls both did an amazing job. I first heard of Shabazz Palaces about a week ago from a friend. I downloaded their album “Black Up” and love it. They performed a great live show with some serious improv and just crazy beats and flow.
Dum Dum Girls, made the biggest impression on me – I can’t deny they are very easy to look at but beyond that – their live show was great. Much better than the albums songs that I heard leading up to the festival. They were so great – they took so many photos after the show (including one with yours truly) and they stood in the crowd to enjoy the rest of the headliners. They were just mad cool rockstars – I loved it. I also got to chat with Plug 1 (Pos) and Plug 2 (Dave) after they tore down the stage. Unfortunately, Maseo couldn’t make the show last night but it didn’t slow down the fast pace show. De La’s music catalog is so amazing – every song they played was a hit (Grind Date, Potholes in my Lawn, Saturday, on and on) and I walked away thinking of so many songs they still could have played. Funny story – after De La got off stage all they were talking about was the Knicks loss to the Heat. They are NYC through and through. Loved it. They were very gracious and glad to be back in RVA. Pos (who’s voice was gone after the show) said they hadn’t been to RVA in about 10 years and loved the vibe. I have so many photos…I will be posting all week.
Last but actually performing first was Cheats Movement Fam, Photosynthesizers…don’t worry – I’m working on something special in regards to their amazing performance.
I’m sure moving forward everyone will have amazing coverage from last night — visit it all – view it all – it’s well worth it but keep checking the Cheats Movement this all this week — I have so much stuff coming. Also – Like the Cheats Movement on Facebook!!!
True hip hop was on deck Saturday night at the Art Whino Gallery (115 West Broad Street). Everyone that knows hip hop knows that the rap battle is a core element of being an emcee. Man v. Man – my skills are better than your skills – off the top – no written rhymes - THAT IS WHAT SEPARATES THE REAL. The G40 rap battle was a fun time had by all – Flex Matthews (D.C.) did his thing as the host. DJ MadOne held down the beats. And a combination of emcees (mostly from D.C. and RVA) represented well. Eito, the traveling man (based in NOVA), edged out RVA’s own James Dangle in the finals to claim the battle crown. Just Plain Sounds represented well with Dangle making it to the finals and Damaged Andy battling hard against the eventual champ Eito. Others emcees representing: Chungo Rock, Profit, Tesla, and Spike Mouth aka Ray aka he saved the battle. The photos really show the love in the room. The event was small but well done – all love for G40 and the emcees on this one. S/O Mr. Harden — I see you homie on the coin flip.
4.20 may not be a “National Holiday” but it is celebrated by many nonetheless. My dude Black Liq brought a deep line-up to The National for a hip hop 4.20 celebration. Liq has been fairly quiet so far in 2012 but he let me know that he is not taking any time off and new material is getting done. Also, on the bill was Doe The Paper Boy. Doe continues to impress in 2012, his new music is on point, his new videos are some of the best I’ve seen out, and Friday he entered the stage on a chrome beach cruise bike – SWAG. Tox Sick came straight from the hospital (no really – he has a hand injury) and did his thing on stage. Onassis Music Group (O.M.G.) really shut it down Friday night. Paul Pace (O.MG.) is my man – he knows that I give him a hard time (a very hard time) about some of the internal workings of running a label (something I know nothing about and he does daily) – but he had the squad hitting on all levels Friday night and turned out a performance that could be a major move forward. Photo of the night had to come from The Honorable Sleaze – who did double duty as performer and host for the evening. DJ King James held it down (as always) all night – always check out what he is doing.
Yesterday, I dropped by the Earth Day celebration in Manchester to catch Noah-O performing on Style Weekly’s main stage. Noah-O, joined by the lovely Lela Bizz, brought some hip hop and R&B to a stacked musical line-up featuring some of RVA’s most popular indie rock band (The Trillions and Diamond Center – both friends of the blog also preformed).
Noah didn’t disappoint – bringing that Charged Up Ent. energy to the stage – working the crowd – and really representing for hip hop music. Both Noah and Lela Bizz are featured in this week’s Style Weekly music issue. I’m happy to see Style recognizing their talent.
I first met DANK D at the K&B Music Showcase last year. He was the only hip hop artist on a bill filled with some very talented (and diverse) performers. His passion for live performing and his growing fan base caught my attention. I was able to speak with him after that performance and was pleased to find a humble young artist – who had made some moves on his own but was coming into a better management situation with my dude DJ Lavan and his team at K&B Music. Since that show, DANK D’s live performances have only gotten better and more attention. He has also played a few shows with my Cheats Movement Fam: Photosynthesizers and Just Plain Sounds (Check out the Richmond We Go Hard Live Remix). Today he is releasing “Planet Diesel” a new album for download. DANK D is also performing live tonight at Bonvenu. Here is the title track from Planet Diesel:
Last weekend my dude Cain McCoy and Team Slapdash took over Strange Matter for two nights of events. I was able to make it out to Cain’s Birthday Bash. The event featured performances from Eli Dynamite, Sky Blew, Les La Britanica, Dr. Millionaire (Former Isaiah and Hovey), Rebel E, Conrizzle, and Suburban District.
It is always nice to see RVA’s hip hop community supporting each other. The more I cover RVA’s hip hop scene – the more I realize that everything is not always what appears on the surface but Friday night was more love than anything else and that was promising. I’ve said before and I say again now - The Cheats Movement Blog is really about the positive elements in RVA’s creative community. If you are on your grind and doing things the right way – that uplifts the creative community – hit me up. There is just something about that Cheats Movement Logo – it’s starting to catch on. #WESEEIT.
Conrizzle, Octavion Xcellence, Isaiah, and Hovey getting it in.
This was an amazing weekend for RVA. The RVA Street Art Festival lived up to the bill. The weather was perfect and tons of Richmonders came out to see some of the best artist from RVA and around the country. Ed Trask, Jon Baliles, and the team that organized this amazing weekend should be very proud. The artist could not have been more accommodating – which is certainly tough when they have a job to do and working so closely with other artist – indeed felt slight pressure to do well. The gallery show was also dope – but overshadowed a bit by the live mural painting. Highlights of the final day: The groups photo below (awesome), Dalek’s appearance – unfortunately he did not paint a full mural but it was very cool that other artist represented his work on their murals, and Dalek and POSE hitting up an old ride in front of a live audience.
Victory: Ed Trask raises his arms as the RVA Street Festival concludes with a group photo. From Left to Right: POSE, El Kamino, Jon Baliles, Hense, Ed Trask, Jeff Soto, Dalek, HAM?, Chris Milk Hulburt, Richard Coleman (on end).
POSE and Dalek
Richard Coleman and Heide Trepanier
HAM? and Jeff Soto
Art 180 and Vizie
Ed Trask and El Kamino
Yesterday was an amazing day for the RVA Street Art Festival. The weather was amazing and RVA took full advantage. This event is really a “festival” in every way. There are beer trucks, food carts, entertainment, all kinds of stuff going on. Today is the last day – so travel down to the wall by Black Finn and check it out.
Jeff Soto (Cali) and Hense (Atlanta)
Pose (Chicago) signs for a fan and his work.
El Kamino (Richmond) and HAM? (Richmond)
My Art 180 partner Jen and the kids from Art 180 working on their wall.
The RVA Street Art Festival is underway. Ed Trask has brought to RVA some of the best artists from around the country and they are doing it at the Shockoe Bottom Flood Wall Power Plant (the part of the flood wall right by Black Finn). I went down twice yesterday to take the first round of Cheats Movement Photos. I will be down there again today — it’s a great day – check it out.
When I first started taking photos in RVA, one of my favorite spots was the alley by the 17th Street Farmer’s Market. There was this amazing alley with just wonderful art in it (like the photo above). It turns out that the art was indeed the result of the annual Arts in the Alley project. This weekend, Arts in the Alley is back. I spoke with Jeanine Guidry who coordinates Arts in the Alley and she gave me the run down on this weekend’s event and needs.
When: Saturday April 14 and Sunday April 15
Times: 1-6pm both days
Where: Fulton Hill – meeting place the Neighborhood Resource Center - 1519 Williamsburg Road, Richmond VA 23231
Volunteers are still needed for both Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon!
Everyone is going in on G40 photos and I am no different – this event is so awesome that everyone should be getting in on it…taking photos, talking to artist, doing it big…with that said, I’ve been trying to limit my photos until I turn them over to the crew and I want to capture some different stuff than just the standard — here is a quick sample of the direction I’m going: