Justin BUA is a certified legend in the world of underground art and hip hop culture. And when a living legend says he is working on a new project that he calls, “the most-game changing project he has ever done,” it’s worth paying attention. He is set to launch his online art school (BuaArtSchool.com) this summer. The BUA Art School is a brand new interactive project for the NYC born artist. Not only will the online school give people the opportunity to learn directly from BUA, it allows people direct access to BUA for a precedent setting affordable cost.
Speaking from his studio in Cali, in this exclusive Cheats Movement interview, BUA speaks openly about the online school, his motivation, fatherhood, and recent events, like his tribute to Jason Collins. The author of instant classic books “The Beat of Urban Art” and “The Legends of Hip Hop” has always been a groundbreaking renaissance man. He hopes his latest project creates even more opportunities for those looking to blaze their own path.
Cheats: What’s good BUA. I know that your time is short so I will say a quick thanks and jump right into what is new with you. Tell me about your brand new Online Art School?
BUA: It’s all going to happen at: BuaArtSchool.com. And what it is? I’m teaching about 250 lessons, each lesson is going to be about 4 to 8 minutes long and it will cover everything from art fundamentals, to the intermediate level, advanced level, and even Master level lessons. Not only will I teach drawing and painting, I am also going to be teaching about the business of art and art history. It’s going to get very deep into the science of art, the physics of art, into color and value. I’m really going everywhere an artist needs to go. It’s really important and really groundbreaking because it is accessible to everybody. When I was teaching at USC, one class would cost around $4,000. This school for the entire year is around $250. Three months is $99. That has never happened before where lessons are so affordable to be enrolled in a University. On top of that, you get to download all of my lessons. You get to interact with me and all of the other students in the class. So I tell you, “We are doing this study of this figure and we’re doing this crazy head, here is my version of the figure”, I get to see your version, you can send me your version and I will draw on top of it and give you feedback and ideas to consider and I send it back to you all through what we call video exchange. It’s all new technology – video exchange technology – which allows me to one-on-one critique the work and interact with the students in the class.
Cheats: What building blocks led to you to launching the online school?
BUA: It’s a company called ArtistWorks and they have done 24 Universities in the field of music. DJ Qbert teaches DJing, they got some of the best in the world teaching in their fields. But they’ve never done an art program. Qbert introduced me to them and they asked did I want to do their first art program and I said, “Of course.” I said yes because while I liked teaching at USC, USC was an amazing experience, it was not an affordable experience for everybody. This school is for everybody. At USC, if you had a certain amount of money – then you could take my class; and you have to be at USC. If you didn’t have the money or you were not at USC, what could you do? You couldn’t really study with me – you didn’t have access to me. Not to mention, what if you were in Iceland or the Philippines? You couldn’t study with me. So this really creates an access that no one has ever really had before in my teaching.
For students who enroll in the BUA Online School, what experience should they expect?
They are going to get an interactive experience that is going to be game changing and life changing. Drawing is one of the most meditative and beautiful things ever. If you are an artist, you are going to be able to build your portfolio and improve your skills. If you are a hobbyist and you are taking classes for fun, you are going to find yourself more peaceful, more at one with yourself, and getting deeper into the art of not only drawing but truly seeing. Those things will change your experience with everything, if you are a dancer – it will help you be a better dancer, if you are a writer – it will help you be a better writer because drawing is very intuitive and it is very profound. This experience is a game changer. It’s one of the most game-changing things I have ever done.
You mentioned that you will not only will teach about the fundamentals of art but also about the business aspect of art. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned about navigating business with success?
You really have to dial into understanding what needs to be done to make a living. So many people say, “I’m going to do this and I’m going to do that,” but they don’t know the operational system. They just jump into it blindly. And you really need to know this information. I will teach everything from how to build a portfolio, to what is the best way to market yourself, how to protect yourself, how to negotiate a deal, should you get an attorney or agent. What field you want to go into…do you want to go into fine art or maybe education. I know this information because I’m doing the same thing. I can dial into what people really need to know and help them focus on being successful.
How did that knowledge base click for you personally? When did you realize you were dealing with more of the business aspect of art?
Well, I learned the hard way. I have a natural inclination to be a hustler because I’m from New York City (Harlem) so I have a little bit of the hustler mentality, but I’ve been hustled so much. My first go around in both the advertising world and the poster world, I was hustled. So I learned from getting ripped off. Call it what you want, call it the school of hard knocks, but I got taken advantage of. And I didn’t understand what my rights were. I didn’t understand where my rights were and because of that, I made some bad moves. Being an artist is like a game of chess, you move this direction you open yourself up for an attack – you move another direction and you’re being strategic and making a smart business decision that will carry you to the next level.
I haven’t heard you comment very much about your drive and motivation. But your grind is such a theme in your work. Where does your drive come from?
It used to be a part of what I called the fuck you energy. All the haters out there that were telling me I could not do it, “you’re not good enough, you’re not skilled enough, you’re art is too street, it’s too unrefined,” and I was like, “fuck you.” All of that energy manifested itself into me trying harder, persevering, and getting better. When I got older, that fuck you energy started to become more positive energy. It became love energy. Now, I do it because I love it. I fell in love with drawing, painting and teaching. It’s a deep way to express myself.
I have seen a shift when it comes to the acceptance of street art. I’ve seen more street art being sponsored by corporations and even the government. Have you noticed this trend? What do attribute it to?
Street art is becoming more normalized. It’s not as underground now and that’s just the way movements go. Jazz was once underground and then it became more normalized. Hip hop was underground and then it became pop. Graffiti was underground and now it’s becoming more accepted. Eventually there will be something else that is more subversive.
How do you feel about these shifts? Do you relish the underground aspect?
I always love the underground element…I was talking this morning with some friends, when Public Enemy came out it was like the new punk rock and no one had ever heard that before…it was so crazy, so puck rock, so radical, and now that level of explosiveness can only last so long and it either fades out or people say, “That’s the cool sound, I want to do that,” and it becomes a little more scripted. People are like, “Let’s do that same type of sound but let’s do the Vanilla Ice/Milli Vanilli version, and that’s just the way it goes these days. It also takes a tremendous about of money, therefore producers, writers, and record labels hedge their bets. They know if they get a David Guetta or Usher they’re going to get a certain number of downloads and make a certain amount of money. It the same with films – if I get this mega star and this producer, I’m going to make this much money in international sales, I’m going get this much of my investment back. It is all safe bets.
From the perspective of someone observing your career from the outside, I would suggest the foundation of your art comes from two (almost competing) elements: a solid formal education ,from the artists in your family, to LaGuardia High, to the Art Center College of Design, and a genuine education of hip hop culture growing up in NYC. How has each of those elements attributed to who you are as an artist?
They are totally opposite movements, street art and classical art, and the reality is that I love both of them. They are harmonized in my work. The more skill you have the better you will be able to express yourself. If you are a good reader, you are going to be a better writer. If you weight train and do more core work in the gym then you’re going to be a better fighter. You have to train. You have to be well rounded with whatever you do.
It’s like having a good offensive line or else your quarterback is going to get killed.
There you go.
How have you changed as an artist and person since becoming a father?
It’s the best thing ever. My daughter keeps me grounded. I learn from her. She’s so smart, she thinks outside the box. She keeps me young, fresh, and thinking.
Do you see a shift from the hustler mentality to family man in your art?
Bua: Definitely I do, but I don’t know exactly how. Not really in how lines are drawn, but fatherhood affects the way that I work. I’m not doing all-nighters anymore. I’m much more disciplined about getting to work when I need to. I don’t smoke weed. I’m just more tuned in. She gives me that grounding feeling and is the best thing that has ever happened to me in my life.
You recently posted a tribute painting to Jason Collins on your Facebook page, what role does current events play in your work?
That is an interesting question. I think current events just reflect universal questions of morality. A lot of times you hear about these horrible tragedies. But Jason Collins is a good example because he came out for gay rights, but that is not much different than women’s rights, or apartheid, or all kinds of oppression. He is just a representative of something that is more universal – which is the idea that we have to overcome the mentality of people who are prejudice and backwards. So when I do a painting about him, I’m not only talking about gay rights, I’m talking about women’s rights, Latino and African American rights, I’m talking about a bigger issue – the overall issue that people are equal.
It is certainly a powerful painting.
It was one of those moments. I normally don’t do stuff like that. My work is usually a little more celebratory about the DJ, the MC, unsung leaders of the movement. Whether it is the legends of hip hop or jazz piano players or dancers, but this resonated with me as very interesting. And looking at him, he has a very interesting face to paint. The painting was very spontaneous.
What advice do you give the young artist you mentor regarding how to maximize their potential?
Do what you love to do. Do not allow any negativity to stop you but at the same time don’t be stupid and think that you are the greatest thing in the world. I tweeted this the other day, once you feel that you’ve arrived as an artist, it’s probably a good idea to starch everything and start all over again. There is a lot of young artist that think they are so dope – they are delusional. Michelangelo was 81 when he said he was just beginning to learn how to draw. How are you dope? How have you arrived?
Do you feel that way about yourself as well?
I’m the biggest student of everybody. I’m always painting with people that are better than me. I’m always looking to learn. How does he do that? How can I be that good? You have to have that attitude because if you don’t – you are fooling yourself. And you don’t want to do that. It’s a dangerous place to be. If you really think that you are that good – that is the time when you have to say, no, something is wrong. You can feel that way for a minute but you have to then say – what’s next. Remember, you are only as good as your next painting. It happened to me – I did The DJ 11 or 12 years ago. Okay – what’s next? Same thing with music, you have a hit record – okay what’s next. You’ve heard it before don’t rest on your lures. It’s a fact. So many people are resting on the lures – look what I did. That mentality will stunt you in every way. You will never get better. The more ego you have the less you will get better.
Sign up for the Bua Art School is available right now at: http://artistworks.com/buaartschool. Thanks to Lisa for making it happen. #WESEEIT Follow the Cheats Movement Blog on Facebook. The most diverse blog in RVA.
There it is…is that definitive enough. I always shy away from making such bold statement simply because when I do there is something out there that proves me wrong — some unturned rock in RVA that I’ve yet to find that makes me reevaluate such a declarative statements BUT, in this case, all I can say is: good luck proving me wrong. Tuesday Verses is the truth and has been for 11 years now. I was first made aware of Tuesday Verses a few years ago – Yes, I said years ago – when it was operating out of Tropical Soul on 2nd street. I went as far as trying to attend one night and remember showing up only to see a line spiraling around the building. At that point, I turned away thinking I would make it another time. Well, months, even years passed before I had the opportunity to meet Lorna “L-Boogie” Pinckney last year at the Happily Natural Day/Tuesday Verses Anniversary concert featuring Phonte. It was there that we first got a chance to talk and I told her I would love to bring the Cheats Movement camera through in 2013.
So what exactly happens at Tuesday Verses? Well, the thing is – you never know. Every week is different but you will ultimately see and combination of spoken word, talented singing (not your weekly karaoke talent – much better), live musicians, and if your lucky something special. Last week that something special was violist Eric Stanley who blessed the crowd with a few gems. In addition to JeRoyd Dyore Strother, Narrator, Nickey McMullen, the list could go on an on.
Eric Stanley was in the building last Tuesday night.
I would say equal to the Verses talent, what makes it the best open mic in RVA is the family atmosphere. Once you walk in – you are no longer a stranger. As someone that prides this blog as Cheats Movement family – I can tell you Tuesday Verses is a family atmosphere that is inviting and supporting. Lorna and her team gets a lot of credit for that – they set that warm mood from the jump.
Tuesday Verses vet Narrator blessed the crowd last Tuesday.
Tuesday Verses is every Tuesday at Addis Ethiopian restaurant 9 N. 17th St, Richmond, VA. Doors open at 8 PM – Open mic from 9 PM to midnight. Make sure you support Tuesday Verses on Facebook and of course The Cheats Movement Blog on Facebook. Without those followers on social media we may not have to opportunity to do what we do. It’s very important to like both our pages to keep this momentum going.
Here at The Cheats Movement – we love the new year. A new year brings new music, new videos, new art, and most importantly new energy. This year is going to be even better than ever. The goal is to be even more on the ground in RVA – presenting even more positive aspects of RVA’s diverse culture. We are going to break new content and new ground, while working with our longtime friends and adding new partners and contributors. The Cheats Movement Family is going be front and center in the streets and as long as you are positive, motivated, and up lifting to our community – I got you.
In this new year, I will NEED your support! Help spread the Cheats Movement logo (take some stickers) – support the projects (starting Saturday night at Gallery 5), support the Facebook page (690 Likes right now), support on twitter, tell a friend – the Cheats Movement is going to run with the support we currently have and build – build – build for 2013! But I’m not going to stop there – national interviews are coming too. Last year it was Ice T, Bobbito Garcia, Phonte (etc) – this year will be more of the same.
I’m excited to start the new year off with some new RVA music. RVA hip hop is the backbone of this blog and I will never turn my back on it. RVA hip hop has always showed this blog love and I appreciate the support and will continue to give back.
Ms. Proper teamed up with one of my favorite directors Rob Roby (Soul Live Media) for the first visual of her upcoming album, “Escaping Reality.” Ms. Proper is off to a great start – if Prop and Rob can do work equal to the visuals that he did for Doe The Paperboy last year – watch out RVA- the game may be crushed already. S/O to some of my homies in the video: Artik Phreeze, The Williams Brothers from YFD, So !lla and the BSE crew, and Doe. Rob, Where was my call (haha)? I can shoot behind the scenes.
Next up is the homie Noah-O (S/O Charged Up Ent.). He teamed up with producer Taylor Whitelow (make sure to check out his latest solo work Armsrace) and drop a new track, “Klephnote” from the upcoming, “Monument Avenue.” You gotta feel “with” Noah during this period. This is one of the most heartfelt tracks I’ve heard from him – the range and diverse skill set he continues to show as an artist puts him in a special category. “What’s a few dollars/if you ain’t got honor” Word!
I’m really excited to share this latest drop from my brothers Nint3ndo. They blessed me with their new bootleg, remix, edit pack and I appreciate it more than ever because it just shows the diversity of the city. These brothers have always been great to the blog. Check out “Trapocalypse.” Also, I see how they are reppin some true hip hop hard with some of these remixes. #Salute
Last of the day…my brother Dank D released his new work, “SMOG OF WAR.” The homie is showing more and more growth with every record. I know how hard he works and I’m happy to see it paying off. S/O to my homie Joe Threat who is also featured on the album. You can’t find two artist more motivated to put in work.
That’s it for today but I got more waiting to post later this week. My email is CheatsMWC@gmail.com if you want me to check something out. Check the site, it doesn’t have to be all music or hip hop anything positive in the city – hit me up.
Bar Codez of Photosynthesizers puts us under his spell. The video filmed by Cheats and Nick Mastro (MastroTime Photography) in front of the I AM A MAN mural by the famed street artist JR, on the corner of 14th and T in Washington DC. WE SEE IT!
HIGH STANDARDS – NO LIMITS -THE CHEATS MOVEMENT BLOG. WE SEE IT!
Earlier this year – one half of “Team Awesome” Julian, Brian, and Cheats took a one day get away to Virginia Beach. It was a fun and very relaxing adventure for fellas that are always on the grind. AND I was introduced to the famous “oyster shot.” Check out this brief flick of our day. Bonus points to anyone that can name the song in the comments section.
If you know me then you know that I’m a hip hop head and a soul baby first BUT more importantly I love good music. With that – It takes a lot to get me off my hip hop/soul/jazz/brass band/funk groove sometimes. One band that always gives me a good vibe when I see them perform is White Laces. I was first introduced to White Laces from my buddy Kristel and I’ve been impressed with them ever since. From last year’s RVA Music Fest, to the WRIR show, to the Worthless Junk show, they’ve always represented well. They are “that” RVA band that seems to always get better every time you see them. Tonight, they are playing a major show at Balliceaux leading up to the the release of their new record, “Moves” being released on Speakertree Records. An extra bonus is that my main man – musical genius Ohbliv will be in the building – opening up for the show. I couldn’t draw up a better show. My dude Landis White dropped some tracks to me last night – Check them out and hit the show tonight. The Cheats Movement camera will be in the building!
Trading (Live Exclusive)
I’m very excited to post my interview with Aaron Vazquez; better known as Aaronisnotcool. I first viewed an Aaronisnotcool video before I even realized it was him. I was blown away by Blu’s video for the track, “Jesus.” At the time, I just remember thinking that video is pure Cali, pure Blu, and pure hip hop. The song was on point (Blu is pretty much always on point) but the visuals really stood out to me as a perfect complement to the vision. It’s a video that I would have love to have witnessed being made. I played it on repeat for weeks but I didn’t notice or seek out the director. It wasn’t until I saw the stop motion video for Sene’s “Footprints” that I noticed the name Aaronisnotcool. I must have showed the “Footprints” video to everyone I knew. I just loved the concept and wanted to learn more about this “not cool” director.
The best thing about living in the present is that the power of the internet leads us to the right places and it wasn’t long before I was following Aaron’s work on vimeo and a regular visitor to his tumblr page. I checked out his entire catalog (you should too) and though Aaron is a young man (24) – he has learned the trade and is only getting better. He recently dropped the video for Backboards featuring both Sene and Blu. It’s one of the best videos that I’ve seen in 2012.
I shot Aaron a note for an interview on The Cheats Movement and he graciously took some time out of his schedule to rock with it….Classic Material right here WE SEE IT!
If a person walked up to you on the street and asked you what did you do for a living – you would say?
I’d say, “I make rap videos.” I think that sounds a lot more interesting than having to modestly stumble around calling myself a filmmaker/photographer. Now, while I don’t just make rap videos, I do consider myself as director/photographer, I really enjoy the reactions to the “rap videos” answer. Most people think “rap video” and the first thing that will pop into their heads is naked girls objectifying themselves in front of guys with cash and cars. But that’s not what hip-hop videos are about anymore (at least what I considered to be the good ones).
I knew I was in love with film-making when…
I convinced my English teacher to let me make a short film about George Orwell’s 1984 instead of writing a paper. I rounded up a group of my friends and over a few weekends we shot every major scene in that book. The short turn out to be really terrible. It was my first experience trying to tell a story, the camera was horrible, and we cut it using Windows Movie Maker. Everyone laughed the whole time during the showing but we all got an A for it. I didn’t make anything else for a few more years.
I first met Blu….
In sunny Los Angeles. At the time I was the only Blu fan I knew. Nobody had heard of him. I would later find out that he had an extremely passionate and loyal fan base but at the time, living in Austin, it was really hard to come across a guy like Blu if you weren’t looking. After making the one of my first music videos, I sent him a message with a long explanation about how big of a fan I was and a link to my best work so far, Understand by M.i.
A few days passed until I got a message back, saying, “Here’s my number. When can you fly out to Cali?” I pooled all the money that I had for a ticket. I hopped on a plane a few days later. Initially I thought I was making a video for Blu, but I’m happy I didn’t at the time. I wouldn’t have been able to handle it. With Blu’s vision and spot in hip-hop I was too inexperienced at the time to do anything I would’ve been proud of. I did end up doing a music video for ScienZe featuring Versis where they are CVS employees which was so much fun. Later that year I would end up making “My Sunshine” and “Jesus∆” and those both really helped me get where I am now.
Sene’s Footprints video took me (how long) long to make. The stop-motion video concept came from?
It took Sene and I about 8 hours to make. We did the whole project in one day at his place. We had originally agreed the night before to make a montage video because I had been following Sene and The Clubhouse around for so long that I had all this great candid footage that we were going to chop. Sene is a really creative guy. He likes to build things, go outside the box, try new ideas out, so the next morning he comes up with this Stop Motion idea and I’m all for it.
Neither of us had done anything like it, we didn’t know how long nor tedious it would be. It was risky as a hip-hop video. The viewer has to listen to the words and be patient with the vision. With everything being so on-demand and instant in our culture now, we were taking a little bit of a risk with making a music video like that.
Right now I’m working on….
A few different projects with fellow director Pace Rivers. One is a music video for “Doses and Mimosas” by one of the coolest bands out, Cherub. We are shooting a short film for the cycling brand Deux North in the next couple of days. We are doing a feature on education in September. Finally, we have about 8 videos finished and on hold just waiting for those artists to say the word.
My inspiration comes from….
Everything. Most of the things I want to write about are re-creations of situations that I’ve seen in real life. Like a moment on a subway between two strangers; that’s interesting to me. Also, being on Tumblr, or other parts of the Internet, you come across something like a photo or a song that just changes the whole mood or gives me a really good idea. I’ll just start writing. The most inspirational people to me (that aren’t my parents) are Kanye West, Tina Fey, Aaron Sorkin, Christopher and Jonathan Nolan, Jerry Seinfeld, Quentin Tarantino, Louis C.K. and Nabil Elderkin.
The best advice I’ve ever received….
I remember being in New York with Sene one afternoon and not really sure what direction I was supposed to take. At the time, I was stuck being the tradition: finish college, get a “real” job and be a full time director. He just told me, “Don’t go the tradition route, I can tell that is your “plan B”. Don’t plan your life around “plan B”. It’s not going to make you happy. Take a chance on yourself.” That was really one of the biggest reason for me to take what I do seriously and moving to New York.
Best night that I’ve ever had with a camera was when…
The #2 ranked Texas Longhorns played the Kansas Jayhawks in November of ’09. A lot of great things ended that night. I made a video of the whole experience. It wasn’t amazing, but it’s very personal and it’s still my favorite video I’ve ever made.
The best city for a young person to do what I do….
is New York City. LA is too spread out.
Before I go – I want you to know…
I love soccer. I work really hard. I usually have on my backpack. I want to create something that will be loved and remembered.
Keep it locked on The Cheats Movement – MAJOR MOVES WILL BE MADE IN AUGUST! RVA- WE SEE IT!
If you’re not familiar with the brothers over at Natural Talent Clothing – please get familiar. These young cats are on the rise and slowly gaining ground in RVA. They just released a quick video of their Summer Heat Lookbook. I really love young people that work hard and are doing positive things with their creativity. Check it out – and Yo, the Soul of Mischief with the Eric Thomas audio is on point – I see you fellas:
The next clip is the season 1 finale of, “What’s Your Deal.” This is a collab project between my dude Brian (Dirty Richmond) and my dude Hugel (HIT / PLAY Productions). For this clip Brian goes out to the South of the James Farmers Market. I still need to get out there and check it out. My only issue with these videos (all of them) is that I like them too much. The need to be longer because they are that good. Check it out for yourself.
I think it’s worth the wait – the Epic Fest Day 2 Photo Vault is now open. Check it out – share the photos - share the Cheats Movement Blog. All I can say is the weekend was Epic – it was Epic. S/O to Slapdash – West Coat Kix – everyone that supported. If you need me – hit me up. #WE SEE IT – Support the Cheats Movement on Facebook. I’m keep doing what I can to elevate and support positivity in the culture. #WE SEE IT!
It’s been a long time coming but I finally decided to direct, shoot and edit my first full length music video. I could not work with better more dedicated artists than The Honorable Sleaze and Ohbliv. I hope that you find the video quality and unique for the RVA hip hop music scene. HUGE S/O to The Shop – I’m so happy to be a part of the creative community down there – luv that place. HUGE S/O to Just Plain Sounds – JPS is the click. This is video number 1 – trust me – it’s only going to get better from here. #WESEEIT If you like this video – hit me up with a like on The Cheats Movement Facebook Page.
Track: The Passion of The Sleaze Artist: The Honorable Sleaze Producer: Ohbliv Video: The Cheats Movement
Ice T has been associated with hip hop culture since his debut album, Rhyme Pays, was released 25 years ago. The rapper, once known for gritty rhymes about L.A. gang culture, has matured into a groundbreaking actor, business mogul, and even reality star. It was only a matter of time before he took on filmmaking. In his directorial debut, Ice decided to give back to the culture that gave him his start. For his film, Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap, Ice hooked up with some of hip hop’s greatest rappers to talk about the craft of rhyming. The movie doesn’t have any talk about the flashy cars, the groupies, or the bling – not at all. It is about the love of hip hop and understanding the process of how the great emcees, both past and present, create those classic flows that stand the test of time. Ice is currently on a worldwide media tour to promote the self-financed film. I spoke with him earlier this week about the film, the current state of hip hop, and the recent passing of Rodney King.
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The ARTisan Cafe is a unique shopping and social experience that happens seasonally in RVA. Created by Melody Joy Short and Adrienne Cole, their goal is to fill a noticeable void in the city by presenting a diverse range of independent artist and vendors offering one of kind goods and services. Featured in the March issue of Essence Magazine, and just recently announced as a finalist in the i.e. start-up competition, Melody and Adrienne are looking to build on their strong momentum and growing support in RVA. The next Artisan Cafe is Saturday, June 16 at Plant Zero Art Center. It starts at 6:00 PM.
This defiantly a cool edition of, Why I Love RVA Today. I’m posted two amazing videos: The first is directed by my dude Robert Roby. He is doing his thing with Soul Live Media. He hooked up with Doe The Paperboy a while back and together they have killed 2012 with music and visuals. Rob dropped a tweet a few weeks ago telling RVA that the Picasso visual was going to be a game changer. He did not lie. It’s one of the best videos I have seen from any RVA artist. I’m looking up at it myself and shaking my head. Well done to both Doe and Rob on this instant classic.
The second video is courtesy of my friends over at Dirty Richmond. It was created by Bree El over at Style on the Move. I don’t make any bones about it – I’m a huge fan of Dirty Richmond. Brian’s site was once again voted the Best Blog/Tumblr in RVA by the readers of Style Weekly. It is very cool to see him grow and see how Dirty Richmond had grown in the last 2 years. This video is great example of how much of a force Dirty Richmond is in RVA. Both Brian and Bree have been featured on The Cheats Movement before and I am sure we will continue to work together in the future.
IT’S MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!!! SMILE, DRINK, BE MERRY…IT’S A CELEBRATION!!!
I kicked off my holiday weekend in a big way. Here is an inside look at my Grind Date Friday: Dropped The Passion of (The) Sleaze video trailer. I’m so excited to be shooting, directing, and editing a video from start to finish. I could not be working with better brothers than The Honorable Sleaze and Brad Ohbliv. S/O Just Plain Sounds. Check out the trailer and let me know what you think.
After the trailer dropped, I headed out to The Shop to meet Sleaze and Ohbliv to finish the video. It’s not done yet but we got most of the work done. Watch out for the full video in June!
7:00 PM It was time to hit West Coast Kix in Carytown to see more Cheats Movement Fam, the very talented Hamilton Glass AKA HAM?. HAM? was kicking off his Last Friday Art Show. I’d been looking forward to the show for about a month and it was great to see RVA come out to support. I also met the lovely Shannon Santiago. Shannon is a photographer extraordinaire that collaborated with HAM? for the show. She also comes with a very funny bodyguard – S/O Cindy (JRT). S/O to the amazing Glass family – Taekia and Sanaa I see you. And my man Distant Dee!
8:30 PM Off to Gallery 5 to catch the Richmond Comedy Coalition (Voted Best Comedy Group in RVA for the 2nd year in a row). Richmond Famous is one of my favorite shows because the RCC takes great stories from some of RVA’s most interesting peeps and do improv motivated by the stories. Last night’s featured guest were the ladies from Rumors Boutique. I’ve always been a huge fan of Casey Longyear and Marshe Wyche since I heard their story years ago. I met them both before but I’ve haven’t been able to land a The Cheats Movement profile with them just yet… but I have not given up hope . The show was great – The RCC is always awesome. S/O to Dirty Richmond and Bree El – spoiler alert: the much missed (by me) Sunday Cypher will return! And word on the street…there will be a great comedy night coming up a Pie (on Lombardy). S/O to Kristen – Have fun in France.
11:00 PM Final stop of the night was at Belly Timber to meet up with Bar Codez and J. Bryant from Photosynthesizers. Photos had just played Friday Night Cheers earlier in the evening. I also caught up with the lovely Maat Free (2011 Vegi Iron Chief)…big plans in the works! All this and not to mention, I just spoke with Black Liquid and he said another great Face Melt Friday went down last night
RVA has some crazy energy right night now. And it’s all love. Go out and see it all – WE SEE IT! Enjoy your holiday weekend.
The other week I dropped the ManlyMan RVA HOT SAUCE video with a promise to post more — well I’m posting more – and hopefully most Fridays until my clips are done I will be posting videos from RVA HOT SAUCE.
Today I am posting a clip from singer/songwriter Chris Ryan. Chris has been one of my favorites for a while now. I first saw him bringing down the house with Beast Wellington. Then I heard his fantastic solo album, “Pray for Rain.” Chris came by The Shop to helps us at RVA HOT SAUCE. Not only did he play some songs from the album but he also played a pretty sweet jam session with Mike Kemitic and Chuck Dawson. RVA HOT SAUCE was one of the most diverse nights of last year. I’m so glad Chris was a part of it. Check it out and make sure to buy his album “Pray for Rain” on itunes.
RVA HOT SAUCE Flyer by: No Name No Brain
l first posted about No Name No Brain earlier this year – they killed the “Where I Am” video for their fam Mix Breed. It’s one of my favorite RVA videos. I later met up with videographer (Patrick) Arya Rossman and designer Tom Hart at Globe Hopper just to connect and learn more about their company. Tom and Arya are No Name No Brain and they are on the move…both figuratively and literally. They are putting in work in every aspect: videos, graphics, photography, all of it. They work fast and turn out quality products. On a personal level, I would say that the loyalty they show to their team represents them well. I’ve never met Jo Casino, Cons, or a lot of the artist that No Name consistently works with but I get a strong sense of their lifestyles through No Name’s work…and that is what it’s all about…telling those stories through art. Follow them on twitter: @nonamenobrain – Like them on Facebook [HERE] or go directly to: www.NoNameNoBrian.com. Hit them up – and do it soon – Cali won’t wait forever.
I know – I know….I’ve been busy but RVA HOT SAUCE Episode 2 is coming soon. I’ve been working on it and thinking about it a lot lately. Here is a song from Caitlin and Erin AKA ManlyMan to hold you over until I have time to finish. If you don’t know about ManlyMan — read my original post about them HERE and like their Facebook page HERE…They are amazing!
Back in December, I went to the Byrd to see the debut of Singularium. Singularium is a sci-fi movie filmed here in RVA by local filmmakers Joey Tran and Shawn Hambright. You may not think of RVA as the place to make independent films but there is a growing population of independent filmmakers and Joey and Shawn are right in the mix. The special effects in Singularium make the film worth seeing alone. I normally struggle with science fiction – it’s just not my favorite genre – but Singularium held my attention throughout the film with a unique storyline, local flair, and great comedic timing. The film is well worth a view. Joey and Shawn are serious filmmakers but they are also friends and hilarious guys (side note: Joey also performs as a member of the Richmond Comedy Coalition ensemble). It was a pleasure to be around them – check out their projects (and others) on Joey’s Vimeo page by clicking HERE. And if you really like independent films be sure to visit the James River Film Festival starting this week.
In this edition of The Mind of Mike Kemetic, Mike discusses: the legacy of J Dilla, RVA’s ties to the Grammys, Chris Brown, and Style Weekly’s Shadrock Music Fest. Mike ask RVA for “your” opinion on Chris Brown performing at the Grammys – RVA let Mike know what you think: