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?
There is no doubt that this summer has been amazing for The Cheats Movement Blog. The readership growth, the events, the projects, the interviews, the new opportunities, and all the new friends have motivated me beyond belief to keep building, keep reaching, and maintaining a level of blog post that are worthy of this great city and the creative friends that I spend time highlighting. I’ve made a few sacrifices, mistakes, and had to take a few step backs in 2012 just to put everything in perspective and make sure that I’m doing the right things to achieve my goal of highlighting RVA’s creative community in a diversity and positive light. I can’t say for sure that it’s working 100% because I still meet people that honestly ask me, “Is there anything to do in this city?” But with that, I’m really humbled and appreciative of the progress and positive response to what the blog is doing and just overwhelmed with warm feelings when I get a nice note from a friend or and email from someone asking for The Cheats Movement to cover an event. It’s a bit crazy to me…I still call my sister or mom or someone just to be like, “Yo…guess what just happened.” So you could imagine how I felt this week, with summer coming to an end, and me feeling a bit overwhelmed with projects and a demanding day job that the Richmond Magazine article hit the stands. I can’t thank Richmond Magazine’s Editor Kate Andrews enough for taking time to highlight The Cheats Movement in Richmond Magazine. She was so great to come out to the Epic Group Photo to see exactly what “The Family ” is all about. Her write up is so spot on. It’s great feeling to see that and I’m not too cool for school to say publicly — articles in places like Richmond Magazine is a big deal to me and motivates me beyond belief. I don’t get many of them and I don’t take any of them for granted. As the summer comes to end…there is no stop in me – can’t stop/won’t stop/don’t know how to stop – Bad Bay 1995. Stay tuned…new stuff – BIG STUFF is coming. Make sure you pick up Richmond Magazine this month. WE SEE IT!
Last week, I was able to interview the Grammy nominated rapper, singer, songwriter, and producer Phonte of Foreign Exchange and formally of Little Brother. We chopped it up for RVA Mag in support of Phonte’s show this Saturday [August 25] at the 10th Annual Happily Natural Day. The show is at the Canal Club! I hope everyone comes out to support real hip hop. S/O to Brother Manifest, Aimee Flint and RVA Mag for their parts in hooking this up. CLICK HERE to visit RVAMag.com for the full interview. Similar to my interview with Ice-T, I was able to get some cool audio from Phonte – check out part 1 of my interview. WE SEE IT – For real – click HERE and LIKE The Cheats Movement on Facebook It’s the only way we can keep this blog going!
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
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.
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’ve been so behind with posting new music and videos I just want to drop some new stuff today…here is some music from HaBits, Joe Threat, and OMG. I’m also posting video’s from Noah-O and Doe The Paperboy. Happy Friday! And let’s keep this blog going by liking it on Facebook. CLICK HERE TO LIKE!
HaBits – I’m Rollin
O.M.G – Give a ….
Joe Threat - Peace of Mind
Doe The Paperboy – If I Had It (shot by my dude Smoothmatic)
Noah-O – Oh My
I meant to post this a minute ago. I’ve listened to the entire Underdog Tape several times now. My man DJ Dizz did his thing mixing together some of the hottest up and coming hip-hop artist in the game. If you’re sleeping on: Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T, Danny Brown, Mr.Muthafuckin eXquire and more – check this tape out. And check out what Dizz is doing with Maplewood Records. They bought Evidence (Dilated People) to RVA a few months ago and always working on something new.
By now I hope it’s clear that Cheats Movement Blog supports those that support the site and support RVA in a positive way. My goal is to have a strong relationship with all sides of RVA’s creative community. Doing that requires me to spend a lot of my time meeting new people and starting new relationship. I really enjoy that aspect of the blog. However, this post is a rare occasion — through this site and the RVA creative community, I was able to reconnect with a friend that I met a few years back and now I’m able to see him moving full circle. That someone is local hip hop artist Charles Diamond. A part of the hip hop collective Mix Breed. I met Charles a few years ago at a summer camp designed for young people that were leaders in their high schools. Charles along with his Mix Breed family are now striving to be leaders in the RVA hip-hop scene.
Their latest mixtape, that dropped at midnight, is called, Coolest in America (Click to download). Charles blessed me with the link and RVA Mag just posted the dope video Where I am (also below). Support Charles Diamond and Mix Breed on Facebook and twitter. And of course, check them out performing live in and around RVA.
Where I am
Tuesday night I may have found my new calling. I’ve often been told that I have a face for radio but I finally got to put it to the test (okay predictable joke — won’t happen again). I was the guest host on Wild Style with Mizz Undastood AKA the lovely Sam Sea. We talked about just about everything – The Cheats Movement Blog – The RVA music scene – even LA Weekly’s top 20 artist of all time. It was a great time and it just flew by. I was asked to bring in two tracks to be played on the show. I brought in Naima by James Dangle ft. Bar Codez and a Big K.R.I.T track.
Wild Style is streamed live through Global Scale Radio every Tuesday night. And Mizz Undastood has not one but two local shows: Wild Style on Tuesdays at 9:30 PM and R&R on WDCE 90.1 FM (University or Richmond Radio) Thursday night (early Friday Morning) at 1AM. You can also keep up with Mizz Undastood on her blog JustMizz.com. Check her out — she is doing big things in RVA and above all she has a passion for helping people. Check out my photos of the event she co-sponsored over the winter holiday: Hip Hop for the Hungry.
THE CHEATS MOVEMENT CLUB IS BACK! Bringing you the new, the fresh, the def in RVA music, art, and video. This week I got music from Just Plain Sounds’ Drano, The New Juice Crew’s Lord Slugg, my dude Chris Ryan, and Antagonist Dragonspit. I got videos from HaBitS, Luggage and this new video I saw yesterday from Carytown Cupcakes!
Keep sending your music, art, videos to: THECHEATSMOVEMENT@GMAIL.COM — It may take me a minute to get you on but if you hooked me up — I will return the favor. Stay Focused.
ARTIST: DRANO ALBUM: THE NIGHT DRIVER TRACK: THE GOOCH WHY: Just released last Friday you know I have to represent for my brothers at Just Plain Sounds. In my humble opinion, one of the most talented collectives in the Cap City. Drano brings the Emcee element to the production happy crew. Check out and download The Night Driver.
ARTIST: LORD SLUGG ALBUM: THE SLUGG TAPE 2 TRACK: 20 SLUGGS FT. BEAST SONNIE BOSS TONE LUV WHY: The Slugg Tape 2 drop was one of the hottest local drops of last year. BUT it dropped in a crowded field (everyone dropped a tape at the end of last year) and with the New Juice Crew being all over the place. I think the Slugg Tape and this track 20 Sluggs got lost a bit. The production on this track is a smash. Click here to download The Slugg Tape 2.
ARTIST: CHRIS RYAN ALBUM: PRAY FOR RAIN TRACK: TABLE FOR TWO WHY: I first saw Chris killing it on lead gutiar with one of my favorite RVA Bands Beast Wellington. I had now idea he could sing – but sing he can. Chris dropped Pray for Rain last year and was great enough to play a couple of tracks last October at the first ever RVA HOT SAUCE Table for Two was one of the songs Chris played — check it out and check out Pray for Rain now available on Itunes.
Click the link below to hear Table for Two!
ARTIST: ANTAGONIST DRAGONSPIT ALBUM: BACK ON THE MAP TRACK: KEEP IT MOVIN INTRO WHY: Good music – simple as that. I heard the Keep It Movin Intro and thought – The Curtis Mayfield loop is crazy and – I got to post this on the site. I met Drangonspit last year at Soul Live in RVA (S/O to The Shop). He’s grindin and the album is dope. Check out what he is doing in the 757.
ARTIST: LUGGAGE VIDEO: 2 UP, 2 DOWN WHY: I saw Luggage for the first time at the Nile with Ohbliv over the holiday. I got the feeling from the show (and their feature RVA Mag Article) that they are back to having fun. That wasn’t always the case dealing with hip-hop in RVA. I enjoy seeing the space they are in now and love the video S/O to my tweeter buddy VanWilderLife.
ARTIST: HaBitS VIDEO: RIDE IT OUT SMOOTH WHY: I’ve notice HaBitS grid. I think the first time I saw them was at a Rebirth at the Camel. They are working hard and it’s good to see hard workers dropping videos and getting bigger sets a bigger show (like the January 26 Beat Battle at The Camel) . I appreciate their work ethic. Big things for them in 2012.
ARTIST: CARYTOWN CUPCAKES VIDEO: CUPCAKE WARS WHY: UM – THEY ARE DELICIOUS — HATE IF YOU WANT! S/O Carytown Cupcakes! Best of luck getting on Cupcake Wars!
I’m still pretty sick today — so I couldn’t work on new stuff last night. However, I’ve been holding some gems that were dropped on me by RVA Super Producer Brad Ohbliv. And since I’m feeling a little down — might as well pick up my spirits with some new boom bap. If you don’t know about Ohbliv — you are missing one of RVA’s most talented producers. The dude is a throwback to when hip hop was a little more simpler yet a little more real. I first met Ohbliv early last year when I tracking the collective Just Plain Sounds, which he is a member, and we just hit it off — then after I met him I heard Yellow Gold – his collaboration with RVA Emcee Nick F - and I was hooked. I reached out to Ohbiv a few weeks ago when I decided that I was going to start posting Cheats Movement Club Picks and he dropped these beats on me. Check them out – more official club picks coming this week.
freekphone – By Ohbliv
tete-a-tete – By Ohbliv
It’s a new year and The Cheats Movement has a brand new exclusive - ONLY ON THE CHEATS MOVEMENT – the track is called Rhyme by the New Juice Crew dynamic duo of Black Liquid X Lord Slugg. A week from today, Black Liq will be launching his new website — make sure you check out the site for new music, new projects, and new information on shows. WE #RVA
A 2012 Cheats Movement project is to post new music, artwork, and videos from RVA’s creative community. Therefore, I’m starting The Cheats Movement Club. A series of picks from “friends” of the Cheats Movement. If you are an artist and would like you new work considered for the club, send it to TheCheatsMovement@gmail.com.
THIS WEEK IN THE CLUB: DAMAGED ANDY, SUPERSTAR SPITAZ, ARTIK PHREEZE, SMOOTHMATIC, RYAN EASTER
ARTIST: DAMAGED ANDY ALBUM: PSYCHOSIS TRACK: ROMANS WHY: Damaged Andy is a RVA hip-hop vet. He took some time off to focus on what he wanted to accomplish in music and the result of his internal joureny was Psychosis. Check out the track Romans below and check out the album by clicking here.
ARTIST: SUPERSTAR SPITAZ X ARTIK PHREEZE VIDEO: YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS WHY: What’s next in RVA hip-hip? You can never tell but these two gentleman, Phreeze and Spitaz are working hard to carve out their spot. They were kind enough to invite me down to West Coast Kix to shoot some behind the scenes – check that out by clicking here. Below is the official video.
ARTIST: SMOOTHMATIC VIDEO: 2011 YEAR END PROMO WHY: I give credit where credit due and Robert Roby AKA SmoothMatic absolutely killed the 2nd half of 2011 with video after video. He is always doing quality work for RVA artist. Check out his year end promo below.
ARTIST: RYAN EASTER VIDEO: RORSCHACH’S JOURNAL WHY: I’ve only met Ryan Easter one time (and it was brief) - after he killed a show at the camel last year before he went to Berklee College of Music. I ran across this video on my facebook feed and really loved the RVA visuals and the groove. Salute to Ryan Easter reppin RVA.
Again, if you want your work considered for the club send it to: TheCheatsMovement@gmail.com — all art, music and videos.
Hello 2012! The Cheats Movement is back with the first Mind of Mike Kemetic of the year. In this episode, Mike talks about what the new year has in store for RVA. Check it out!
If you haven’t picked up the latest RVA Mag — make sure you do that (if you can find any) and check out my article with Black Liquid titled The State of the (Richmond Hip-Hop) Union. The is not your average interview with a local hip hop artist. Black Liq goes in on the current state of RVA hip-hop and what needs to be done for RVA to reach it’s full potential as a hip-hop community. I feel that we pushed the envelope with this interview and this is only the begining. Along with conducting the interview the good folks at RVA Mag asked me to organize and shoot the photography for the story. S/O to The Shop for letting me shoot at the spot. The Shop is one of the fasting growing creative hubs in RVA — always something creative going on and S/O to the Capitol Police for allowing me to get a few shots at the capitol w/o a permit. Check out the entire shoot by clicking HERE.
This year has been amazing for the Cheats Movement Blog. I would have never imagined when I started in January that nearly a year later I would be having so much fun covering the creative community in RVA. This blog started as strictly a photoblog — and because of the support and the inspiration of Richmond — it has become so much more. From RVA Profiles to RVA Hot Sauce — The Cheats Movement is committed to presenting content that supports the RVA community – and I will keep that commitment in 2012. There is no doubt that the site will continue to grow — but I can’t do it without your support. Make sure you do your part to spread the word about this blog on facebook and twitter– and I will continue to make sure it’s the best blog that I can do — WE R-VA!
Now with that– check out my quick holiday present — The Cheats Movement – Year One.
It’s still a bit unreal to me but I did my first print article for RVA Mag and it is on the streets of RVA RIGHT NOW! I sat down with my man Black Liquid and we went it on The State of the [Richmond Hip-Hop] Union. When Black and I first got together with this opportunity I told him that I wanted to do something different – something that people would want to read from start to finish — and as always Black Liq said, “Bet! Let’s go in.” And go in we did — I hope you pick up the article around RVA and let me know what you think. Side Note: I’m also really proud of the photos Black and I shot for this article — more photos from the session coming this week.
I dropped in on Day 1 of the Superstar Spitaz video “You Know What It Is” featuring my dude Artik Phreeze at West Coast Kix in Carytown. S/O Ben Margolis, President of West Coast Kix and CameraMan Niqko holding down the filming. Check out the single and the new projects coming from Spitaz and Phreeze. Stay Focused. Find out what the RVA is talking about visit and Like The Cheats Movement on Facebook.
My man Bar Codez hit me up and asked me to swing by the Firehouse Theater last Sunday to film some of Photosynthesizers playing the Silent Music Revival. I had no idea what the Silent Music Revival was all about but I was treated to a very cool and unique night in RVA. Silent Music Revival is the screening of a silent film while a live band plays to the movie. Last Sunday, the film was “The Uncomfortable Man (1948)” with music by the aforementioned Photosynthesizers, who I’ve already called my favorite band in RVA. The event was hosted by Jameson Price (who I’m currently begging to profile for The Cheats Movement). Jameson has already told me that the next Silent Music Revival is on December 18 at Gallery 5. The films are The Insects Christmas (1913) & The Frozen North (1922), with music by: The Snowy Owls. If you have not seen this event, check it out.
This is Hip-Hop. WE R-VA! Click Here to view more pictures from this post…
I always like to see emcees on the grind and unafraid to thrown their freestyle skills in a rap battle. A few weeks ago, I dropped by The Shop for our last planning meeting for RVA HOT SAUCE and stumbled across Fort Knoxx Ent. Who is the Mic King battle. Black Liq, Lord Slugg (get that Sluggtape II), The Honorable Sleaze, & OMG himself; Azrael Onassis were the judges. Ice James took the crown for the night. And S/O to my dude D.J. Williams for making it a real battle (you know what you did). CLICK HERE to see all the photos.
Check this out – I caught up with the man behind RVA Mag and RVA Music Fest Tony Harris at the end of night 1. It was about 2:00 AM and he was wrapping up a great night and moving into day 2. Check out his perspective on RVA Hip-Hop and why RVA Music Fest is important. Cheats Movement X RVA Mag at it finest. S/O to everyone standing up for the River City. WE R-VA.