The message was simple and clear, no one deserves being sexually assaulted against their will, no matter how they are dressed or if they are intoxicated.
Organized by a survivor of sexual assault Helen Rogers and sponsored by Taboo the crowd was diverse and wide ranging in gender and age. It was a strong inaugural event ending in Byrd Park. I can only hope that this tradition continues in Richmond until the day when these horrible crimes are not an issue in society.
My favorite sign of the day!
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!
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.
What an amazing project! G40 is underway – again RVA Mag is driving this ship and you gotta give credit where it is due. Here are some of the final photos I took of Gaia. The mural is located at 11 West Grace Street. He is on his way down south, ATL, NOLA, and Memphis, before heading back to B-more. It was a great experience being able to photo this project. Like the Cheats Movement on FB for more…
My friends over at Decayed Richmond sent me the link to their extended trailer and new Kickstarter campaign. Please visit their KICKSTARTER page by clicking HERE and view the extended trailer below. Also, if you haven’t check it out read the Cheats Movement X Decayed Richmond: THE INTERVIEW from earlier this month.
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 article posted on Facebook last night and most will see it this week in the print edition of Style Weekly but one of RVA’s biggest unsolved mysteries is no more. That is because Keeley Laures decided it was time to end the mystery and talk about her amazing site Graffiti Richmond. I met Keeley last year while she was displaying art at Steady Sounds. We just started talking and became friends. I’m proud to say that she is a friend of the site and was instrumental in the 3 Part Graffiti Adventures photo series posted last year. I’m going to spend the rest of the week begging her to do an interview with me. I’ll keep you posted – Congrats Keeley!
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!
“It seems like with abandoned buildings – they sort of take on a life of their own – a different life – a different type of community takes over when a building is left behind. An unseen community – the homeless – the artist – the explorers – bondage photographers.” — Decayed Richmond
Last week, I sat down with Decayed Richmond to talk about their amazing urban exploration project. Decayed Richmond has been killing RVA’s art-culture scene since they launched their website last spring. Documenting urban exploration has really skyrocketed in popularity with the growth of affordable cameras and the rise of the internet. Richmond, with all of its history, and unique appreciation for historic relevance, makes it a perfect backdrop for a state-of-the-art urban exploration project. Decayed Richmond is that project – but they need your help. Support them at: decayedrichmond.com
Below is only a snapshot of THE INTERVIEW. Click HERE (or the main menu tab) to read the full interview with Decayed Richmond.
Cheats Movement: Decayed Richmond really jumped on the scene last year. Tell me a little about the creation of Decayed Richmond?
Decayed Richmond: It started around the spring of last year. We basically started the site because we saw other sites about exploring abandoned buildings and wanted to start something of our own. We had a stock of pictures that have been collected over the years. We knew the photos would fit well on a website. So we went up with Decayed Richmond and it really blew up. Over the course of two or three days the site got like 200 to 300 followers. And that’s when we decided we wanted to shoot a movie about it.
Cheats Movement: There is defiantly an element of surprise every time that you explore a new building. What are some of the most unique things that have happened on site?
Decayed Richmond: The most unique, and the most recent, is the last time we went out – we ran into some other people doing bondage photography (fetish photography). We kind of spooked each other out. They ended up being very helpful. They showed us some different ways to get in and out of the building – but it was weird.
Cheats Movement: So when you go into a new building – what is the goal?
Decayed Richmond: It really varies. Going into a new building, we shoot photos and video. We try to explore all the ends and outs of the building. We try to learn a little bit of the history of the building before we go in so we have a better understanding of what a room could have been used for. One of the main goals is to always reach the roof of the building – seeing the rooftop.
Cheats Movement: What is the most interesting building that you’ve been in so far?
Decayed Richmond: It’s hard to pick one but the 25th street theater in Church Hill is really cool. Another would be Innerbake, the old cookie factory on Belvidere and Broad. Every time in that building is a new experience.
Cheats Movement: This seems like way more than just a website and movie to the Decayed Richmond team.
Decayed Richmond: It is. It’s something that we will do forever. Whenever we travel, any city, any town, we try to find something (to explore). You would be surprised how many places are just completely neglected. I feel like so many of these places would be great to give back to the community.
Cheats Movement: I feel like Richmond is one of the worst offenders of that – we have so many great opportunities to restore history here. Even the laws in Richmond, in regards to restoring abandoned properties are very tough.
Decayed Richmond: Yeah. That’s fortunate for us and what we are doing but tough for the city. There are so many places that can be turned into cool venues, artspaces, etc.
January 8, 2012: Trust me I understand the new year – new attitude mentality. I’m a strong believer in that concept — people (myself included) need to hit the reset button from time to time and focus on change and self-improvement. However, it’s never good to make a “FLOOD” of new year changes — flooding yourself with pressure will only burst your pipes — and before you know it — everything has gotten away from you. So my advice for myself — and anyone who cares — is to to take a walk. An actual walk is the best — but if you can’t physically get away — a mental walk of relaxation will do too. Take 20-30 minutes a day to control the flood of what’s going on around you. Don’t try to do too much change all at once — focus and “stay focused” on achieving your goals. It can be done!
Why I love RVA today: Unseasonable warm day in January — might as well have a books and records sell while hanging with friends. That’s exactly what Ren, an advertising grad student at VCU, did today near her home at the corner of Floyd and Lombardy.
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!
It’s true — I love birthdays! And though birthdays in your 30′s can be a bit tricky — I’m still a huge fan. The thing about birthdays is that it’s a really good time to assess your personal standing in life — figure out exactly where you are — where you thought you would be — and of course, where you want to go. I’m just like everyone else when it comes to this — I often take my birthday to reflect on the past year, figure out what has made me happy, assess my relationships and career, and all sorts of stuff. Through it all I can truly say that — I’ve been truly blessed with the best family a person can ask for — my mom, dad, big sister, and big brother have loved and supported me in everything I’ve ever done. They are amazing! I’ve got some amazing friends — from high school (JRT), VCU, my job, to my newest friends from The Cheats Movement — It’s been a really special year. Looking forward — there are things that I do want to change and need to change — no one can stand still – you have to keep growing and moving. But – I’m really looking forward to the future! I’m looking forward to new challenges and goals – meeting new people and highlighting RVA. I hope that all of you will join me for the ride. Thanks for making this past year so special and for the birthday wishes! Stay Focused – Cheats
The best birthday present ever would be 400 Likes on Facebook! CLICK HERE to help a brother 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.
Fresh off their RVA Mag spread (in stores now) – Luggage joined up with my man Ohbliv to do a show at the Nile Friday night. Unfortunately — the sound really didn’t allow for Ohbliv to do his thing but Luggage went in backed by DJ Josh P. It was my first time seeing Luggage live and though the crowd was small — it was truly the place to be Friday night. Sometime a real show of creditability is not – how many people are in the room BUT who are the people in the room. Luggage and Ohbliv brought out some of the most creative people in Richmond to see them do their thing. Click HERE for all the photos.
First and foremost, S/O to MizzUndastood and Black Liquid for organizing, hosting, and promoting such a good cause in RVA. Homelessness is a problem in our city, especially during this holiday season. We all must do our part to help our community. RVA Hip Hop has really presented a strong – positive showing with community events throughout the year. With that said, last night’s Hip Hop For The Hungry went hard with performances by: Artik Phreeze, Black Liquid, Bobby Capri, The Big League, Divine Profitz, Illa Scorsese, Kleph Dollaz, Radio B, Ms Proper, NickelusF (with Conrizzle), Sleaze, and more (If I left you off — my bad –holla at me).
VERY IMPORTANT – CLICK HERE AND LIKE THE CHEATS MOVEMENT ON FACEBOOK (FB FRIENDS WILL GET MORE ACCESS TO EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS IN 2012)
Hip Hop For the Hungry – Click Here to see all the photos!
I first saw the web comic Richmond Monuments in print. It was the second place winner in the 2011 Style Weekly’s comic strip contest. I noted the name of the designer Bizhan Khodabandeh and remembered him from Style Weekly’s Top 40 Under 40 a few years ago. I then saw the now bi-weekly web comic posted on RVANews.com. Its now syndicated home. Most Richmonders would say that the history of RVA is alive. Well, Richmond Monuments tells a comedic tale of just that — historic monuments coming alive in modern time — often nailing a comedic true about our beloved city. I met up with Bizhan at The Shop to chat about the origins of the comic strip, his process of creating the strip, and his plans for the future. Make sure you check out RichmondMonuments.com every other Sunday to see Bizhan’s latest strip.
Hurricane Irene blasted through RVA in late August 2011. I posted a picture series the morning after the storm. Click here to revisit that photo series.
West Coast Kix is one of the most stylish clothing boutiques in RVA. Located in the heart of Carytown, West Coat Kix is owned and operated by Ben Margolis. Recently celebrating their 1 year anniversary, I was able to chat with Ben about the shop and running a small business in RVA. Make sure you support and visit Ben at West Coast Kix in Carytown.
The Cheats Movement has taken to the streets of RVA to find out YOUR 3 favorite songs or as I call them joints. This is the 1st short video in the new 2012 series. This video features: Lord Slugg, Katie Holcomb, Bree Davis, Janice PS Cartwright, and Black Reed.