The Richmond hip-hop community was hit hard earlier this year with the sudden passing of The Honorable Sleaze. To be honest, that passing was more than enough for what seems to be just a tough year for humanity. But now this. The sudden passing of Lorna Pinckney. Lord, I have no words. I don’t know exactly how to process this news. I don’t know what to say or do.
The best compliment a person can receive in death is to have others truly understand how one lived their life. Lorna lived her life full of passion and joy and in-service to others and for culture. Either you knew Lorna and loved her, or you just didn’t know her. She was that amazing.
I first met Lorna covering Tuesday Verses’ 10-year anniversary show. I had been shooting for about a year and just starting to make a name for myself covering hip-hop. That show was headlined by Phonte of Foreign Exchange and Little Brother. I remember Lorna being so grateful that I had come out to cover the show. I thought she was joking when she told me that she appreciated me coming out. It was only later in our friendship that she told me how long she had been hosting events in Richmond, doing big things for our culture and community and it was truly rare for someone who she considered media to take an interest. From that day, our friendship grew and I was able to see first-hand the unbelievable impact she made on Richmond’s creative culture scene.
It was truly amazing to watch her work. There was nothing she couldn’t do. It was amazing to see her passion for others and how much pride she took and seeing others succeed, whether it was creative – professional or both. Lorna was a poet, artist, educator, leader, role model, boss, all of those things and more. And above all, she always maintained her integrity and authenticity. Honestly, it’s impossible to measure her real impact on Richmond’s creative culture because she touched so many of us in different ways.
Like all that was blessed enough to be in her presence and know her, I feel truly grateful for the times we spent together. I’m saddened, to the point of bitterness, that she is gone too soon. This loss truly hurts. And like the passing of Sleaze, I won’t be over it — for a long time, if ever. But in my moments of reflection, I think about how Lorna lived her life and I think of how blessed she was and how much she blessed others, and I know deep down that God has touched her and said well done. And when I think of that, I feel a sense of joy.
Lorna, You are truly one-of-a-kind. May God continue to bless your spirit always. #WESEEIT