Photo Essay: Strange Matter’s RVA Lyricist Lounge (Episode 1)

by | Jan 16, 2018 | HIP HOP / RAP / TRAP

New life is being breathed into Richmond’s rap community with the introduction of the RVA Lyricist Lounge, hosted by Radio B.  The monthly event is meant to be a platform for local rappers and emcees to showcase their lyrical talent on stage and against each other in battles. 

Taking inspiration from the classic nature of hip-hop and rap cyphers, RVA Lyricist Lounge aims to reignite that spark of what makes hip-hop so precious.

Last Friday, the rap showcase went into full effect at Strange Matter for its first event known as RVA Lyricist Lounge Episode 1. And many crews and well-known local hip-hop artists were in the building. 

Basement Chemistry vs T.R.I.G

The night set off with a rap battle between two of the Southpaw members T.R.I.G and Basement Chemistry. The vicious back and forth roasts between two guys who knew each other well enough to cause hilarity that it could be a battle in 8 Mile. It was all love at the end of the day as they were just two guys having fun and hugged it out when it was all over.

Shortly following the cyphers, were some of the city’s heavy hitters. It was divided into sets starting with the solo artists such as Lithium God, Chance Fisher, and Noah-O. Meanwhile, Robalu Gibsun was on the scene doing live sketches at a neck-breaking pace of every artist that performed on the stage.

Robalu Gibsun Sketches Live as Emcees Battle

The few sets were organized by the groups starting with the infamous Gritty City, whose bars that lived up to their name. Mutant Academy went in and AGM/Southpaw killed it with Radio B himself kicking off their set.

Johnny Ciggs of the Gritty City Crew

The final performance of the night was Michael Millions, who performed songs off his newest album Hard to Be King. Featuring songs like “All Love”, the “Ali” rapper let Richmond know what it means to be King.

Though that wasn’t all that was in store for the night, the opening cyphers were held after Millions’ performance and locals who weren’t on the lineup and those who just wanted to spit for fun got a chance to step up to the mic. Copies of Millions’ new album were sold at the venue along with gear featuring the Lyricist Lounge logo — as seen being worn by Radio B and a few others in attendance.

Michael Millions

This is just the beginning of what Radio B hopes to be a long-running monthly event, setting stepping stones for both inspiring artists and local rappers to have a platform and for everyone to just vibe and have a good time.

RVA Lyricist Lounge is a much-needed addition to the hip-hop scene in Richmond and Strange Matter specifically as it is the perfect home to showcase local talent which follows in the footsteps of Richmond artist Black Liquid’s Facemelt Fridays. Radio B doesn’t plan on having Strange Matter as the only location for the rap showcase, but the venue will be the location for a majority of the Lyricist Lounge Episodes. Until next time, check out some of RVA Mag’s best photos the night: 

Fly Anakin, Radio B, and Nickelus F


Radio B

Justin Sexton

Basement Chemistry


The Lounge Crowd


Michael Millions

*Photos by Malik Hall

Malik Hall

Malik Hall

Malik Hall is a RVA native and received his Bachelors of Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Minor in Media Studies. Writing wasn't big on his radar until he took a science journalism class in college and since then he found it as a perfect outlet for himself. Skateboarding is his favorite hobby outside of his new found love for writing.

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