RVA hip hop artists Fly Anakin & Koncept Jack$on drop first collaborative album, ‘Chapel Drive’

by | Mar 31, 2017 | HIP HOP & RAP

Last summer RVA Magazine had the chance to sit down and chat in-depth with local hip hop artist Fly Anakin after he just released his album, The Grand Scheme of Things, and the young emcee hasn’t slowed down since. At the top of the new year, Anakin, alongside producer BSTFRND (Satellite Syndicate), dropped collaborative EP Yo Mama Boyfrnd and now he’s on to his next project, Chapel Drive.

The album, which dropped March 13, is a project fellow RVA rapper Koncept Jack$on (Mutant Academy) and been ready to hit the streets for a year now.

“As soon as we started Chapel Drive, I just had finished [ The Grand Scheme of Things],” said Anakin. “We never stopped recording. As soon as he {Jack$on} recorded and put out [Hawaii LP], I recorded the intro to Grand Scheme and after Grand Scheme I recorded lxcvlsxnly 2 and Chapel Drive was built.”

And while its been in the works for over a year, Anakin said the process came together rather effortlessly.

“We never tried to make songs for Chapel Drive. We had a certain foundation of songs for that shit already,” he said. “We didn’t even have the idea to do Chapel Drive until we were like seven songs in.”

Anakin, photo credit: The Cheats Movement

The first track the hip hop duo made off the 16-track record was “lxcvlsxnly 2” [prod. ewonee] in February of last year.

But the prolonged release was a learning experience the two gathered from local RVA producer Ohbliv, according to Jack$on.

“One day he told us that everything he puts out is a year old,” he said.

This isn’t the first time the pair have worked together on a project. The two dropped a video for “You Never Know” last year in March, a track off their collaborative EP, The Mandate: Side A.

Chapel Drive is the first full LP from either artist to feature all of the Mutant Academy team, quite a feat if you think about how size of the local hip hop collective. You have producers, emcees, audio engineers and visual artists alike, ranging from BigKahuna OG, Graymatter, BSTFRND, Foisey, Ewonee, UnluckyBastards, Sycho Sid, Henny L.O., Rey Fernandez and manager Cam.

For our regular readers, you’ll recognize some of these names from our 2016 Best Richmond Hip Hop List.

“None of those people [were in a position] where it was our first time coming to them,” said Koncept Jack$on. “We would get the beats before we knew we were making an album. We wouldn’t say ‘send us beats for the album’. It was pretty easy and quick.”

This mixing pot of talent made for a diverse album that starts on a grittier note with lxcvlsxnly 2 [prod. ewonee] and moves into smoother or more reflective tone on “when thugs cry” [prod.foisey].

“In this case, staying in-house was important. I wanted to make sure that everybody in Mutant Academy shined in some kind of way,” said Anakin. “It’s so many of us, it’s like, I just want people to understand that all these motherfuckers are here for a reason. These motherfuckers is talented and they are not just links on the fucking computer. These people are real and awesome at what they do.”

Major RVA hip hop player Nickelus F also makes an appearance on the track “’03 steve harvey remix” as well as a few other local emcees.

“It’s literally like people that we’re friends with and shit. People that we love, people that we have relationships with. Nobody on that project from mixing to cover art to guest verses- all that shit was all family,” said Anakin of the project.

And while Richmond is bubbling over with diverse hip hop acts, Jack$on points to their creativity that makes them stand out among the rest.

“I think creativity and structure/consistency go hand in hand,” he said. “You have to stay creative to be successful. If you took creativity away, I don’t know how consistent you would be.”

From older projects like Hawaii LP and elsewhere ave. to Chapel Drive now, the creation of universes and full concepts in their music has remained consistent.

The lyricism from Fly Anakin and Koncept Jack$on especially, has made for an even more hostile environment for the faint of heart.

“This is our first album together and this is more of a serious tone,” said Jack$on. “We are here, we’re revamping and ready. “When we started working on that album we thought ‘Okay, it’s time to shake shit up for real’ and not just at the local level. If you stay on that local mind state, you’ll stay local. We’re talking about competing with people we look up to.”

Chapel Drive is up online, but cassettes will soon be available and they are also putting it out on vinyl. You can find the album at Plan 9 and will be shipping them out to those that order.

Words by Tico Noise

RVA Staff

RVA Staff

Since 2005, the dedicated team at RVA Magazine, known as RVA Staff, has been delivering the cultural news that matters in Richmond, VA. This talented group of professionals is committed to keeping you informed about the events and happenings in the city.

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