Michael Millions has spent years rising to the top of the river city’s hip hop scene. His next step up? Opening for Nas at The National.
Michael Millions already planned on going to the Nas show later this month, but now the Richmond rapper is going to perform for the legendary Queensbridge emcee as well.
Nas will be performing at The National in Richmond on Monday July 22nd, and as his opening act, Millions, one of Richmond’s best-known rappers, will play his largest show yet.
According to Millions, he had to take his Apple Watch off the day his performance was confirmed.
“The heart rate joint kept going up and alerting me,” he said. “I was just so excited.”
“This is the biggest opportunity I’ve ever had,” said Millions, “I never would’ve thought I’d get to open up for one of the greats.”
Growing up, Millions took huge inspiration from Nas through his music, fashion, and lifestyle.
“Nas made rap look really cool to me,” he added.
Millions originally studied mass communications at Norfolk State University and briefly worked in an IT job before transitioning to making music full time. He’s been putting out music since 2011 and is finally achieving one of his biggest dreams by playing a show with a hip-hop icon.
It was Nas’ smooth songwriting and storytelling abilities, most legendarily showcased on his classic 1994 debut, Illmatic, that first caught Millions’ attention, inspiring him to make music himself.
Millions actually met Nas at his last performance in Richmond back in 2008. Now, eleven years later, Millions will perform a 25-30 minute set at a venue Richmond hip hop artists rarely play.
For Millions, he’s playing the show “for everybody — every artist in the city, and everyone who wants to do something creative with their life.” He wants to give hope to others like himself.
Millions says he’s still deciding on what songs he’ll perform, and whether he’ll break out anything special in honor of the occasion.
“I might do a new record or do a song or two that haven’t been performed live yet, but I don’t know,” he said. “I’ve still got a few weeks to think about it.”
Millions also said his social media blew up the day he announced the show. His fans have been showing immense support and sending long, kind messages after the announcement. Family members who don’t typically come to his smaller shows are coming out for this one. The announcement that Millions would open the show even caused ticket sales to jump.
In the meantime, Millions will be travelling between Richmond and New York, continuing to work on music, and rehearsing for the show.
“I’m just excited to play for new people, fans,” said Millions. “And for Nas.”
Top Photo by Hadley Chittum
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