RVA hip hop artist Nickelus F has dropped a new video for the opening track “Laced Weed” off of his most recent album TRIFLIN, but there’s more than a few nods to RVA, as well as a personal s
RVA hip hop artist Nickelus F has dropped a new video for the opening track “Laced Weed” off of his most recent album TRIFLIN, but there’s more than a few nods to RVA, as well as a personal story or two, in between the video’s cuts.
Features a mix psychedelic effects and shots of Downtown and South Side RVA spots, the video captures Nickelus F’s tone and message in a powerful way.
It also doesn’t hurt that it’s a good track to listen to when you and your crew are getting shady.
While there is no narrative for the video, there are a number of nods to the RVA hip hop aesthetic that create a certain gritty feel.
“The city has a rugged undertone,” said F. “The dirtiness of the video is definitely trying to capture the Richmond mood.”
In a particularly powerful move, F highlights one of his favorite Southside haunts – a frequently visited neighborhood corner store.
One week after filming at the corner store, its owner, Harshad Patel, was murdered in a robbery. F and video director Gabriel “G” Bynum decided to put a message in the video to honor him.
Patel, Habebe as F called him, was “a real good guy” according to the rapper, who described his untimely death as something folks in South Side can be all too familiar with.
“Even in my high school, people were bringing guns to school, selling weeding on campus – regardless of where you at,” F said, noting while his upbringing could have been more brutal, he was no stranger to violence either.
“People got locked up,” he said. “And I’m trying to capture that raw aesthetic in my video.”
“Laced Weed” was shot by G of The Life Company. G and F met a number of years ago shortly after G moved to RVA from VA beach. The two had tried to work together for some time, but scheduling conflict kept them apart until this shoot happened.
“My approach to videos is the same with rap, it’s always random, from talking about sex with women to all the money you got,” said G about his style of filming. He compared it to freestyle rappers who generate some of their best lines off the cuff. “I try to freestyle with my videos too,” he said, noting his use of pans and shots are like his rhymes. He also noted the mood of the day can influence shoots; “It’s how I’m feeling that day, or how they person I’m filming is feeling,” he said.
“Laced weed” took about a month’s worth of Sundays to film and the most stand out moment for both G and F came towards the end shooting when the crew found themselves circling 195 at 70+ miles an hour with the rapper hanging out the sun roof.
“There was a rush doing that,” F said. “Dancing to the music even though I couldn’t hear anything. People were driving by, taking videos and I’m flicking off their cameras and sticking my tongue out at them…”
G shared his excitement for the driving sequences saying once they started rolling he knew the shots would bring the video together.
“I knew full circle… how were we gonna take it to the next level? That was the scene that I knew would make the video worth while,” he said.”
the two plan to collaborate on more projects in the future, with some videos already shot.
F said there are actually a number of videos connected to TRIFLIN that are shot with some turning out worth sharing, and others not so much – either way, keep an eye out for the final products, and we’ll do the best we can to share em with you as well.