The Best of Ohbliv

by | Sep 21, 2018 | MUSIC

Ohbliv’sRetrospective” is an authoritative collection of the Richmond beatmaker’s best instrumental tracks. The record was curated by Ohbliv and Paxico records owner/operator Chris Hund, who selected the standout songs from his monolithic discography.

Hund said that he was introduced to Ohbliv’s music years ago by Paxico co-runner Josh Hey.

“Something about his music seemed intensely personal and authentic, which is increasingly rare,” says Hund. “As a curator for Paxico I put out things I believe the world needs, and I have no doubt the world needs Ohbliv retrospective. No one can create a groove like Ohbliv, period. He’s on a spiritual level.”

Ohbliv has released countless beat tapes and records since he started putting out music in 2009, and has been influential both nationally and in Richmond’s emerging hip-hop scene. According to Ohbliv, he started making pause tapes when he was in high school in the late 90s using records from his father’s collection, mostly jazz, soul and R&B deep cuts.

“The records in his collection were ridiculous,” he said. “I basically built off of his collection.”

Ohbliv’s first proper release, “Rugged Tranquility,” set the tone for his future output, borrowing heavily from ’70s and ’80s soul, funk, and R&B artists like Johnny “Guitar” Watson and Junie Morrison to make hypnotic instrumental tracks.

Since then, he’s released over 20 tapes and records and has collaborated with a growing list of performers in the Richmond area including Nickelus F, Fly Anakin, Michael Millions, and Radio B. In 2018 alone he released two beat-tapes, “Ohblends II” and “Ohblends Vol. 3,” two collaborative albums, and a full-length remix record, “Southern Blend.”

Many Richmond hip-hop artists credit Ohbliv with bringing the community out of a period of stagnation in the late 2000s. Nickelus F, a veteran of the Richmond scene, collaborated with Ohbliv for the “Yellow Gold” mixtape in 2011, and “Yellow Gold 2 in 2013.

“He’s an architect of an entire sound and wave,” said F. “At a time when everything sounded clean and digitized he had dirt under his nails digging through dusty crates of records, chopping by hand and making pause tapes. He Marty McFly’d the internet and came back to the future with the essence of true hip-hop.”

Ohbliv has also been involved with several projects with up-and-coming Richmond hip-hop crew Mutant Academy. Earlier this year, he produced the full-length record “Backyard Boogie” with Mutant Academy’s Fly Anakin, who has begun to receive national attention in recent years.

“He single-handedly changed underground hip-hop with that Southside groovy shit. He’s the reason a lot of us in this community are even known. Everybody and they mama made an Ohbliv type beat,” says Anakin.  

Although “Retrospective” is a best-of collection, Ohbliv has no plans to slow down his musical output. “I’m always recording,” he said. “I have three or four albums already done. It’s all about timing for me though as to when I’ll release them.”

The “Retrospective” anthology is a testimony to Ohbliv’s production capabilities, but also to the perfection of his process over the years.

“It’s the refinement of a style,” he said. “Same old process though: find a sample, chop it up, add some drums, flip it, mix it… Boom.”

Cover Photo by Marc Cheatham of The Cheats Movement


Music Sponsored By Graduate Richmond


Daniel Berti

Daniel Berti

more in music

An Ode to Oderus Urungus, Our Scum Dog Overlord!

Once upon a time, in Richmond, Virginia, there stood a statue of Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue for 133 years. However, in the wake of the summer of 2020 protests and growing social awareness, the State Supreme Court approved the removal of the statue. Governor...

The Butcher Brown & The Richmond Symphony Put On A Show

Butcher Brown, the progressive jazz masters from Richmond, played a special show in partnership with the Richmond Symphony over the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. The show featured 10 of their tunes arranged by Richmond’s own Trey Pollard and Tim Barrons which they...

A Man Named Earl, A Punk Named Yonder

Richmond based punk artist Yonder opens up about his art and music career, and the role that mental health plays in it. He discusses how his "outsider" attitude and vulnerability in his work is rooted in his experiences growing up as the "black sheep" of his family...

RVA Shows You Must See This Week: January 11 – January 17

FEATURED SHOW Saturday, January 14, 7 PM Last Minute Fest II, feat. The Mitras, Mad Abbey, Pipesleeve, Overunderdog, Sifter, Stevie Ashe @ The Camel - $10 in advance, $12 day of show (Order tickets HERE) It's officially a new year, but I always take a little while to...

Richmond Music 2022, Part II: Indie (Second Half)

OK, I should have known that this one in particular would go too long -- when I made up these playlists before starting to write this article series, the indie playlist was the longest one by a significant amount. To put it in perspective, the rather lengthy hip hop...

Pin It on Pinterest