There’s a ton of music coming out of Richmond all the time, and while RVA Mag attempts to celebrate it all, we’re human, and we’ve got our favorites. Where Richmond hip hop is concerned, certain of my fellow staffers seem to favor the AGM posse (Nickelus F, Radio B, Michael Millions, NameBrand) above all others. And that’s fair — but for me, the guy who’s most consistently got my ear is Ant The Symbol.
Ant’s been a talented, hard-working producer on the Richmond scene for a solid decade now, cranking out beat tapes, instrumental soundscapes, and full-length projects that find him teaming his rock-solid beats with one murderer’s row of local rappers after another. He’s been grinding particularly hard over the past 12-month period, beginning with last November’s collaborative magnum opus, The What?!, released by Gritty City and featuring Johnny Ciggs, Michael Millions, Fan Ran, Graphic Melee, Chance Fischer, and a ton of other super-talented Richmond MCs. In March, just as the pandemic was hitting, he followed it up with Holyfield, a full-length reinterpretation that was somewhere between a remix album and a whole new project.
Now, in the same way that a lot of us spent April fucking around with sourdough starter, Ant is using using the pandemic as an opportunity to try something different. For the past few months, he’s been doing a project called Days Of Distance, in which he releases a new collaborative single every Friday. There are 15 so far, enough to count as an entire new album — and meanwhile, he also dropped a new instrumental project, Nowhere In Particular, in May. Like I said, the man’s staying busy.
Today, we’re concerning ourselves with “Sometimes,” one of the Days Of Distance singles, this one featuring rhymes from veteran Ant The Symbol collaborator Eliturite. Its smooth, introspective sound blends well with the moody visuals of the city going on with life amid a pandemic. At points, we see Ant The Symbol (rocking a Smashing Pumpkins shirt — love it) and Eliturite hanging out together on a rock by the river, drinking beers and watching the world go by. Halfway through the song, as Eliturite raps about trying to find a positive approach to life, the video suddenly transforms from black and white to color, and despite everything, we find a way to go on. “This is a real, optimistic, and necessary song right now,” Ant The Symbol says of this song. “I think everyone needs it.” Sounds about right to me.