For over a decade now, Richmond has had a varied hip hop scene supported by a small group of OGs that took it upon themselves to make a scene. Richmatic at the old Twisters (now Strange Matter) comes to mind as a good example of how it worked in the early 00s — the creation and trading of cassette mix tapes, pinned up fliers on telephone poles, and smoked-out house sessions around campus were the only way for people to even know about what was going on. The hip hop scene around VCU took its cues from the thriving nationally-recognized Richmond punk scene to bring things together. However, as members of the scene started breaking out, the supporters started choosing sides instead of supporting the scene as a whole.
Meanwhile, the city government was going out of its way to shut down any places that supported hip hop (and really any culturally relevant movement that wasn’t sanctioned by the corporate class). There was a mass exodus of rappers making their names in other cities and only occasionally coming back to the small underground fanbase here. By the time RVA Magazine started in 2005, the local hip hop scene had lost its momentum.
But since those days, things have come back around. The early supporters became older heads, and started helping the younger generation organize while supporting them with their experience, resources, and attendance. Today, we have seen a hip hop renaissance in the sound of Richmond. The work coming out of this town is our sound made by our people, and it’s reaching across the country.
Do you know Noah-O was on Sway In The Morning this year?
Have you heard the underground classic Trick Dice by Nickelus F & Shawn Kemp?
How about Decemba by Divine Council and Andre 3000 of Outkast last year?
How about Hypebeast shouting out The Mutant Academy?
If you haven’t its ok. You can miss a few things. The point is our town is on the come up and along with music out of the Mid Atlantic region that includes chart toppers DRAM, Goldlink, and N.E.R.D out of Norfolk, it seems like the future is now. So check it. Some of the following love the city, some of them hate it, but the important thing is that their work is doing Richmond proud.
VER$ACE CHACHI X SPACE GOD, ‘2K1234 HOLOGRAPHIC’
Jan 4, 2017
DIVINE COUNCIL, ‘Dirtbags In Distress’
Feb 2, 2017
NOAH-O + DJ MENTOS, ‘Raindrops’
Mar 26, 2017
JOHNNY CIGGS, ‘White Linen’
Apr 3, 2017
FLY ANAKIN, ‘Brainwash’d / E. Broad St.’
Jul 12, 2017
MCKINLEY DIXON, ‘The Everyday People’
Aug 18, 2017
NOAH-O x FAN RAN, ‘Too Official’
Sep 7, 2017
Oct 27, 2017
FLY ANAKIN, KONCEPT JACK$ON & TUAMIE, ‘Grandma’s Spot’
Nov 13, 2017
MICHAEL MILLIONS, ‘SIRENS’
Nov 28, 2017
YOUNG FLEXICO, ‘Fish Aye Shaw’
Dec 4, 2017
AND THESE RVA HIP HOP CLASSIC ALBUMS
NICKELUS F & SHAWN KEMP, TRICK DICE [FULL ALBUM]
DIVINE COUNCIL, DB$B (Full Mixtape)