Since it is 804 Day when the article is published, August 4th, what's a better way to honor the city than to put people onto some artists, right? I lived in Richmond my whole life, traveled to a lot of places but always stayed in my hometown. At the time of this article, I've written for seven different platforms since 2016 and have seen plenty of different musicians, rappers, bands, and singers come and go. I'll be spotlighting a select eight artists and maybe a band or two. The list itself will be composed of people I, MYSELF, ME, feels like that needs some more recognition. This is a STRICTLY RICHMOND list, so if you're a Northern Virginia artist or a creative from the seven cities, I'm not focusing on you guys for this article. Still read it though so you can learn about some Richmond faces and things like that. All I ask is that you understand the preface of this article when I say that I'M ONLY LISTING RICHMOND ARTISTS FOR THIS ARTICLE.
Before I get to my list, however, I have to give some special shoutouts. They are not on the list because I feel like their legacies are FIRMLY established due to their contributions to the creative community: J Roddy Rod who is one of the main, if not, the main influence in perfecting the art of Twerk music. His famous song Where Da Twerkers At? featuring Lil Deezy and Quan B goes up anywhere you're at whether it's a club in Houston or a house party in Atlanta. To my research, his musical legacy in being one of the innovators for the twerk music sound derives all the way back to the Myspace days and the Powerhouse Showcase mixtape. Even now, you can catch Roddy Rod having his legendary Juke Fest events anywhere in VA and it is always live! I have to also shout out the trio of Michael Millions, Nickelus F, and Radio Blitz of the Association of Great Minds. Those three individuals together have accolades from XXL (Mike), The Source and Complex features (Nick), SMACK URL battles (Radio), establishing the RVA Rap Elite Cypher, and Southpaw Battle Coalition platforms (Radio). There is more that I could say about that trio, but I ask everyone to do research about those three guys from Southside Richmond.
OG Illa is another name I have to put up there. He has performed with the likes of The Roots and Playboi Carti along with creating TheMSQShop platform that I write for. He's a creative executive that has worked with brands internationally known like Roc Nation and locally known like Collective RVA and KIKKIT. He has held back to school drives and is very vocal about his opinions on what goes on in the city, and that is always respected, whether people agree with him or not. I also have to shout out D'Angleo, Peter $un, Mad Skillz, and educator/TED Talk presenter/Radio DJ Black Liq for their contributions to the Rich City.
NOW THE LIST. IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER EITHER.
The young artist in his twenty-somethings has been making himself a stand-out name within the young Richmond demographic (ages 18-23). His deep and blunt delivery along with an energetic flow makes him stand out in a wave of competition. The Richmond rapper w/ Jersey ties is a familiar face in the Melodic Monday open mic platform. His singles like Wat It Do and Get Back will have listeners' heads nodding as they get captivated by his sounds. His Instagram is @drexperson and his Twitter is @dre__person
The jazz/funk band is compromised of five band members: Tennishu, Morgan Burrs, Corey Fonville, Andrew Randazzo, and DJ Harrison. The band itself has been going strong for a good amount of the 2010s and has finally been getting noticed more and more. With features on Rolling Stone for the band being a part of the new ESPN Monday Night Football theme song and a very special NPR Tiny Desk Concert shot at The HOF Garden in West End Richmond, the steady sounds of Butcher Brown is wonderful music to listen to as you're either grilling some food outside or enjoying a glass of wine reading your favourite fiction novel. Their albums like #KingButch and Encore are great starting points for their discography after you watch their NPR Tiny Desk Concert below. They can be found on Instagram @butcherbrown and @butcherBRWN on Twitter.
To be completely biased here, I have not seen anyone put out as much work in a VERY high volume in the past two years like Monday Night. This man is dropping one project after another like how Max B would drop mixtapes. From 2019 to now, he has released NINE albums. Some that he strictly worked with for specific projects like Holly Favored with producers Foisey, Thug Tear with Big Kahuna OG, and Battle Scar Decorated with Henny L.O. The way his slick talk delivery mesh with clever bar schemes is highly respected and his aggressive demeanor that balances his slick style is unique. The big shark makes music perfect for fans of lo-fi music and fans that have an ear for the likes of Benny The Butcher and Max B. His shark sound is something that people will either understand the feeling of entirely or have to pick up on how he schemes. His Instagram and Twitter are @mondaynighthb . You can listen to his most recent single Sweepstakes produced by Fly Anakin to get a taste of his music.
I have to mention a singer at some point in this article right? So why not focus on AiA, who has a musical background ranging from singing in churches during her youth to studying Music Theory at Howard University? Her scat singing is catchy and hypnotizing and I see plentiful potential in the young college student. I covered some of her works before and one way I can describe her music is that of when you walk into a speakeasy and get a drink as the singer sets the festive mood. A good amount of her music relates to love and their emotions. You can find her on all social media @aiamermaid and listen to her single Crushin' below. She has an album dropping later in August so be on the lookout for that.
Milo Case is an emcee that is known for his smooth vocals and a mixed bag of flows. From Southside Richmond, now residing in Florida, his name doesn't get brought up enough in regards to great talents to come out of the 804. With storytelling songs like Kickback from his Pillow Talk Weather album, his unique bravado keeps listeners wanting for more. Like Nickelus F and Radio B that I mentioned before starting the list, Case has performed on the Brewers Sessions platform, which is the 804's version of the NPR Tiny Desk Concert. In the video below, he performed songs from his 2019 album Fire Lily rocking his signature Crown Royal apparel that he has made references to throughout his discography. You can follow him on Instagram @milo.case
There's just something about Scutti's energy. His aura as what I would classify as a trap rapper is super dope. Even how he carries himself on social media is how he carries himself in real life. His shows at The Camel in the past and even now always had some mosh pit involved and whether he's rapping about food stamps or his set, he makes some solid rager rap music to me. You can follow him on Instagram at @uvscutti and watch his visual for iight SO boom below.
This Richmond native currently resides in Los Angeles and currently working in different health fields out on the west coast. Her style is so eloquent and she masters a variety of different flows. Prop makes thought-provoking music that inspires people to hustle along with how to move better with their life decisions so they can preserve their souls. Prop was featured on Revolt earlier in the year for her Cash Rules visual. The song was a part of the Vintage Luggage album that dropped in 2020. She released another visual from that same album with the song Mulholland Drive Vibes which you can view below. Prop's Instagram is @hoodxbuddha
The young aspiring rapper 10k Zuri has that nostalgic late nineties sound. Hell, I'll even say she gives off that vintage Bobbito Garcia and Stretch Armstrong cypher feel with her sound. She is truly a storyteller and at her young age, she has SO MUCH potential. At eighteen she was a business owner of Beats, Rhymes, and Life which was a platform for creatives to display their talents while being a student at Old Dominion University. Watch her storytelling visual for her song Halftime which is on her latest project As The World Turns below and follow her on Instagram at @10k.zuri and @Zuri10k on Twitter.
*If you want to tell me how great or terrible my list is or even want an interview from me, I can be found everywhere on social media @justinhisprime*