*Weezy voice* Nah, I fucks with OG. Sorry.
I may have got you here with some jokes or the psychopathic cover graphic or whatever-----plus the idea of putting this regionally-specific of a list together is rather ridiculous BUT...
This IS an actual, serious list of the best rappers from Richmond's West End according to me. And yes, I'm on the list.
I did try to use tangible streams/views/plays/buzz and consistent high level output as the criteria here. However, if you don't have any of those, but you have a wild amount of talent--- it just might win out. It's in first-to-last order because if you're familiar with this topic at all-- you KNOW who's number one and I want everybody else to sweat it out til the end to see if they made it. The list plays as a bit of a history lesson, but that's a good thing. Ya'll don't know enough about my side of town. So lets get it...
#1. OG Illa
If I can admit it, you can too. You may hate his “HLGN” lifestyle, his wiry frame and his pubey beard may even disturb you, but you can’t deny he’s done more for the West End than anyone. In my opinion, he’s not the best lyricist on this list, he doesn’t have the most street cred, he’s really kind of a piece of shit. But the fact remains, he’s outworked everyone and taken the swings the other guys wouldn’t. Along the way, he found his voice and is now in control of his own artistic destiny. He’s constantly created. He’s constantly put on and showed out —whether he was the promoter, the director, the host, but especially as the MC. His music constantly gets better and his relentlessness commands you to respect his game.
Yo, this man pays me nothing for this MSQ shit (I have to pay him per-minute on his wi-fi)— and trust me, I’m not like getting him to sign any t-shirts or anything—it’s just a fact— he has a real chance to be THE guy behind a Richmond rise and he's already the West End's GOAT.
Favorite Track: "Kareem"
I know he'll hate that this is what I picked... Good. #fUcKoGiLlA
Why he sucks:
He didn’t put you and I on his fucking list >:0
Also, he would be the kid in Ravenclaw wishing he was in Slytherin.
#2. Slim Kartel
This brother came off of a bid hungry. Since his emergence in the mid 2010’s he’s given us consistent bangers and been all over the scene, earning immediate respect and partnership from RVA OG’s like Noah O. With his raspy, deep voice and hustling philosophies, he’s given us one project after another to keep his name abuzz.
Stylistically, he can go from a Future-like hunter of melody to an old-school storyteller in the same song. His life experience bleeds through what he says and the sonic power of his vocal cords. With Sean Gotti serving as the Dame to Slim’s Jigga and the Kikkit/Flite Skool movement behind his huge sounding music, Slim Kartel has turned from late blooming to business booming in a hurry.
Favorite Track: "Guapanese" If you don't like this song, I don't like you.
Why he sucks:
He’s not as mean as you want him to be in real life. You’ll never meet a nicer guy with gold teeth.
The first artist who had a dream for the West End to unify and hold their heads high. I think his mic presence outshines his bars, but his bars are great— his personality is just THAT impactful. This guy has never been ashamed to be himself a day in his life. As the leader of the West End super-group, Suburban District he flexed his rapping muscles and as the founder of Slapdash Entertainment, he has thrown some of the most epic indie shows the city has ever seen, especially with his Epic Fest series (idc if that wordplay was corny).
While he’s a strong ass MC, he also comes in this high on the list cuz he’s been the Puffy figure for a lotta the rappers on this list injecting enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit into their movements. He’s been gone from the actual rapping scene for a minute, but his West End legacy is solidified. Don’t worry if he writes rhymes, he writes checks.
Favorite Track: "GRL" Featuring Dr. Millionaire and Koncept Jackson He has the third verse on this (4:00), but that's his steez. He's a team player.
Why he sucks:
He would be a perfect cast for a live adaptation of “The Busy World of Richard Scary.” He’d be whipping that apple car and still talking his shit like a little chihuahua. FR tho he sucks cuz we want more of him on the mic.
#4. EyeQ Shahid
He splits time between RVA and LA, but the prolific rapper actually hails from the Best End. This guy never quits working. Obviously one component of that is writing, recording, visuals, promo, and shows. But it also includes spreading love person to person in real life. EyeQ Shahid walks the earth in a way that most rappers don’t. He’s a special rapper. He’s a griot. Look up what that means.
He’s a longtime vet, but I think he’s really found himself now and he could climb this list and any other list any day cuz his attitude is ripe for it and so is his work ethic.
Favorite Track: "No More Probation"
Giving ya'll the live version because he's at his best in real time.
Why he sucks:
This man will put out another album before I listened to the last one. Also, he’s one of those people that will stumble onto an outside basketball run and be like “fuck it,” and hoop in jeans and brand new sneaks and be diving and doing wild shit fucking em' all up.
#5. The Uth
Chaz Edwards aka The Uth is someone who’s talent should have him higher on this list. A true triple threat— he makes dope beats, he can rap his ass off, and he can really sing. He also has a gang of other strong suits within the media game...he's not a renaissance-man, he's a renaissance, man!
He doesn’t rank lower because he’s too good to be any lower. He doesn’t rank higher because he only has one full solo project, “25”. This year’s forthcoming joint album with OG Illa “All Things Considered” should work wonders for The Uth claiming his rightful position.