How Richmond has influenced hip-hop 50 years later

Posted at 8:23 AM, Aug 11, 2023

RICHMOND, Va,. — Celebrations honoring the 50th anniversary of hip-hop will take place across the country on Friday, including in Richmond.

The city's hip-hop scene was instrumental to the genre when artists decades ago visited the city to spread their names and reputations, according to Mike Street, brand manager at 106.5 The Beat.

“They had to be on the early rap stations here in Richmond, be interviewed, and be introduced to Richmond by those early personalities,” Street recalled.

Street has entertained listeners on the radio for 30 years after graduating from the University of Richmond.

He recalled August 11, 1973 — the day synonymous with the birth of hip-hop. Hip-hop was heard for the first time at a house party at 1520 Sedgewick Avenue in the Bronx.

Since then, hip-hop’s influence on our society and culture has only grown.

“The cool thing about hip-hop is it's not just music, it's a culture,” Street explained. “It's a billion-dollar culture. A lot of things that go on, regardless of the genre of music, is influenced by hip-hop in some way, shape, or form.”

Street will host the city’s celebration at the Hippodrome Theater from 6:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. Friday.

“RVA Rappers Delight: Celebrating 50 Years of Richmond Hip-hop” will feature performers paying homage to the influence that rap has had in Central Virginia.

A stellar lineup of performers features Nickelus F, Noah-O, Radio B, and Reppa Ton — some of the most popular talents in Richmond’s hip-hop scene, according to a press release.

Richmond-rapper Cane is kicking off his “H2O Tour Water Park Tour” during Friday’s celebration at the Hippodrome. Originally from Fredericksburg, he calls Richmond his first "hip-hop home."

“I think people are starting to hear rumblings about this thriving hip hop scene that we have here. So, I think it's really dope that we're going to be able to spotlight it,” Cane stated.

Richmond hip-hop cane.jpg

50 years later, Richmond’s scene continues to expand. Both Street and Cane describe it as diverse.

“Shout out to RVA Rap Elite and Southpaw Battle Coalition. There are all kinds of different lanes where hip-hop is just really happening right now out here,” Cane explained.

Growing upp, Cane watched and listened to rappers and artists that he now will perform alongside.

“Nicholas F - he’s the headliner. I remember watching him climb the ranks and on 106 & Park before I even knew him [personally],” he said.

Tickets are $30 Advance and $35 at the Door.

Get your tickets and find more information at by clicking here.

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