Epic Fest Brings Together Richmond’s Hip Hop Community

By Andrew Cothern | WRIC 8News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Epic Fest, a six-day festival featuring many of the finest hip hop acts in Central Virginia, will be landing at various Richmond venues June 23-28. Among the performers are local artists Nickelus F, Noah-O, Octavian X, Doe the Paperboy, Ms. Proper and many others.

Organized by media group Slapdash RVA, Epic Fest serves to showcase Virginia’s hip hop scene in a prominent fashion.

Local hip hop artist Oab Jenkins is performing for the second time and says he hopes that Richmond will be exposed to the talents hidden in the city.

“There are plenty of festivals that go on in Richmond but not enough cater to the hidden talent that’s right up under our noses,” he says. “[Epic Fest] gives the people a reassurance that there are some diamonds in the rough within our own city. I just wish other festivals would reach out to more genres for festivals. I think it would bring more positivity than anything and that’s what it’s all about. Being positive, being inspirational, as well as sharing love and knowledge.”

Marc Cheatham, founder of The Cheats Movement Blog, covers numerous hip hop acts and other things in the Richmond arts community. He says his favorite part has always been covering live performances and spreading the word on Richmond’s talent. Cheatham says the event is much needed for Richmond and the Virginia region because most local hip hop and R&B artists have difficulty in finding platforms to show off their skills.

“Epic Fest provides that platform for Virginia artists,” he says. “It’s needed because it fills a void that no else fills in Richmond. The high density areas of Virginia have a lot of talented hip hop and R&B artists.”

Local hip hop artist Chance Fischer will also be performing at this year’s event in advance of his new album being released this summer. Fischer says Epic Fest opens up the world of local hip hop to those who may not have experienced it before.

“Sadly, people don’t really know how to approach rap shows in the city in my opinion,” Fischer says. “I think [Epic Fest] serves as a gateway to making hip hop culture more acceptable and approachable here. It’s a chance to get Richmond and our neighboring cities and the region together to really rival the bigger cities people think they need to propel them.”

“Live performance is my true measuring stick of talent and it’s why I love events like Epic Fest,” Cheatham says. “You will be able to see performances from artists you were not familiar with and you’ll be able to see the growth in some of your favorites.”

“I think the local hip hop scene is really vibrant here and begging to break through a glass ceiling,” Fischer says. “There’s no type of rap you can’t find here. I can tell you at least three artists for each category. Richmond is near Kuwait when it comes to talent – sitting on a ton of oil and mineral wealth just waiting to be tapped.”

Get the full lineup and details on the event at slapdashrva.com/epicfest2014.

Copyright 2014 Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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