Over the past few years it feels like Chicago and Philly have been pushing especially hard to establish themselves as equivalents—if not successors—to the long-established bi-coastalism of New York and LA as the primary music hubs in this country, with artists like Japanese Breakfast tearing down long-perceived walls between DIY space and sold-out arena tours. In doing so, it feels like they’re leading the way for the next big local-scene come-up, with Richmond, Virginia a prime candidate between its overlapping rock and hip-hop scenes.
Ty Sorrell contributes to the latter, with the rapper’s new project HomeGrown the perfect soundtrack to summer regardless of locale or genre preferences. The 10-track project coasts on floral-print, lightly psychedelic, and entirely smoked-up downtempo beats, with Sorrell’s verses padded out by contributions from peers handpicked from their local scene. While the record makes reference to the summer of ’18, the chillwave-derived beats harken back to at least 2012.
With the album officially dropping tomorrow, Sorrell is sharing an early stream of the full project with us here, while additionally plugging a few dozen of their favorite artists currently putting Richmond on the map (several of whom make appearances on HomeGrown). Stream both projects below, and read on for a few words on each of the tracks he picked for the playlist. HomeGrown drops tomorrow via Quiet Year—you can pre-order it here.
Soluh! feat. Henny L.O., “It’s Written Again”
Soluh! is one of those hidden Richmond gems you will never get again. A rap duo of poet/rapper/artist Rob Gibsun and producer/DJ/artist Bstfrnd. This one in particular is a great example of what Richmond sounds like, with a feature by Mutant Academy’s Henny L.O.
Mirtaw feat. GRT Sctt!!, “2005”
These two dudes be making some of the best grown-man rap shit, and got a swag wit it. Both of them on a song will always be dope.
A joint from 3wayslim’s newest project Golden Child. When you hear slim rap you know he means that shit. One of the rawest.
Ohbliv is a great—not crazy to say he’s a legend. Created his own style, and did it from Richmond, Virginia.
Sycho Sid, “First Sister”
Sycho Sid of Mutant Academy. Nigga is nuts. One of my favorite producers from the city for sure.
Koncept Jack$on, “Turning You On”
Koncept Jack$on is a favorite—flows like he’s constantly sparring and has the words to illustrate a scene out of a film.
McKinley Dixon feat. Ms. Jaylin Brown, “brown shoulders”
From Mckinley Dixon’s For My Mama And Anyone Who Look Like Her. A great example of where the intersection of jazz and hip-hop is currently at.
Ms. Jaylin Brown, “Fishing”
One of my favorite vocalist/singers, period. Jaylin’s voice is impossible to ignore, and with it alone she will go anywhere she wants to go.
Alfred., “THIS WAS NOT FOR YOU”
Alfred. is another gem, and a close friend of mine, but if you don’t know them by now you were definitely not going to shows in Richmond from 2015 to present. Alfred. is a great, any rapper who’s heard them knows.
clwdwlkr, “On the Run”
Clwdwkr f.k.a. Afrocat, another good friend of mine. One of the best producers I’ve met to this day, and he know how to kick cool shit on the mic.
akaLUTHER feat. Alfred., “False OG”
akaLUTHER with one of the best summer bops in the city. One of the most versatile artists, for sure—dude can work with anyone and make it his own. Proud to say he’s like a brother to me.
Billy Capricorn feat. DuctTape Jesus, “walkie talkie”
Billy Cap. Another producer capable of anything, even the seemingly impossible stunts. Has been putting out a popular series called Out Of Love and is on their seventh volume currently, dropping every Valentine’s Day. Featuring the ball of fire that is DuctTape Jesus, who’s also been killing it this year.
E. 33rd feat. Benét, “Side of Your Face”
I mean, how does anyone not like E. 33rd? Love those guys.
Benét feat. Abby Huston, “Ready”
Benét is a superstar and everyone knows it—one of the best songwriters I’ve been lucky to befriend. Featuring Abby Huston, another lovely soul I’ve been lucky enough to meet.
Peter $un, “Marci”
I don’t see this nigga not going anywhere. Another very versatile artist. Been doing his thing for a minute, killing it.
Calvin Presents feat. Kenneka Cook, “Haunted”
Kenneka Cook is another of those vocalists you can’t help but pay attention to, and she been killing it for a while too. Love to Calvin Presents on the keys and vocals as well. This one’s a favorite of mine from Calvin’s project.
Monday Night, “Dark Stout”
This nigga raps are at a high caliber. One of my favorite rappers in the city, easily—nigga is just nice, ya’ll. I mean c’mon, how you look, man?
Shout out Babyxsosa, I love this joint. Shout out GAWD on the beat.
Dhemo, “Full Glow”
Jake of Dhemo is an amazing person that I had the pleasure of meeting and being around during the creative process. Amazing composer, guitar player, and vocalist.
Deau Eyes, “Make Some Time”
Another singer you can obsess over. Voice is incredible, and has songs.
Michael Millions feat. Fly Anakin and Nickelus F, “Blacksugar”
One from Michael, always appreciated what he was doing for himself but also for his city. Always inspired by him. Song is very richmond, with Fly Anakin, Nickelus F, and Michael Millions, over a D’Angelo sample.
Fly Anakin feat. Dj Harrison and Big Kahuna Og, “Super Dragon Punch II”
DJ Harrison on the beat?! Nigga this song is fire. Start to finish. This what it feels like here. Shout out Big Kahuna Og and Fly Anakin of Mutant Academy
Trapcry, “Goku Thee Stallion”
How you not gon’ have no Trapcry in your playlist…