Virginia is perhaps the most criminally under-promoted state in rap right now with several cities budding with emerging talent, yet still the main sect of Virginia music is covered is coming out of the northeastern tip of the state and is also frequently the butt of DMV rap jokes as many artists are labeled soft as the V in DMV is the easily most disrespected part of the region. This shouldn’t be the case though. Richmond, particularly is beginning to emerge as a new scene that is not a part of the DMV’s “Virginia” if you will, but rather has its own identity, and that’s well deserved. Shit definitely gets real in Richmond and is objectively a largely overlooked city period that is budding with culture and history.
Most recently from Richmond the artist who has caught my attention most is JL Duwop who is building an underground fanbase one release at a time and most recently dropped what I feel like is his best work yet, certainly visually (shoutout to JW Motion, they went crazy), with his new video “Ja Morant.” The instrumental is powered by a suspenseful piano loop and gloomy violins that surround the trunk-thumping percussion that matches the seriousness in which Duwop delivers his lyrics. Duwop also absolutely crushed this feature recently and it is looking like it is only a matter of time until he takes over his city as long as he stays consistent and continues to challenge himself musically and begin to find his sound more and more.