The baseball field at Kennedy High School was abuzz with activity Saturday.
But the sounds weren’t the cracks of bats or the smacks of leather.
They were laughs, and rhythmic staccatos of some of the city’s finest hip hop voices.
More than 70 people, mostly local rap artists, gathered at the baseball field for an afternoon photo shoot organized by Lil Ric, a Richmond-bred rap artist who has been a prominent hip-hop luminary since the mid-1990s. Rappers and friends chatted and posed for photos by photographers from Murder Dog magazine, a Vallejo-based glossy hip hop monthly.
“It feels good out here,” said Michael Daniel, a longtime local hip hop artist who raps under the moniker “Dap Daniel” for record label Brohyde Music. “It’s not too often we can get all these people together to network, talk about collaborations and other possibilities in a positive way.”
Among those joining Lil Ric and were a slew of rappers, Bay Area record label reps and publicists.
“This is the first event of its kind in Richmond,” said Telmeka Allen-Williams, a publicist for Lil Ric. “We are part of building unity here in this city.”
Artists hung out for more than an hour, chatting and breaking into a cappella rhymes. Murder Dog’s photographers assembled the huge group near the bleachers for a series of group photos that comprised dozens of artists.
The gathering not only bridged Richmond’s diverse neighborhoods, but generations as well.
“A lot of these cats when I was coming up were either babies or not even born,” Daniel said. “And now they’re taking hold of it and doing their thing with it and it sounds real nice. It’s a Richmond kind of sound, and it’s always been that way, but now they got it and they’re making it real special.”
With the photo shoot completed, artists drifted away after exchanging pleasantries, fliers, phone numbers and email addresses.
“It’s good for us all to get together to build relationships and see how we can all work together to keep bringing great music,” said Tamika “Ty” Pittman, a publicist.
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