In honor of his show at Founder's this Saturday, I'm posting some photos from a photoshoot I did with Rick Chyme and Nixon for Rapid Growth Media about a year ago. Rick started out performing at open mic nights at Billy's Lounge in Easttown, and as he started making a name for himself, he began collaborating with other artists and contributing to the local hip hop community. He performs at schools, in classrooms, discusses his writing process in English classes. It's about passing on his knowledge and passion to younger generations. He is a big advocate for teamwork in the hip hop world and promoting true hip hop culture rather than messages of drugs and violence that are popular on the radio.
The hip hop scene in Grand Rapids has been growing rapidly the past few years, and new, younger artists are popping up all over West Michigan. Support from venues like Pyramid Scheme, Billy's, and The Intersection have really boosted the popularity of local artists and given them a wider audience by allowing them to open for bigger names. Back in the day, venues were hesitant to host hip hop shows because there was an idea that they didn't bring in revenue. Very few bars in the area advertised playing hip hop music, and when they did they called it "funk". But the popularity and longevity of older hip hop artists slowly pushed away that negative perception and paved the way for the next wave of artists.