17. Black Liquid, “Richmond” 3:26 

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Black Liquid — real name Rob Fields — has more than 15 hip-hop albums under his belt and the ready skills for disposing with large crowds. If you missed the MC’s past appearances at the National, including two openings for Snoop Dogg, you may have heard his radio shows on WRIR 97.3-FM and WDCE 90.1-FM. Fields was born in California but grew up in Richmond. One day he got inspired. “I heard this beat and I was like, holy shit, this beat is Richmond. The beat was called something like ‘the streets with dark gutters’ and I was like, this is Richmond.” Hard-hitting as his tune is, Black Liquid acknowledges that the problems he articulates aren’t limited to his hometown: “There’s no place like Richmond, even though every place is just like Richmond.” blackliq.com.

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