Pop sound: hip hop/rap 


The rap race: Who needs to be mad when you’re on tour with 50 Cent — “the hottest rapper out right now,” Skillz says. He’s way out in front in the race to become the first major rapper to come from Richmond. Friend and One Soul Entertainment owner Patrick Mamou describes him as “hungry” for success, “a good business man” with “no shame in promoting himself.”

Keepin’ it real: In early May, Skillz brought in a well-known Los Angeles video director — one who’s worked with Ginuwine to drop just one name — and a large cast and crew to shoot the video for “Off the Wall.” Skillz had the budget behind him, but shot much of the video at, of all places, Whitcomb Court. Even nearby residents could hardly believe it. But Skillz wants to show the world where he’s from. “The last video I shot in L.A.,” he says, “but you can’t capture Richmond like Richmond anywhere else.”

In the club: SupaFriendz, Funkaholic, Ravenous Munkz.

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