RICHMOND, Va.—The first time I had ever heard of Michael Millions was on Dec. 3, 2016 at the Flag on the Moon 3 showcase at The Broadberry. It was the third concert I had ever been to in my life but it was the first one I had ever photographed. I had just started working with VirginiaGotNow, which at the time was only a month old, and it would be the first of many shows we would cover.
By the time Millions set had started, the show was already a couple hours in. My battery was almost punished and I only managed to get a few shots of him and a minute-long video. Regardless, his and Nickelus F’s performances where the most memorable that night. The way they went on stage fearlessly spitting bar after bar with the energy and heart some of these mainstream rappers now a day’s lack, it inspired me. It was the first time I had ever experienced a local music show and it changed me and my view of the entire scene.
To be able to listen to a song or look at a painting or picture and feel something from it, I think, makes us more human than anything else. For an artist, to be able to express their experiences, thoughts, and opinions through whichever medium they choose and have us connect with that art is what keeps them going. Michael Millions is no different and he does it very very well.
Starting off 2018, Millions released his highly-anticipated album “Hard to be King.” This 19-track project is a follow up to his last solo EP “Beautiful” released in 2015.
The project features production by AGM members NameBrand and Nickelus F alongside other notable producers such as JL Hodges and Melodic. There are many noteworthy features such as Francoise Hamilton who provides beautiful background vocals on “WHO YOU WANNA BE” and Fly Anakin on the track “BLACKSUGAR.” Which Nickelus F also has the chorus on.
Now, I’ve said it before in my review of Radio B's and Michael Million's joint project “TENTHSNDHRS” but I’ll say it here again: If you want to hear Richmond Hip-Hop at its finest then look no further than Millions and “Hard to Be King.” Its lyrical content consists of the ups and downs Millions has faced coming from a city like Richmond and his on-going journey to become the king of the rap game. In True Michael Millions fashion, he tells you his personal stories and anecdotes through smooth flows filled with raw bars on even smoother production.
From the first time I saw Millions at that Showcase in 2016 to seeing him perform at our last stop on the EleVAte Tour this past December, we both have grown respectively as artists and as a platform. “Hard to be King,” reassures us that Millions, alongside VA, will do great things in 2018.
You can listen to this project on SoundCloud, Apple Music, Spotify and other streaming platforms. (links will be updated as they become available)