By Gessler Santos-Lopez
Richmond, Va. -- It’s a calm Wednesday evening in the East End of Richmond, Virginia and at the beginning of a dead-end street sits Michael Millions’ townhouse. From the outside, the blinds are closed, the grass sits uncut, and there’s a faint beat emanating from the house.
Going through the front door, the beat becomes less muffled, a haze is in the air, and the smell of incense hits the nose. At the end of a hallway is the living room, or what appears to be.
“Could you turn my headphones up a little bit,” calls out Millions, 35, from the back-left corner of the room behind his makeshift recording booth.
Depending on the day, Millions’, or as most people say, “Mike’s house,”could be a typical suburban living space, or a hub for the ever-growing Richmond hip-hop scene. Bringing in artists and friends like Nickelus F, Fly Anakin, Young Flexico and a slew of others.
Millions is an up-and-coming hip-hop artist and music engineer whose roots are planted and thriving in Richmond, Virginia. The very place he refers to in “Sirens” on his 2018 full-length album “Hard to be King” as “once one of those capitols where those murders be.”
The artist was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina and raised in the River City. His mom was a dental hygienist and his dad was in the Army. Millions received a bachelor’s degree in mass communications with a focus in photo/film from Norfolk State University, but he always knew he just wanted to make music.
“My parents never told me what to be, I always told my parents I was going to be a rapper and they would just be like, ‘Did you turn them college applications in?’”
After a short run in the communications field, Millions ventured into IT through his uncle. He made music and worked at the Bank of America in Downtown Richmond in the IT department until his job was dissolved.
The same day he got the call, he got a check in the mail for a music project he was a part of. That’s when Millions made the choice to leap head first into music.