CREATIVE SPACE 3.0
Written by T. Mason on Tue Mar, 2020
Creative Space 3.0
I’ve had the pleasure of attending a few live shows in my time. I’ve seen everything, from Kanye suspended in air to Maranda Lambert performing at a Tampa Bay Rays game. However, I have never experienced anything like I did at Creative Space 3.0.
Creative Space 3.0 was held at the Firehouse Theatre in Richmond, V.A. and since Firehouse Theatre was an actual firehouse, it is a very fitting name. Since the firehouse was decommissioned in 1993, the venue has premiered plays, hosted emerging as well as established artists, and has earned a reputation as a place for creatives to come together and express their art. With movie theatre style seating, any spot in the house has a clear view of the stage. I did find the set design a bit strange at first. It appeared to be set up for a stage play that would take place in a locker room. Once I realized that most of the artists were students from the nearby Virginia Commonwealth University, it quickly made sense.
“…I quickly learned those resources were essential pieces to my growth”
Rae Isaiah is one of the organizers of Creative Space as well as a performer for the evening. Creative Space was originally founded as a collective that promoted local artists through networking and various events in the Richmond area but Rae had a bigger plan.
“The reason why I decided to take it in that direction was due to the lack of resources that I had as an artist. I quickly learned those resources were essential pieces to my growth” – Rae Isiaiah
Richmond is a busy city with a sprawling art scene. It only makes sense that someone would capitalize on an opportunity to bring all these artists together.
“I started to use the various connections I had in and around the Richmond area to create a network that could create various platforms to promote artist and help them connect with others.” – Rae Isaiah
First to take the stage was Shy Lennox. Shy had just wrapped up a small tour and he’s clearly a seasoned performer. He has a sultry voice that serves his particular brand R&B well. He’s just different. His sound reminded me of nothing I had heard before. As he dubbed his vocals live on stage, he sang over what I would describe as lo-fi-smooth music that came from his accompanying band. My favorite song from the set was “Signs”. Although he is a singer, flashes of a rapper came through in this song.
Next to take the stage was Mood Ring. Mood Ring is a collective of artists featuring Jiamondd, Quoyah, Hazel Grove, and Rae Isaiah. Their mix of R&B and rap is definitely interesting and it made me curious to hear more. I was familiar with Jiamondd from her project “Onions and Communications.” Her vocal ability is insane. She dives in and out of jazz scales with ease which makes her unique style quite her own. Quoyah, who is also an extremely talented vocalist, has a powerful yet controlled voice. Rae Isaiah and Hazelgrove are the two lyricists of the collective. I didn’t get enough from either of them to really get a good sense of their style or lyrical ability, but they did accompany the ladies on a few songs of the set. It was easy to tell that they are a tight knit group that feeds off each others energy.
“This s**t bout to go crazy!!”
Just before Guero hit the stage, I got a text from someone that was at the event saying, “This shit bout to go crazy!!” He was right! Guero is a fun character. As soon as he touches the mic he begins to perform. He loosens up the crowd with a couple of self deprecating jokes and asks the crowd to come closer to the stage. Obviously, a local favorite because people did not hesitate to grant his request. Simply put, his show was dope AF!! On the stage, off the stage, dancing with the crowd, absorbing their energy and he was giving his to them. At one point he even rapped in Spanish. It was crazy!! He just has a natural talent for performing.
Burnt Bridges, the Label delivered heavy hitting beats and lyrics for the streets. Johnny Danger’s flow was on point and has solid lyrical content, but it didn’t seem like he was comfortable on stage, yet. He looked down a lot instead of interacting with the crowd. However,
his fluid delivery of his rhymes made up for the beginning of his performance. When Southside Popi hit the stage, the energy in the room changed. Popi has a swagger that drips confidence and spills over in his delivery. There’s no doubt that he is seasoned when it came to performing. His stage presence brought more energy from Danger and Danger began to loosen up as they performed together. Nu JTG joined them on stage and really put on a show with his rapid fire delivery. The chemistry with him and Johnny Danger was evident as they traded bars on the track “98 Bars.”
Grand Opening, Grand Closing
The final act of the night was Jay Macadocious. Jay is a hell of a performer. I listened to his project “For the Long Run” a while ago and I thought it was a good album. He has a brilliant flow and he chooses his beats carefully to fit his style. I still felt like
something was missing, but this night filled that space. He makes performance music. Everything came together watching him on stage. My favorite part of his set was when he requested Jiamondd to come back to the stage to perform their collaborative track “Don’t”. The vibe of the track reminded me of some Tribe Called Quest earlier music. Mixed with his expert delivery and Jiamondd’s velvet vocals, the song made for a perfect way to go into the end the night.
Creative Space needs to be a staple of events that happen in the RVA area. Not just for the artist that performed that night, but for artist looking for a creative space and people that are looking for new fresh talent. I haven’t received word on if and when there will be another Creative Space event but I will definitely be there for the experience.
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