Work and passion: The search for hip-hop success

Laraj "LT" Thomas performs on stage at the Sprint Pavillion as an opener for Jacquees in September, 2019. Laraj “LT” Thomas performs on stage at the Sprint Pavillion as an opener for Jacquees in September, 2019.

Music reflects the spirit of a community. With each new generation, artists must find ways to keep the music they create playing around town. In the Charlottesville area, a small but dedicated group of people keeps the hip-hop scene thriving. Musicians like Channing “Mr. Gray” Gray and Malcolm “Waasi” Wills work with a variety of producers, videographers, and other local rappers and vocalists to produce their songs and organize shows. Some, including Laraj “LT” Thomas, regularly open for bigger acts that come to Charlottesville.

It’s a collaborative scene: Many of these artists have known each other since grade school, and have worked together for years. They’ve built a modest fan base through music videos and shows throughout central Virginia. But the work to keep the hip-hop subculture alive in this area is never-ending. Words and pictures by Zack Wajsgras

Posted In:     Arts

Tags:     , , , , , , , , ,

Previous Post

Song stories: Jordan Perry discusses the motivations for his resonant guitar compositions

Next Post

Music in me: Kate Bollinger’s lifelong connection to healing through song

Our comments system is designed to foster a lively debate of ideas, offer a forum for the exchange of ad hoc information, and solicit honest, respectful feedback about the work we do. We’re glad you’re participating. Here are a few simple rules to follow, which should be relatively straightforward.

1) Don’t call people names or accuse them of things you cannot support.
2) Don’t direct foul language, racial slurs, or offensive terms at other commenters or our staff.
3) Don’t use the discussion on our site for commercial (or shameless personal) promotion.

We reserve the right to remove posts and ban commenters who violate any of the rules listed above, or the spirit of the discussion. We’re trying to create a safe space for a wide range of people to express themselves, and we believe that goal can only be achieved through thoughtful, sensitive editorial control.

If you have questions or comments about our policies or about a specific post, please send an e-mail to

Leave a Reply

Notify of