May 23, 2016

On his 29th birthday last week, Richmond’s multi-talented Ricky Antonio reflected on all of the “traps” he managed to avoid while growing up in his city — traps that had shortened the lives of some of his friends and loved ones — and felt thankful.

He then pulled out some beats he hadn’t finished — a bass, kick and snare — and went about doing exactly what has kept him alive and pushing forward in a positive direction.

“I added everything, piano, trumpets, guitar,” the artist said, “I’m a big fan of live music so I tried to make it sound as live band-ish as possible.”

The fit of gratefulness and musicianship resulted in a jazzy track called “29,” which the Richmond Standard could not help but play on repeat over the weekend.

The track is not solely about his own survival but proving society wrong about what it means to be “a black man from the hood,” he said.

Now, the only thing that is as alive and well as Ricky Antonio is his music. The artist was just invited to the East Coast for the Mission Underground New York to audition live in front of a panel of select music industry professionals, including talent scouts, label executives, hip-hop heavy weights, and 600-plus attendees.

Ricky’s audition tape (see below) for the underground showcase was accepted.

Featured artists at this event are Twista, Cassidy, Consequence, Cyhi the Prynce, Locksmith and Wax.

The event runs from June 15 through June 18.

An online fundraiser has been launched to help Ricky Antonio pay for the trip, including registration fees, flights and hotels.

In the fundraiser, Ricky Antonio’s wife described her husband as “super goofy, down to earth, loving” and a “guy who happens to be a ridiculously talented musician & actor.”

You may have read about him in the Richmond Standard in the past. We wrote about how he started a hip hop class at Helms Middle School, where he had attended, and worked with students on developing their voice through lyrical expression.


  1. Mike & Richmond Standard thank you so much for this article! It means the world to Ricky & myself as well as so many youth in our community.

    Brittni J Coleman | May 23rd, 2016
  2. Congratulations Rickey! Keep up the good work!

    Xanthia Hill | May 29th, 2016
  3. […] Ricky Antonio releases new track, invited to East Coast showcase […]

    pingback Watch The Full 4 Minute Cassidy Legends Cypher | Aug 9th, 2016

About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.