Ricky Antonio’s music hiatus ends theatrically

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Three masked, gun-toting robbers are riding inside an elevator, getting ready to commit a crime, when the doors open and a man walks in. The man wasn’t fazed at all by the robbers and their guns. Rather, he was apologetic. Why? Because he forgot to put on his mask before walking in. There’s a pandemic going on, after all.

It’s a scene from the 7-minute movie and music video, “Hahaha,” and an apt snapshot of the evolving works of Richmond artist Ricky Antonio, both rapper and comedian.

For three years, Antonio stepped away from music to focus on comedy, which in hindsight was needed given the grim times we’ve experienced since last year. The focus on comedy came just two years after Antonio’s clip, “E-40 Kills So Gone Challenge,” went viral. In the video, he perfectly impersonates the rap legend E-40. An off-the-cuff phrase at the end of the video “Can I get a water doe?,” would grow as a brand.

That phrase helped inspire Antonio’s latest project, “Get Doe,” which includes the Jan. 23 launch of an EP, a new clothing line, a podcast posted on his YouTube page and the film, “Hahaha.” “I released all that while on a beach in Miami,” Antonio said.

“Out of nowhere it just clicked to me that it made sense to release new music,” he said.

Filming “I’m Trippin'” in Richmond.

Antonio just released a new 7-minute short film for the song “‘I’m Trippin,'” which picks up where “Hahaha” left off.

“Get Doe” may have been born from a joke, but it has evolved into a mantra. It “speaks to the go getters, the hustlers, entrepreneurs as well as the everyday working person,” Antonio said.

“Really, it’s the soundtrack for anybody wanting to get money, putting in hard work for what they love, and making no excuses,” he said.

The ‘Get Doe’ EP spans over a six-year recording process, forcing Antonio to make difficult decisions among over 100 songs he’s recorded.

The release of all this work matches the sentiments of a fanbase needing a release from the challenges the nation has been facing.

“I think more than ever people need and are looking for new creative content, music and comedy, so it’s been an interesting building time during this whole situation,” he said, adding, “I feel like an essential worker.”

Mike Kinney contributed to this report