Hyping up the Lounge: GW Sailor by Day, Rapper by Night

Story Number: NNS170310-25Release Date: 3/10/2017 1:53:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Oscar Albert Moreno Jr., USS George Washington Public Affairs

NORFOLK (NNS) -- The night of Feb. 17 was a loud one inside the Origami Lounge in Virginia Beach. With the crowd hyped up for the next performer to get on stage, Airman Tony Edwards, from Chicago, enters the fray and does what he does best--rap.

The Origami Lounge held an artist showcase, where music artists competed for the chance to open up for the rapper known as A-Boogie.

Edwards is a music artist under the name Tony Rich, whose specialty is upbeat, hype rap. He makes music to motivate and talk about overcoming real-life experiences. He has always had a passion for the art and has taken a more aggressive stance toward making it a career.

"I fell in love with music and as I grew up decided that I wanted to make it myself," said Edwards. "I would lock myself in my room and just get to working a piece or just start recording. It's a big part of my life and I love all aspects of it."

Edwards has performed in 22 shows since 2014, and in the past year since he's arrived in Virginia has performed at seven different venues in Richmond, Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

"I love being in front of a crowd," said Edwards. "Hyping them up, keeping the good vibes going. It's all a part of being up on stage."

Besides shows and venues, Edwards spreads his music through various music sources, such as Instagram, YouTube, Soundcloud and Live Mixtapes. His single "Crash the Porsche" on Live Mixtapes has over 51,000 views.

Edwards' manager is another George Washington Sailor, Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Marcus Ellis. The pair is working together as an independent group, and plans to publish and license their own music.

"We're a self-funded and independent group," said Ellis. "We aren't looking for others for help, assistance or loans. It'll just be our own effort that'll get us to where we want to be."

Edwards has an upcoming show at the Hofheimer building in Richmond on March 26.

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