Virtue 

Strictly Personal: SLC's Virtue sticks to the heart of the matter.

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It might be a little-known fact, but independent hip-hop does exist in this town— and Utah emcee Virtue embodies its impassioned spirit. Formerly known as Skinny G, Virtue changed his name to something more reflective of his message four years ago, a switch that coincided with the release of On a Mission. Virtue’s latest album, The Reala, demonstrates a nice lyrical progression from his debut and incorporates a large collective of some of Utah’s best underground artists, including L.A.M., Scoob from Sick Lake, D. Taylor, and Corleone from The Commission collective. Kasual, Virtue’s partner in rhyme from Tha Oppositt, also guests on a “I’m a Weirdo,” which Virtue says is “meant to bring the weirdo out in everyone.”

The record is diverse, with “party tracks,” “sexy tracks,” a song dedicated to Virtue’s wife and one going out to God. The Reala offers some insight into the artist’s psyche as he tries “To keep it real; personally relating to people.” He also gives plenty of props to his hometown by often referring to the city—as rap artists from the area commonly do—as “The Lake.” Virtue is hard to pin down, style-wise, though his most successful tracks are the most intimate and reflective ones. “I’m not a gangster. I’m more of an intellectual rapper. I rap about things that everybody goes through,” and as his fans tell him, “‘Everything you rap about I experience myself.’”

The Reala CD release show presents an opportunity for locals to become acquainted with many of Salt Lake City’s promising hip-hop artists—Kaotic, S.E.M., Cristal and O.B.R.—as well as numerous guest artists showcased on Virtue’s album. DJ Apose will man the wheels of steel. 

VIRTUE CD RELEASE
Downtown Hookah Lounge
268 S. Main
Saturday, Oct. 24
9 p.m.

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Jon Paxton

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