Riley Wallace: Hip-Hop Journalist
Riley Wallace is a published, professional writer and hip-hop journalist whose work runs the gambit from real estate writing to hip-hop/urban writing for the legendary XXL Magazine. He’s the founder of AAHIPHOP and is one of the site’s principal writers. He’s interviewed legends like De La Soul, and is always working to expose new talent — and social commentary — with his work. For additional writing samples, or for any business/media, contact him using the form below.
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DJ Khaled, who is less of an actual disk jockey and more of a super-producer and social media star these days, recently revealed the tracklisting for his upcoming album Grateful. With an eclectic cast of both new and established superstars, the ambitious guest list had some wondering whether Khaled was indeed a genius or merely an over-paid opportunist shoving as many chart-topping artists as possible into records.
Today Hip Hop lost a real soldier of the game, Albert Johnson — better known as Prodigy. Half of the infamous Queens duo Mobb Deep, 42-year-old Prodigy was the epitome of the Hip Hop that real heads loved. He was really about that street shit, he came up in an era where skills reigned supreme, and he had a distinctive vocal tone and way with words that will ultimately help uphold his legacy, which is an untouchable catalog.
In the midst of being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame this week, Jay Z took to Twitter for an 11-tweet salute to his many musical influences. Strikingly familiar to the homage he made on his 2009 song “A Star Is Born” featuring J. Cole, his shoutouts ranged from golden era rap-gods to the leaders of the new school, giving insight into not only what he’s listening to currently, but some of the artists that have helped to mold his sound.
June 11th marked the 10th anniversary of the death of Far-Rockaway Queens Rapper Rayquon Elliott, better known as Stack Bundles, who was murdered in his apartment lobby back in 2007. Affiliated with DJ Clue’s Desert Storm imprint, he was a star on the rise with a healthy mixtape run, and a spot on Jim Jones’ ByrdGang roster. He is often cited as an influential figure to many New York City MCs who witnessed his come up.
Hot 97’s annual Summer Jam event was filled with amazing moments in 2017, like DJ Khaled holding young Asahd up like Rafiki holding young Simba for an incredible photo op. There was Remy Ma as well, who brought out the likes of Lady Of Rage, Monie Love, and Queen Latifah before putting Nicki Minaj up on the screen and dropping her vicious “Shether” record. One moment that fans were anticipating, though, was a miraculous on-stage appearance by the incarcerated wave god Max B. That, sadly, never happened.
When it comes to Hip Hop’s first billion-dollar couple, people love a great “theory.” Proof of this was when Beyonce was recently spotted rocking the same earrings as she did in her “If I Was A Boy” music video — sparking rumors about the sex of her twins. While the intricacy of that is perhaps giving Bey and her marketing team way too much credit, this latest rumor, which centers around an alleged new Jigga album, seems a little more solid.
Just a pro-tip for any of my artist readers — I read everything you send. I don’t always respond, but I check it. I also follow-up on suggestions, especially Twitter ones. One that I recently came across was an up and coming R&B acts from France named Yo Trane. I’m not sure if you’ve heard of dude, but get to your Google machine instantly and look him up.
We’re in the age of the music video, and few video directors have been as trusted by real heads as Myster DL. Creeping up on his 250th video, he’s worked with acts like Redman, Sean Price, Styles P, Chuck D, Cormega, and more. That’s on top of film/TV, and commercial work that’s helped make ILL Mannered Films such a bankable brand in the game.
Perhaps part of growing up is coming to terms with the fact that beef — while potentially culturally exciting — can be bad for business. Artists like the now virtually disenfranchised Ja Rule learned that the hard way when beef left his credibility on life support. For this reason, we’ve seen many squabbling artists reconcile over the past decade, including The Game and 50 Cent, and of course, Jay Z and Dipset Capo Jim Jones.
Acts like the late Prince B, who KRS-One infamously threw off stage before grabbing the mic and performing “South Bronx,” was spared lasting embarrassment hidden thanks to a lack of modern cell phone videos, but many newer acts haven’t been so fortunate.