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.
Curated Writing Feed:
Named after a defunct Six Flags amusement park in his hometown of Houston, the LP is layered with numerous nods to both his past and future. As an overall product, it’s a brilliant tapestry of subtle elements that position the 26-year-old virtuoso as the closest thing his generation has to Kanye West-level album curation.
For many artists, bumping into one of the industry’s brightest stars and being given the opportunity to join them on the ride of a lifetime is merely a pipe dream. It was for former Black Wall Street affiliate Richie Evans — once known as Juice — as well. After handing The Game a demo, though, his life changed forever.
It’s been a process for young Houston-bred MC Tedy Andres; he’s been bubbling up over the past few years, setting the stage for his upcoming release, which is poised to change everything. “I’ve been rapping since I was like 13,” he tells AAHH, “that was ten years ago, man., man.
Hip Hop has changed significantly in the past two decades. Today’s fan has unprecedented access to artists, their music, and videos chronicling their every move. In stark contrast, being a hardcore fan of Hip Hop in the ’90s required a balanced level of dedication and budgeting. Print media reigned supreme, and without a video-streaming platform like YouTube available, fans relied on platforms like MTV for content.
It’s all about trusting the journey because sometimes following your gut can take you into unexpected territory. Just ask Queens (New York) rapper Koncept — one-time Fat Beats employee and former member of the Brown Bag All Stars. He’d built a bankable brand as a solo act, blazing from the onset of his debut LP back at the top of 2012. Having worked his J57 collaborative project The Fuel and having just about wrapped his next LP (which would become 14 Hours Ahead), he set off on a short tour in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. That was almost two years ago, and Kon has finally made his return to New York City after what became an unexpected odyssey of overseas fame.
Though a debut album is usually the first introduction a mainstream listener has to a new artist, it in no way means an artist is new. This is especially true in the case of Toronto rapper Jazz Cartier. His presence on the Canadian scene — whether you’re familiar with his music or not — has been inescapable. Though he’s remained one hit away from the mainstream frenzy he’s destined for, his major label debut, Fleurever, the followup to 2016’s Juno Award-winning Hotel Paranoia, is poised to change everything.
So far, 2018 has been another wild year for new music and Hip Hop happenings, and with summer here, it’s only going to get more fuego. It’s also been a great year for creative music video treatments from some of the game’s best and brightest.
Jazz Cartier is a name that has been ringing bells since 2015’s Marauding in Paradise. Poised for success like a lot of other homegrown acts who have crept through the door that Drake kicked wide open, Cartier has remained in a one-hit-away position from bursting the mainstream bubble, despite taking home an award for best rap recording with his 2016 sophomore mixtape, Hotel Paranoia. His major label debut, Fleurever, could prove to be the bubble-popping pin he’d been searching for.
Drake’s highly anticipated Scorpion solidified a few things, including his admirably firm stranglehold on streaming platforms and Billboard charts. However, it also low-key proved that without a shadow of a doubt, LA superstar Ty Dolla $ign had become Hip Hop’s (not-so) secret weapon who arguably gives the best features money can buy.
Nova Scotian multi-platinum rapper Classified — now pushing 40 — is back at it with a new EP. His eighth official release, Tomorrow Could Be… is an endearing sign that Class truly understands both his age and his fan base, as he keeps the effort concise, honest, and at it’s best, incredibly compelling. Despite a successful career, there is no glam, glitz nor braggadocio here. Though polished with the confidence one only gets from being a real veteran rapper, he remains a relatable figure — in the best way possible.