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:
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.
“He’s such a strong motherfucker … his willpower was crazy,” Duval said. “So, I couldn’t believe that shit was real. I was hearing from people before it was on the news and then 15 minutes later, that was it. It shell-shocked me.”
Westside Gunn Takes One Last Independent Swing on ‘Supreme Blientele’ Before Heading to the Big Leagues [Interview]
When it comes to independent success in contemporary hip-hop, not many teams have been able to win without pandering to mainstream pressure quite like Griselda — the tight label family consisting of Benny the Butcher and brothers Conway the Machine and Westside Gunn. Existing as a boutique brand, with niche and remarkably consistent releases (which have earned them a cult following), they’ve been able to tour, sell out anything they drop and secure themselves a spot on the Shady Records roster.
Next to perhaps the G-Unit, not many crews have been able to build a buzz like the Buffalo-based Griselda Records — founded by rapper Westside Gunn. What they also have in common with the 50 Cent-helmed foursome is that their unique sound and aura of authenticity earned them a spot on the Shady Records roster, making them among the few Buffalo rap artists to sign a major deal.
It was just last year when Freddie Gibbs — following a year-long legal ordeal — made a triumphant return to the game with his third solo studio album, You Only Live 2wice. Though he’s been teasing Bandana for a while now, which is the follow-up to his critically acclaimed collaboration with Madlib, Pinata, he’s gifted fans with a new project in the interim, Freddie. The 10-song effort delivers an experience that fans of Gangsta Gibbs have come to expect after the last two projects: glimmering gems scattered among a curated blend of believable, high-quality gangsterism.
Giving Nas less than 24 hours to bask in the glory of his Kanye West-produced Nasir release, JAY-Z and wife Beyoncé — collectively known as The Carters — unexpectedly dropped their long-prophesied collaboration project Everything Is Love. With incredible production and plenty of Easter eggs for fans to decode, the project more than lives up to its potential, with enough flame emojis to satisfy hip-hop heads and the Bey-hive alike.
How do you break down an album when almost every line is quotable? In many ways, rapper Westside Gunn and his Griselda roster are the most consistent team in modern (true school) hip-hop. Everything they release is quality. From that perspective, saying Westside Gunn’s newest release stands among his best should be a sign that it’s honestly something special.
Kaiju The Unconquerable is one of those artists that fails to ever settle into anything — in the best way possible. “Episode 7: Ultraman” found it’s way to my inbox this past April, and I was amazed at how different Kaiju’s vibe was. Jarring isn’t quite the right word, but the shift in tone from “CYBERPUNK 2050” to “Ultraman” should a to of range, with the quality of the video being the constant.
New Orleans rapper A. Levy wears many hats: hip-hop artist, audio engineer, t-shirt brand owner, father, and husband. His music is a mixture of lyrical storytelling, and golden era aesthetics, and contemporary production. “I’m influenced by a lot of things and try to touch on subjects I feel are neglected,” he tells AAHH in an interview.
he words “Kanye” and “ranking” in the same sentence are enough to trigger fans into hysteria. Take a deep breath though and check out the criteria for how this list was created with the help of Hip Hop statistician Ben Carter.