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:
Like most of us, Alabama native CHIKA spent the early morning of April 20 listening to J. Cole’s surprise album, KOD. One song in particular, “1985 (Intro To ‘The Fall Off’),” — in which Cole lectures an unnamed rapper — affected CHIKA to the point that she felt compelled to respond with a verse of her own. She shared the video to her Twitter followers and within about 24 hours, it had amassed around 1.2 million views.
St Louis rapper EJ Carter has been on the cusp for a while now. Notorious, his 2015 debut, racked up millions of spins via Spotify and spawned multiple viral videos, yet failed to materialize into broader commercial success. His latest LP, 5800, has all the elements of a focused game changer for the 26-year-old, packed with solid musicianship that accentuates his songwriting and production.
It’s been a little over a year since Smoke DZA dropped his last album, “Don’t Smoke Rock,” a collaborative LP with iconic producer Pete Rock. After putting out three singles and his “Ringside 6” EP, the Harlem MC is finally ready to roll out his sixth studio album, “Not For Sale,” on April 20.
Since dropping the single “1999” back in 2016, rapper SAINt JHN has managed to amass around 50 million streams and a dedicated fan base. More impressively, he’s done so with only a small handful of singles. With his debut LP Collection One dropping on March 30 — which includes five of the previously released singles — JHN is hesitant about telling fans what to expect.
Philly-based illustrator and fine artist Chris B. Murray is putting on for the culture with his new poster series, “Rap Kings.” The ongoing 30-piece series pays tribute to a formidable list of both contemporary and golden era lyricists.
Without much warning, The Weeknd dropped a new project on March 30, “My Dear Melancholy.” While the short and sweet six-song release is the official follow-up to his 2016 double-platinum commercial opus Starboy, it’s in many ways a shedding of his newfound king-off pop appeal and retreat back to the confessional booth.
Going blind into an album is a liberating experience; with preconceived notions, it’s easier to take a raw listen at the actual material — without politics and BS. I had such an experience just this week with an artist name Donny DoomsDay. Everything about this guy is intriguing post-three listens. His latest LP, the hefty 17-song slice of hip-hop that is Reality Raps is loaded with positivism, a good amount of relatability, BARS, and unabashed nods to his Christianity.
While strength in numbers proved to be the key to Wu-Tang Clan’s success and enduring legacy, it also proved itself to be a system that lacked equal distribution. While some of the Clan’s bigger names broke off and launched massive solo careers, others had to wait in line. U-God — also known as Golden Arms — was one of the members who played the background.
Audrey Godoy, the 28-year-old MC better known as Gavlyn, got her first break when her video for the boom-bap banger “What I Do” grabbed attention in 2012. Four albums (and millions of plays) later, she’s managed to organically build a substantial core audience and consistently tour across the U.S. and Europe.