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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Lenny Grant, who — if we’re honest — is better known to the world as Uncle Murda, is the definition of mixtape success. Like the artists this series has covered in the past, his initial run led him to a major label deal. Unlike the others, though, he has yet to drop a major label debut. Upon popping up back in 2005, his unique blend of ultra-ignorant street Hip Hop, volumes of anti-police rhetoric and incredible adlibs quickly made him a popular figure on the New York mixtape circuit.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame named multi-platinum selling artist and producer Jermaine Dupri as part of its 2018 class. The honor makes the Atlanta native the second Hip Hop artist to ever receive the honor following JAY-Z was inducted last year. Dupri’s vast list of credits includes classics like Mariah Carey’s platinum-selling “Always Be My Baby,” Usher’s double-platinum single “Make Me Wanna” and more recently, Bryson Tiller’s smash hit “Don’t.”
Shirt, the first rap artist signed to Jack White’s Third Man Records, is injecting a much-needed sense of mystery into a genre that at times feels grossly oversaturated with information. Having first generated intrigue with his New York Times spoof site back in 2014 (in the promotion of his RAP project), his major label debut PURE BEAUTY has all the goods and is poised to make the frustratingly hard-to-Google artist much more familiar to listeners.
Brooklyn Rapper Skyzoo Talks ‘In Celebration of Us,’ ‘Black Panther’ Excitement and His Own Marvel Future
Brooklyn rapper Skyzoo is dropping his fourth solo studio album, In Celebration of Us, this week, but with a track record that spans 25 releases (including collaborative efforts, EPs, and mixtapes), the 35-year-old rightfully enjoys veteran MC status amongst the industry’s elite. Being held in this high regard is what makes his confidence about In Celebration Of Us so exciting for his core audience.
Anyone remotely familiar with Skyzoo would be remiss not to concede the intricacy of his pen game; a new project from the Brooklyn MC has a track record of being guaranteed quality. So when the 35-year-old rapper calls a project his most “layered and conceptual” — essentially his best — to date, it’s reasonable for fans to salivate.
It’s been just weeks since Gucci Mane announced his first LP of 2018, (tentatively) titled The Evil Genius. That was big news, especially after the year he had. He’s coming off of a great 2017 that included a plush, televised $1.7 million wedding, a New York Times Bestseller and a reality show.
Gucci never stops, and continues to show us why he deserved DX’s year-end award for Hardest Working Artist Of The Year for both 2016 and 2017.
1996, I’m up at 2 am on a Friday dubbing College radio — as was the routine at the time — and then I hear it, “You’ll See” by The LOX featuring the Notorious B.I.G. Over the repurposed instrumental of Faith Evan’s “Used To Love Me,” the trio (though obviously younger) had that signature chemistry that we’ve always collectively loved them for, and of course a flame emoji Biggie verse. The song was dubbed off that original tape so many times the tape popped.
Whether or not you agree or even fuck with this new wave of artists flooding the industry, they’re here to stay — and they’re doing numbers. The ascent has been pretty steady, which I think many may not realize. Thriving in a generation that started sharing the dankest of the dank memes by the time they were in high school, they’ve turned consistent grind and work ethic via services like SoundCloud into vehicles to propel themselves to Billboard fame, selling out shows and making racks (and racks).
I asked artists to submit for potential inclusion in the new crowd-sourced iteration of my #indiespotlight column. One artist, Shane Eagle was recommended — and almost immediately the suggestion was co-signed by nearly 100 supporters. It didn’t go unnoticed, and I gave his debut release Yellow a listen. Flame emojis in abundance.
By now you’ve seen and heard the throwback magic that is Bruno Mars’ “Finesse” remix featuring Cardi B. After a fantastic start to 2018 — being inducted into the elite group of artists to have their first three Billboard Hot 100 hits in the top 10 — many detractors are beginning to come around. Including me, to be honest.