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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When Lil Uzi Vert dropped his Luv Is Rage 2 album last week (August 25), many fans on Twitter were quick to point out that the song “Sauce It Up” bore a curious resemblance to a beat notorious Twitter beat-spammer Beats By Saif had been sharing for months.
While it was initially alleged that Saif’s short snippet profoundly influenced the beat, that may not be the case.
Action Bronson has always been considered a consistent artist, and rightly so: He’s a rapping machine with an incredibly complex rhyme scheme that often lands somewhere between absurdly comical and street, but always on point. The third instalment of his Blue Chips series, Blue Chips 7000, is no different. Held up by tedious sample clearance issues, the long-delayed project has finally hit (digital) shelves.
Perhaps it was the cohesiveness, or the overall grandeur of last year’s Kairi Chane that makes it difficult for fans of East (Harlem) New York rapper Dave East to forget that his latest offering, Paranoia: A True Story, is actually his first official release. Curiously billed as an EP despite the length, the rapper’s first foray onto the iconic Def Jam imprint is everything that long-time supporters could have hoped for.
Brampton’s own EverythingOShauN is one of those artists that everyone seems to be talking about lately. Surfing the current wave of trap-soul that acts like Bryson Tiller have been pushing into the industry spotlight, he’s winning over fans locally and across the border with his carefully curated sound. Almost Everything, his sophomore EP, is a light listen with six songs that are heavy on vibes — and mostly orchestrated by Xpress, aka DJXP, who also works extensively with Toronto singer Staasia Daniels.
There is a long history of songs that, when taken in a slightly different context, become synonymous with athletic motivation though. Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” Wiz Khalifa’s “Black And Yellow” and Jim Jones’ epic “We Fly High” have all found their way into countless highlight reels and racked up massive spins during live sporting events.
Not many artists get the kind of opportunity afforded to 27-year-old P.Muna. The New Yorker — born Prosper Mbongue-Muna — earned a healthy base of fans appearing as a cast member on MTV’s Are You The One?. “It was a crazy experience,” he tells AAHH. “One of the craziest experiences of my life … I was chilling with a bunch of beautiful women and got to make some money at the ends, so that’s always nice.”
Remember when Eminem rapped, “Hold your nose because here goes the cold water?” Well, for SoundCloud, today’s water was looking ice cold. But after wrapping up the largest financing round in the company’s history, it looks like the platform isn’t going anywhere.
Sometimes an artist is un-sleep-on-able. What do I mean by that? Well, at times in this writing game, an artist gets thrown at you from multiple directions enough that you need to concede eventually, and just go with it. Ard Adz is one such artist.
In a lane that was once dominated by Combat Jack, there is now a ton of traffic — and it’s a beautiful thing. Over the few years, we’ve seen some of the game’s best story tellers emerge as podcast hosts, commentating and sharing incredible background stories and insight that real heads have been losing their minds over.
Making a way in the music business, while easier than ever in some respects, is also harder than ever. That’s primarily because a more relaxed barrier to entry has created a sea of new artists and producers — and that means that standing out has become increasingly difficult. Many new acts have come to grasp the fact that success comes at a price, and purchasing co-signs or collaborations can be a quick road to success.