Cincinnati’s WhatUpWally? (born Wally Hart) is an important figure in hip-hop and his tenure speaks for itself. While yes, Wally can make a beat and kill that same beat with his lyrics, his impact and purpose in hip-hop stretches beyond the numbers. Over the years Wally has dedicated his life not just to the execution but also the education and business of hip-hop. Whether through tutoring the youth or teaching his peers, whether through curated lists or managing artists, it’s impossible to leave a conversation without learning something from the Cincinnati veteran. As we head deeper into 2020, WhatUpWally? is getting set to release his debut album, now’s the time to learn up.

Born in 1978, Wally Hart grew up on music and from the jump was immediately interested in studying and learning more. “My father gave me my love of music,” Wally recalls. Wally would accompany his father to the record store and spend hours upon hours going through his father’s collection of records. Wally’s father also took him to his first concert to see Robert Cray in New York City.

Digital Underground, NWA, 2 Live Crew, Public Enemy, Naughty By Nature and other marquee acts were entering the limelight as Wally entered his adolescence, further inspiring the young hip-hop head.

Wally started DJing as an undergrad at Texas A&M while studying Marketing and returned to A&M in 2010 to study, write, and teach about systemic racism and the sociology of hip hop, expanding his breadth of knowledge about hip hop and the music industry. When you take Wally’s willingness to educate himself and combine it with his family line, Wally was destined to make an impact on hip-hop as a whole. “Hip-Hop is part of my DNA,” Wally says.

Once he finished his PhD work at Texas A&M, WhatUpWally? dove headfirst into the Cincinnati hip-hop and music scene. At this point, Wally is freestyling, curating shows, promoting artists through his own publication and leaving an impact on the youth.

It’s not about clout or fame for WhatUpWally?, it never was. Wally has always looked at the bigger picture and always has done his best to educate the people around him. Not just about hip-hop but about the societal aspect and universal impact on all levels, mainstream and independent alike. This all before you even touch on WhatUpWally?’s style, which is immersed in boom-bap, battle rap, and the party yet political aesthetic of southern hip hop (specifically Houston, Texas).

Here we are almost halfway through 2020 and WhatUpWally? is moving confident as ever. Wally is a staple in the Cincinnati scene collaborating with acts young and old, never afraid to break down the barrier of stereotypes that come with the local scene.

Wally is getting set to release his debut album “Pandemic” a special collaboration between Wally and artists from all over the Cincinnati area.

This album is a statement in many ways.

First, this is Wally’s first album. After years of collaborations and years of freestyles, we finally get a full album from the Cincinnati stalwart.

Second, this album features various artists with varying styles all coming together to create something of a Cincinnati compilation album. With artists like AC the Entity, Jay Wiz, NoahIMean? of the Animal Crackers, Sharp.One, Spirit, Juice Lee, Wonder Brown, Khari, Kelby Savage, Modus Focus, MC Till, Yon L.i. and countless others coming through, “Pandemic” is guaranteed to make some noise.

That isn’t all though as Wally plans on doing a multi-state tour once the actual Pandemic subsides. Get in tune with the Cincinnati artist before “Pandemic” sweeps the nation.

Pandemic Drops July 3rd on the WhatUpWally? Bandcamp page: 

Find everything WhatUpWally? at https://linktr.ee/whatupwally

- Bio Written by Michael Stover

No comments: