It pains me to see how poetry has become a lost art. There was once a moment in time when poetry was looked at as one of the elite forms of art. I hate that poems have been pushed to the curb like they’re some trash because they provide a safe yet therapeutic way to express our feelings. Ohio artist Riah magically found a way to collide those two vastly different concepts into his unique sound.
Ohio Hip-Hop Resurgence
It’s been a while since I could vividly remember a notable hip-hop artist who came from Ohio. In fact, the only one that pops up in my head is Bones-Thugs-N-Harmony, which has been almost at least twenty years prior. But I’m fairly confident that Riah has what it takes to put Ohio hip-hop back on the map. Similarly to Bones-Thugs-N-Harmony, he has perfected the art of voicing his raw pain as he did in his new project.
His newly released project, Hood Poetry, is a great starting point for new listeners, due to Riah’s emotional storytelling ability. With the track list being 10 songs in length, it feels as if Riah truly has a song for every imaginable situation. For him to be so young, the material is very relatable, because you can genuinely tell his music is based on real-life experiences.
For example, the second track, “Roll in Peace” was a song that almost made me want to tear up for how vulnerable it was. Riah speaks on the trials and tribulations that he’s gone through to be where he’s at today, such as surviving homelessness. No exaggeration when I say that his angelic vocals healed me in many ways that I can’t even explain. Listen to the fourth track, “Just Go” and tell me that he doesn’t have a voice that can sweep you off your feet. I’m willing to bet money that he has ties to the church/choir and would explain why his vocals are filled with so much passion and control.
Overall, I think this is a project worth checking out. It has that perfect blend of pain and emotion to leave a lasting impression. I look forward to what Riah has up his sleeve for the new year. You should too, so be sure to follow him on Instagram.