Ayanna Costley
writings on hip-hop and r&b. the music, the industry, and the culture. welcome to A-Side/B-Side.
Created 28 Jul 2020
  • Happy Birthday, Mary J. Blige: MJB is still the MVP
    15 Jan 2021 • 4 min read • 2 0
    A-Side Mary J. Blige, the undisputed Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, celebrated her 50th birthday on Monday, January 11! Here are 3 quick and random lessons we can learn from MJB: therealmaryjblige A post shar...
  • ICYMI: I wrote about women in hip-hop and ageism for Bitch Media
    18 Dec 2020 • 1 min read • 2 0
    A-Side Read my full article at Bitch Media — Short Shelf Life: For Women in Hip Hop, Aging Is a Heavy Burden A few quotes and takeaways: Other male artists over the age of 35, including 2 Chainz, Fred...
  • A (short) Music Lover's Gift Guide
    04 Dec 2020 • 2 min read • 2 0
    A-Side Money is tight for a lot of people because of the panny (pandemic), so there are some free.99 gifts included too! Records — The Sound of Vinyl If you have a local record shop, consider buying y...
  • New Music Review: There Will Never Be Another Busta Rhymes
    13 Nov 2020 • 1 min read
    A-Side Patience is a virtue, one that Busta Rhymes knows well. The veteran rapper started working on what would become the 2020 album Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God in 2009 as he shopped h...
  • Choose Your Own Song
    23 Oct 2020 • 1 min read • 1 0
    A-Side: Choose Your Own Adventure—I mean song Start here! Choose One: An original song (go to # 2) A remix to a song (go to # 3) If you want a new, full-length debut album by an artist featured in pas...
  • Just the B-Side: New Words from Meg / New Music from Benny The Butcher
    16 Oct 2020 • 2 min read
    A-Side I'm not gonna hold y'all for too long this week. So let's get into it. B-Side What’s the 411? Nicki confirmed the birth of her son on Instagram, sharing, "I am so grateful & in love with my son...
  • The Girls Are Fighting: A Breakdown of Nicki Minaj and Tracy Chapman's Legal Battle
    02 Oct 2020 • 5 min read • 6 0
    A-Side I read the 29 page Chapman/Minaj copyright infringement ruling so that you don’t have to. Here’s a summative breakdown of the *latest* copyright dispute to hit the music industry. Tracy Chapman...
  • Featuring: R&B Singer-Songwriter Magana
    18 Sep 2020 • 7 min read
    A-Side R&B and Neo-Soul singer-songwriter Magana started singing when she was three years old. Just two or three years later, she began writing songs. She’s half-Tanzanian, half-Ugandan, and was born ...
  • God Bless Hip-Hop and These 'United Skates'
    11 Sep 2020 • 3 min read • 2 1
    A-Side Growing up in Newark, NJ, going to Branch Brook Roller Skating Center was engrained in our culture. From birthday parties and school field trips to finally being old enough to go with a group o...
  • Like Wayne, I Got No Ceilings
    28 Aug 2020 • 2 min read • 3 0
    *Lil Wayne lighter flick and inhale* B-Side What’s the 411? Eleven years after its initial release, streaming platforms welcome Lil Wayne’s mixtape, No Ceilings! The streaming version of the mixtape f...
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