The hip-hop game and its participants are always on a never-ending quest to seek out the newest, the hottest, the answer and the truth. The critics, the fans, the experts are constantly seeking the next sound or artist to elevate the rap industry. Well, heat-seeking missile hot independent, Chicago-based ICEE Records has locked onto its very own soon-to-be not so secret weapon and his name is Chris "White Boy" Riley and his debut album No Gray Area. White Boy is the next batter on deck and he is swinging for the fences with crazy lyrical force.
Charles White, President of ICEE, and his handpicked staff of music industry experts discovered White Boy as he rocked a shocked crowd of 5000 people packed into the Auditorium Theatre to witness the 1st Annual Chicago Idol Competition. Sponsored by WGCI and ICEE, the event was the Windy City's own version of media juggernaut American Idol and the competition was serious. When the 19-year-old battle rapper, Chris Riley, took the stage to the announcement of his controversial nickname White Boy, there was extreme curiosity and reserve. When Chris began to devastate the packed house with lyrical fire and venom the crowd and judges knew they were witnessing the birth of a new hip-hop force to be reckoned with. White Boy's incredible energy, delivery and raw, lyrics had the crowd cheering wildly. White Boy walked away with the title of 1st runner up that night and a deal with ICEE Records. However, the crowd had crowned him King of the competition. Hip-hop had a new young player that had just thrown a very big gauntlet down.
His album leads with a crushing single, "U Know", is produced by and featuring the current ruler of hip-hop, Kanye West, and R&B newcomer John Legend. The single received 5,400 spins nationally. White Boy heating up the airwaves on radio and television with the follow-up single "Can't Get Out the Game" featuring Johnny P, another Chicago favorite. The single has received over 3,000 spins nationally and Chris Robinson's Camp directed the video.
The Chicago rapper has already begun garnering awards. White Boy won the award for "Best New Entertainer" at the 23rd Annual Chicago Music Awards and the Biggie and 2PAC "Best Lyricist Award" at the Chicago Truth Hip-Hop Awards. His label ICEE Records was nominated for Label of the Year its first and second year of conception.
Chris "White Boy" Riley is a study of contrasts. The product of a stormy interracial union from the illtown streets of Rockford, IL, young Chris had to deal with the realities of being half this and half that, light white with a fly-away fro. Chris took a ghetto nickname that could have reeked havoc on his life and made it his battle armor, his personal badge of who and what he was and where he came from. White Boy was not invented; he was born and inherited the title from the streets that took him in.
His grandmother raised him because his mom is currently serving time in jail and has been most of his life. He does not know his father. His older brother, Quacy, is his best friend and rap mentor. "He is the real rapper to look out for," Chris says. "He is the one that I got the skills from." His 14-year-old sister, Destiny, is his heart and soul.
ICEE Records signed the young protégée and is preparing to hit the rap industry hard with No Gray Area, which has sold close to close to 20,000 units with out a national radio campaign. The LP is a collection of 14 songs that reflect what his young life has been represented by thus far. Glorifying the street life? No. Narrating his story of life on the streets? Yes. He tells of the violence, the drugs, and the sex because like so many other artists that's what he has seen and experienced. White Boy does it with a vicious and animated flow, rocking over a multitude of beats with relentless abandon, unraveling his street tales with a maturity and pace of someone way beyond his years on this earth. White Boy's music has gained interest of video game companies such as Atari and EA Sports. Many hit television series such as Johnny Zero and The Shield have also expressed strong interest in the artist. It's just a matter of time until the name "White Boy" is a household name.