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Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Is the "Golden Age" of hip hop blogging over? 

Today marked the beginning of Black History Month and the inevitable jokes about how they gave us the shortest month of the year to celebrate. In the spirit of thinking something is better than nothing though, here's a few things for y'all to do to celebrate:

- The Schomburg Center's In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience.

- "Follow the Leader: Portraits of the Hip-Hop Avant-Garde" - a one-man show of paintings by Jackson Brown at Bill Adler's Eyejammie Fine Arts Gallery.

- PBS's Slavery and the Making of America.

- Jeff Chang's acclaimed new book on hip hop Can't Stop, Won't Stop is in stores today.

There's a new "Hot Ish" list up in the sidebar. I didn't have Juelz Santana "Mic Check 1, 2" that I was raving about a couple days back when I did it, but please believe that's going on there too. (mp3 link via

The Roots Live DVD of a show last June at Manhattan's Webster Hall featuring performances by the Young Gunz, Skillz, Jean Grae and Mobb Deep is also in stores today.

Duane Martin of UPN TV show All of Us is also the owner of a Sports Management Agency - whoa!

Bobble me - how to get a Bobble Head doll made of yourself.

Changingman - Eric from Stinkzone is disenchanted by blogging and thinking of quitting. I think we're all worse off if he does and told him so. But his announcement did get me thinking about so-called "hip hop blogging" and how I feel it's been getting stale as a genre lately.

I'm as guilty as anyone else, but I feel like I read about the same few artists and topics on many of the sites I have bookmarked. As I told Eric, it's almost as though I already know what music is gonna be obsessed over this year on these sites (Common's Be album, The Clipse second album and also Class Registration, 10 The Hard Way and Game Theory are some fairly safe bets to put your money on) and that's kind of sad.

By the same token, I think Eric has set way too high a standard for what he can expect a blog to achieve, but a more macro question to pose might be: is there any point to blogging if you're just one more redundant voice in a predictable echo chamber? Blogs were supposed to be the media format that would tear down the barriers and break all the rules as far as democratising to process of getting new voices heard in the media and even redefining what constitutes journalism, being a journalist or the media. While I think that can still happen, it makes it that much harder when a voice as unique and thoughtful as Eric's decides to bow out rather than stay the course and help define how this medium develops in the future.

That's it for my own attempt at writing something (slightly) more thoughtful. Back to links to mp3, sneakers and parties tomorrow.

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