Friday, May 08, 2009
I hate to blog about blogging and the blogosphere, especially as it pertains to the clusterf-ck that is hip hop blogging, when its such old hat nowdays (and the heat is elsewhere) but you knew I had to make a comment on Vibe's list of what they think the Top 50 Hip Hop blogs are.
So of course, the internets is going nuts and with good reason. The list (see it here) is pretty badly conceived with some sites I've never heard, never mind read on the list and some sites way down the list that should have gotten more shine (I see you Dallas, Robbie and Sergdun & crew)
For the record, I'm cool with being #32: I've been doing this for a long while now and know a lot of big dogs who are currently way bigger than me started their sites based on reading me and some of the other pioneers of this space back in the early days of hip hop blogs in 2003/2004. However, I know my tastes oftentimes tend to run towards the eclectic and my pechant to go on occasional tears posting news & political stuff and you know, actually go to work and make a lving mean I'm never gonna be able to compete with the kids who can chill in their basement or dorm room all day trawling Eskay, messageboards, fileshare and torrent sites looking for new stuff to post 20x/day.
That being said, here's a list of 10 MAJOR hip hop blogs that absolutely should have been on this list too (in no particular order):
Thisis50.com - built the template for the artist-driven social network/blog (well ning did but you know what I mean). Thisis50.com saved 50's career by keeping him relevent on the internet.
Illroots.com - a real hip hop blog, written by someone who catually knoew what he's talking about.
KevinNottignham.com - same comment as for Illroots.com times 20!
Houston So Real - Matt Sonzala is a pioneer in this game. He's the authority on Texas hip hop and has been for years before the advent of his blog with his Damage Control Radio show. Granted it doesn't look like he's updated the site since the end of last year so maybe that's why he got omitted?
Woooha.com - pioneered the concepet of the hip hop marketing news blog. Unlike virtually every blog on Vibe's list, this guy does real journalism and actually breaks stories on his site.
Prohiphop - another excellent business-focused hip hop blog from guy who's been doing this for a while too (even if he was Bol's whipping boy for a time there!). To his credit, he built his own niche instead of jumping on Eskay's nuts like 90% of the blogs on Vibe's list.
RealTalkNY - speaking of which, Real Talk's Nigel D been acused of being a Nah Right clone in the past but he's been doing this for years too, has a huge audience and has actually developed his own lane over the years: not quite a straight-up hop site, he covers gossisp, R&B and sports too and shoots tons of his own original video content which is what separated him from the pack early on before everyone else started doing that too.
D-Nice.com - should have been Top 10, maybe top 5 based on his AMAZING True Hip Hop Stories online video series alone. This original member of the legendary BDP crew is a hip hop renaissance man: documentarian, photographer and DJ, he excels in all these fields and was the first relevent artist to start blogging. Derrick's a friend of mine and I'm happy to say I am partially responsible for inspiring him to start blogging after I told him the amazing journal-like emails he used to blast to his DJ gig list were worthy of being arhived and shared online too.
GrandGood.com - one of the most underrated blogs ever IMHO which is often overlooked for (or confused with?) Unkut.com. A great mix of old school and current true school, underground hip hop sh-t. Has impeccable taste for those who consider themselves 'real' hip hop heads.
Itsthe real.com - for pioneering hip hop sketch comedy on a consistent basis for the past few years. You can tell by their sketch writing (and their twitter posts) that these mensches they are true hip hop heads. Its nice to see the industry start to embrace them and show that hip hop is not all about street cred & ice grillin' but can actually have a sense of humor too!
(note: I left XXL's blogs for obvious reasons)
I just hope new artists, labels and promo/marketing companies don't take Vibe's list to be the be-all, end-all of blog sites they neeed to pay attention to 'cos there are so many people doing amazing stuff in this space that Vibe for some reason either just didn't know about or chose to ignore.
To wit: here's a list of unheralded blogs that I think deserved some shine this year or should be tracked over the next year by Vibe (hint, hint) for possble consideration on next year's list (if Vibe makes it that far, that is!):
- PleaseDontStare - truth be told, this is one of my go-to sites for links to jack.
- Traps n Trunks - the 2DopeBoyz of the South
- Rennaisance Soul Detroit - the Fake Shore Drive of Detroit with tons of Dilla-related content.
- CrateKings.com - long-running blog focused on all things related to hip hop production, diggin' and beatmaking. Should have been on the list this year, frankly.
- Gowhere Hip Hop
- Way More Fresher
- DJ Semtex - DJ, BBC radio personality, videographer and Def Jam UK AR man, this dude is tight with Kanye, is Dizzee Rascal's tour DJ and one of the leading bloggers supporting the UK hip hop movement.
Dom Corleone's 10 Blogs That Vibe Missed - BTW: Dom's blog is excellent too, f-ck with it!