Why Popular Bloggers Are Bad For Hip-Hop

Disclaimer: I’m not truly angry or disgruntled (about bloggers at least), nor do I hate on anyone’s success and acclaim. It just so happens that the people getting the most shine from this practice happen to be going about it in a manner that I consider foul and harmful. I’ve owed Reyn this piece since forever and 20 minutes ago, and with this being my initial submission I look forward to building more of a working relationship with his site.

Writer – n. One who writes, especially as an occupation. [The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language]

Journalist – n. One whose occupation is journalism (The style of writing characteristic of material in newspapers and magazines, consisting of direct presentation of facts or occurrences with little attempt at analysis or interpretation) [The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language]

Blogger – n. 1) A person who keeps and updates a blog. [The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language] 2) A self-absorbed prick who believes ownership of a URL entitles them to spew forth  pomposity and subject readers to shenanigans consistently thought of as  girly-mouthed by most internet users with even the slightest level of human decorum. – [Young H, 2010]

I’ve been downright sick of bloggers for some time, but recently my levels of disgust have reached a level to where I had to create my own page to separate myself from these scumbags. The first to really make a name for himself in Hip-Hop blogging was Bol aka Byron Crawford. It was sort of like he took the controversial shtick originally made infamous by Star &  Buckwild and brought it to the internet whereby messages and reactions were received almost instantly, quickly rendering himself one to watch if only to see what ire he’d inspire next. To diss successful but flawed artists was nothing new, so Byron went to picking apart underdogs who were all of the rage throughout online circles. This concept initially had some novelty to it as there was a built-in audience ready to give him negative feedback whenever he made mockery of the Little Brothers and Tanya Morgans of the world, but his routine ultimately rang as disingenuous. For starters, it turned out dude couldn’t articulate thoughts well to save his life, not to mention he had little else at his disposal aside from shock and awe tactics. XXL Magazine gave Byron an online column, and the blogging superstar was born. Though he was (and remains) a talentless hack, his presence has drawn attention to their brand, much like record labels whose business model has more to do with making stars than giving people quality music.

Had he kept up some mystique about who he was (much like Ghostface in the 36 Chambers era) he could have carried on like a prick for some time, but the 2007 videotaped interview he did with The Parker Report ended up permanently crushing his credibility beyond all measure.  When this is the infamous heckler trying to tear apart an artist’s career for his own entertainment (with a voice that sounds like a second string Sesame Street character to boot) and a major Hip-Hop publication provides him with a forum to spew his insipid bullshit, something is truly wrong.

Byron Crawford’s success served to put steam in the engine of my next target who I see to be most culpable in bad blogging, the duo behind the monster that is 2DopeBoyz.com. It would be rather remiss of me not to research one’s back story before mouthing off about them, and yes Meka and Shake put in a lot of grunt work to get where they are. But much like Viacom’s stronghold over urban music, Kidz In The Hall, Fabolous, Fat Joe, and Just Blaze to name a few, 2DopeBoyz are but a bare facsimile of their humblest beginnings.

I don’t believe I take issue with the fact that the New Music Cartel are clearly in bed with record labels, but you cant simultaneously occupy both sides of the fence. If I may revert to a cliché for a second, they say the grass is greener on the other side for a reason, meaning one is conflicted in their present positioning. While 2DBZ has a self-appointed duty to assist in the proliferation of quality material (even extending to having familial ties with close musical compatriots of mine), they subsequently cover artists they make no secret of despising in the very next instant. Their routine was edgy at first, but now the shtick has run its course and there’s an apparent dearth of quality control afoot as they cater to the lowest common denominator.

There’s a prevalent idea that bloggers are supposed to be the pulse of the culture, with a craft dedicated to being early up on new goodness, and I’ll briefly concede so as to admit 2DopeBoyz has hit the mark a few times and served to help the careers of a few underdogs I’m a fan of. However, these charitable acts and attempts to fight the righteous battle are diluted and rendered nearly futile as Meka and Shake take 10 steps back by giving a run to wack degenerative MCs with a strong following to ensure people keep coming back to their site.

Perhaps it’s that my moral fiber has yet to allow me the unmitigated gall to play both sides of the field and make a living pumping bullshit (i.e. “Look, I’m one of the good guys, this is just how I keep the lights on”). I for one haven’t been a fan of Bryan “Baby” Williams’ art for some time now, but you look like a tool changing his name from Birdman to Birdshit to just ‘Shit when giving him press. On paper I just chuckled typing out that evolution, so there’s some humor in it but they’ve run that particular bit into the ground as they continue to put up nearly anything bearing Stunna’s semblance. Take my grass-is-greener remarks above, and allow me to tack on another tried but true cliché: all news is good news. Building a large sphere of influence and using it to promote trash makes you a part of the problem no matter where your heart truly lies.

Now, one could give the aforementioned lack of consistency benefit of the doubt and espouse the virtues of practicing good business, except I also find the general attitudes of the co-owners rather disgusting. They’re pretty condescending to the site’s visitors, acting as if they’re owed great respect for simple information dissemination or if they’re even achieving great strides by being the first to post anticipated material that the rest of the internet will own 15 minutes henceforth (I’ve died a bit more inside each time I’ve read the tagline NMC Premiere, you bastids”)  The practice of patting oneself on the back for breaking new records could be seen as today’s equivalent of Funkmakster Flex dropping bombs and going berserk when having a song before anyone else, except Flex is a DJ who got amped about playing quality material, not breaking Young Money records before anyone else. While I haven’t listened to radio rotation in over a decade, I’m sure Flex spins commercialized bullshit due to the nature of the beast, but I’m also certain he’s a professional who won’t get on the air complaining and shitting on the artists he doesn’t like. That brings me back to the question: Why participate in a practice you can barely look yourself in the mirror for? Countless rap records have spoken of drug dealers who dealt with the inner conflict of playing a role in the destruction of the black community, but I have to think the blog game isn’t nearly as lucrative. It’s like a vegetarian flipping burgers and taking immense pride after being named one of Vibe Magazine’s Top 50 fast food employees (for the slow witted amongst you, the vegetarian is a fan of good music, flipping burgers is promoting bad music). There’s a true lack of principle and steadfast conviction involved behind running this site, and all for what? Online fame?

I’ve had an axe to grind for some time, but I’ve chosen to remain silent until now. Smaller transgressions aside from those already named include: the site’s emulation of King Magazine and XXL’s Eye Candy section, throwing up random images of scantily clad celebrities and internet models to keep clicks coming (sue me, I like to keep my ogling of fine women and my Hip-Hop separate), and a weekly R&B section on what’s largely considered a Hip-Hop blog. It’s like a concerted effort to maximize visitors at any and all costs, as if record labels and urban radio need yet another outlet complicit in their fuckery. I took grave offense to all of this, but I kept watching and waiting for the act that would push me over the edge. Enter Feb. 2, 2010. St. Louis MC Vandalyzm put out one of my favorite mixtapes of the winter with Vandalyzm Is Not The Father, and his simple self-promotion earned him snide remarks and an attempt at a lambasting from Mek Dot. In sum, the dope boy took offense to being caught out there sleeping, and lashed out with an arrogant diatribe against…AN ARTIST HUMBLY THINKING HE DESERVED SPOTLIGHT ON THIS SUPPOSED TASTEMAKER’S BLOG. Ever since this point, I’ve truly felt like “fuck everything that 2DopeBoyz and the NMC by extension stand for” (though I still have to go through them as a leading supplier for the sporadic quality material they give). And I wasn’t alone in my feelings as the comments section on this posting displays. But what has me even more dumbfounded is a year prior Meka threw his name on a U-N-I project that featured Vandalyzm. It seems to me that in a rush to be down with the cool kids at the time, he neglected to examine how deep U-N-I’s familial ties ran. I have yet to see a retraction of his statements or anything resembling a humble apology. Dude just said, “Your stuff is good, next time let me find it rather than telling me I should” and he’s been rightfully roasted for it.

To boot, 2DBZ tirelessly points out that they won’t feature much of the trash they receive daily, because many of the unknown artists sending in submissions seem to have no future behind them. Why can’t they take a similar stance on mainstream trash that they don’t even enjoy covering? Mek recently did an entry defending his practice against views like mine, stating his website is doing what’s good for business, having simply adapted to the music industry’s changes. He also made sure to label anyone questioning the seedy underbelly of Hip-Hop blogging “slick-talking, self-important, elitist music snobs,” which I suppose is a well-dressed-up equivalent to Bad Boy’s “player haters” tag of the mid-90s.

I could continue on and on, but I think I’ve made enough of a case for my feelings here. A few other recent instances where I’ve been rubbed wrongly include Mek’s idea that Kat Stacks being assaulted was due justice in the same widely read space where Byron Crawford cosigns Slim Thug’s  self-hatred. Speaking of which, Vibe magazine’s online sector has fallen prey to the same sick lust for attention by allowing inflammatory pieces such as the recent Slim Thug debacle to run on their site. Top that with labels so desperate to feed these fuckfaces that they’ll give out incorrect information just to get buzz popping and I think we’re amongst the last days of scruples being employed with popular rap blogging.

P.S. I haven’t written this as an attention ploy, to wage war on Byron Crawford or Meka and Shake, nor am I prepared to engage in an endless back and forth with anyone about my views. I find blog beef extremely lame i.e. people taking Kevin Nottingham to task for charging a measly $35 to artists for album reviews. For the record I have no problem with an honest and modest businessman getting his, the American way is receiving what people are willing to pay for your services. The many “good blog” vs. “bad blog” Twitter battles I’ve witnessed have made me ashamed to be a spectator in the audience and I wont be adding to that history.  With this I just hope to have incite conversation and I’ll consider my efforts a success if I can inspire others to unashamedly speak their mind when feeling a sense of displeasure with the  status quo. I remain an advocate for quality Hip-Hop to thrive and dually for egotistical characters within “the industry” to be taken down a few notches. In the words of one of the culture’s greatest moguls: “I’d like to thank you all for coming out. God bless, goodnight.”

83 thoughts on “Why Popular Bloggers Are Bad For Hip-Hop

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  1. Great Article I found it a good read all the way through. I like blogs with content myself.

    Download Hip Hop Beats

  2. People who post comments on blogs are wack like me. I agree with this whole article plus Meka is a tool.

  3. Yet again the issues of quality control in hip hop blogging rears its ugly little head…

    I am a firm believer that those who choose to post every little bit of offal that falls from the hip hop scene’s plate, will only be in the game for a short period of time. They are here to run a business or turn a quick profit. Those bloggers who write interesting articles and reviews will stand the test of time their blogs will still be here in 5-10 years and they will receive the kudo’s they deserve.

  4. confused|

    So while I will admit that I read and subscribe to anything i can get my hands on, potholes is one of my favorites and I just sift through 2DBZ for some of the music.

    The questions remains who is better? I have read, and followed more unsuccessful blogs than I care to remember but I also haven’t found many that are as good as the ones mentioned… Am I missing things somewhere.

    Please help if I am cuz I thought I was up on stuff. But I am also in the smaller market west so that wouldn’t surprise me. Someone put me up on something genuine.

  5. d.l. chandler|


    I don’t have a thing to add but I will say as a music reviewer/critic, I’ve never had the stones or willpower to go at the blog game. But this piece echoes what I’ve long disliked about them, all while using their services (and even having a song featured on the site of one of Young H’s targets). Still, this piece is more than stirring shit if anyone can get their heads out of their own asses and not type with a bunch emotionally charged “keyboard kourage”.

    @ Nasa, I’ve reviewed your work and enjoyed Uncommon’s music. But you’ve definitely proven to me that you don’t need us (I also write for potholes, full disclosure). I even felt like at one point you super-starred me so I basically wrote you off as a dick. Don’t worry, this is something I’d say to your face without the glare of a PC. But I still support your dream, your art and even your ego. But all that “I’m good, I got this” shit is what destroys the beauty of Hip Hop – it’s collaborative, symbiotic spirit.

    Anyway…fuck all of what I just said. I’m glad Young H spit it with his lungs and that at least people are discussing this — although some of you loons are typing real butt-hurt now. And Shake is still wack for his “come see me” tough-guy routine towards Young H.


    DL Chandler aka Wise Math aka Mash Comp of dumhi

  6. wow…a [hip-hop?] blogger trying to intellectualize about the banality of the hip hop blogger industry (and i use this term, industry, loosely). the world must officially be over. in an effort to refrain from sounding trite myself, i won’t repeat what has already been spewed throughout this comments section. i will, however, say congrats to mr. ‘young h’ for obtaining the most commented post on this blog within the last month (i discovered this after performing a cursory search of the last months comments section, of course). and you can thank me for adding to this…smdh, i obviously have too much damn time on my hand (and clearly you do too).

  7. man! this is a blog too! of course this is one of the greatest hip-hop blogs in www, but you have to accept the fact that others can also write and publish what they want, even if this is a crap!

  8. Young,

    I’m not saying all you (or anyone on here) do is bash blogs, I wouldn’t be on here if that was the case.

    I was referring to this post:
    Which I had to comment on as well.

    I still feel it’s too bad posts like the Tunji or Aloe Blacc ones just now don’t get 70+ comments, but maybe THAT’s the lesson we need to take out of this.

    Thanks for the blatant advertising, I’ll probably download your selections every week since I see our tastes match quite well.

  9. Im sure this will be lost in the sauce or missed, but to the dude (or female) J. from above

    I try to do more than incite riots. I dont make music but my part in keeping good(?) shit alive is on my podcast. you can reach it at the link where my name is highlighted

  10. Hmmm…. Not sure how I feel about this post. To some degree, haven’t we all accepted that the Internet is the wild, wild west; the place where anything goes and exists? Isn’t it the “new” frontier we all embrace everytime we log in traditionally and through mobile devices?

    Most of us embrace the notion of accountability and “journalistic” integrity, but we all know individual ownership trumps all. Whether or not a blog is a “mom and pop” operation or a “corporate” one, what an individual/company does on their propoerty is largely their business. And I have the freedom to embrace, acknowledge or reject whatever it is they are doing.

    It also comes down to individual expectations. I understand that it can be bothersome to see something you love being mishandled. It’s like seeing a woman you love with the “wrong dude.” But at the end of the day, no individual or corporation owns or controls it. HipHop always has and will be community property.

  11. Shout out to ThroatChopU aka Q of the Mad Bloggers. http://www.themadbloggers.com is a great example of a blog that really is all about the music. Abovegroundmagazine is another. To me, I like those blogs and RIK, HHIR, Hip Hop Is Cool Again and Bloggerhouse in edition to Potholes and others. If you want that indie shit and honest opinons…you can catch tons of quality via those blogs. I dig refinedhype too, especially the series about how your favorite rapper is broke. Are you occassionally going to catch links that it seems everybody is posting up, sure…but I’m more about these writers than the brief link posts. I’m just throwing a little love inbetween all the heat. I run a blog about Hip-Hop in Milwaukee and I do so because I love the scene…I understand local/regional blogs are different than those covering it all…but I think the majority of us who write about music are doing so to push forward the quality we come across. Don’t forget to light some incense and break out some Jefferson Airplane now. Peace!

  12. Well said. For a long time I’ve felt that a lot of bloggers are taking the same path as many artists have. They started out pure, having the potential to contribute positively to the culture of Hip Hop, but end up hurting it due to their own greed and desire for popularity. I’m proud to say that I (as well as my crew) write only out of love for the art. We don’t do it for popularity or money. We support artists that need and appreciate our help, and you will never see a banner or review up on our site that would suggest otherwise. Solid work.

  13. Meant to say “stupid NOT to acknowledge the value of blogs” there at the end. Don’t hang me yet.

  14. @ Reyn

    Again, I will re-iterate my want and absolute deep burning fiery desire for blog coverage for my label and my artists. I’m in the midst of writing personalized emails to the blogs I value most (check your inbox later). I value all the props I’ve gotten from bloggers, and I don’t think there is a blogger that’s given us props or attention that I haven’t IN TURN pumped and promoted as much as humanly possible. In fact, I have promoted blogs and podcasts before or after never playing a song from us as well, simply because I ENJOY what they do myself.

    I’m an artist, if I didn’t have an ego, if I didn’t feel that confident about myself and my label to say these sorts of things, what good what I be to you? Would you rather me give you dope music and leave you the choice to post it or not post it, or deliver you wack shit and fill your inbox with questions about why it’s not posted every 3 days (which I’m sure you deal with).

    I’d be stupid to acknowledge the value of blogs, all I’m trying to do is give you guys the view from outside of the blogger bubble.

    Lobotomy Music, June 29th. One. Haha.

  15. frank_be|

    LOFL LOFL LOFL… potholes just got more hits from one post than from a month of postin reviews and music links. my goodness! heads up in here talkin like they survived an attempted anal rape in prison. We all pretending like this conversation didn’t need to happen. blogs are fakin the funk 100%. take your asses to school and learn how to debate. stop making personal attacks and attempt to outline your point with intelligence and facts. i just have no idea why Nah Right, the most vile of offenders, wasn’t brought up. They post about Vado, Pills, Cam’ron, Blu, Tanya Morgan, J. Cole, Nikki Minaj, Wayne, The Roots, jadakiss like its all part of the same family tree. They’re like a rap blog monoply.

    anyway is this the same young H from the lesson? either way props. now go read our music reviews and listen to the posted music with the same pssion you came at this post. priorities people

  16. I feel you on some of this stuff. It seems like blogs post any and everything regardless of if it’s good or not. When I started my site, I said I was only going to post stuff that I listen to and like myself. I sift through all the crap and post what I feel is tight. But, at the end of the day, it’s still only my opinion. Most of these blogs suck, but I let them do them, while I do me. I didn’t get mad, I just created a site that posts the stuff I wanna see.

  17. I don’t have time to break it all down, but I will say that this is a very contradictory post. You make interesting points, but then backtrack on them with other points.

    Also, no shots at eskay for always dissing 50 but always posting his music? (Not that I don’t respect eskay, that just annoys me.) Seems like Meka and Shake are dudes that no one likes.

  18. The great thing about blogs are, you can pretty much go to any of them to find whatever type of music you like. The public blogosphere audience is smart enough to assess the stuff being offered and decide if its their worth their time or not. Most likely, I find myself skipping over music if I don’t want to hear it, and listening to stuff via the blog if I do dig it.

    Blogs are many, content is well diversified amongst most of them, and a reader should be well armed with tools necessary to know what blogs they like and don’t like.

  19. Personally, I loved the article. Funny thing is, I got tired of all the BS music being posted on the major blogs as well, so I decided to do my own. I got tired of half naked women pictures and “DONKEY BUTT” of the week. Tired of terrible material. My favorite blog was called UGHHNATION.com, but they vanished. When that happened I was shocked. So I thought to myself, if they can find great music, I can too. So I researched. I set up RSS feeds for my fav artists, record labels, b-boys, graffiti writers, and dj’s. I also contacted a few companies that email promotional material and now I’m good. Im just a die-hard underground Hip Hop head that could without all the rims, trucks, and jewelry. My blog is MY OWN. Its material that I love. I hope people run across it and they enjoy it. Hip Hop is more then music. Hip Hop is worldwide. Hip Hop happens every single second. We hear it, write it, spray it, dance it, and scratch it. If you hate underground Hip Hop, there’s a million other blogs to visit. I dont care for the fame. I have a regular job and I do my blog for MY PEOPLE.

  20. David Reyneke|

    @J. Yeah, I can see what you are saying.

    I think this is good for discussion, though. People want to talk about this sort of thing. If we were doing this daily, I would actually be worried. But out of the thousands of posts we have made, one post sparking a debate isn’t too bad… Thanks for being a loyal reader!

  21. David Reyneke|

    @Nasa I’m sorry, what you are saying is a bit foolish. The whole, “I would want blog help, but I don’t need it.” I mean, you say you are promoting progressive hip-hop, yet the way you talk sounds like you have such an unprogressive label. Sure, you don’t NEED blogs. Hell, you don’t NEED much of anything. But are you content with where your label is? Wouldn’t you want to utilize every tool possible to progress and grow your label?

    You could just as easily say, “I don’t need iTunes, I have record stores to sell my records.” But why would you do something like that? Seems like bit of a dated technique to me. One of the main ideas of business is to utilize every outlet possible to maximize profits. I guess some people want to take things above and beyond while others are happy with where they sit.

  22. @ David.
    Naw, The fact I’m ON here shows you I check this site all the time, why?
    Cause of the music you dudes post.

    I personally don’t see the point in bringing up this discussion though, all that energy could be spent in another, more positive direction.

  23. @J. I hear your point but I respect Potholes for saying something and adding this much needed commentary. The commentary is good. The blog world is turning into radio, over-saturated with bullshit. You’re right though, show and prove and post good things.

  24. David Reyneke|

    @J. you act like this happens all the time and we dont post great music every day…

  25. LMAO I got things out of perspective I see, forget about my comment.

    Just quit posting this type of shit and just post good music ok?

  26. Co-signing Cresno Heavy.

    If you spend all that time and energy on posting some dope music, THAT would be ‘good’ for hiphop (which is a completely subjective thing btw).

    I’m getting sick of these type of posts or attacks like with the Shad vid AND the attention your getting with this post.
    I don’t care about your oppinion on 2dopeboyz or you for that matter. I don’t want to know who you are, where you live or what you ate for breakfast, I care about your taste and the music you post, that’s what a blog is all about and that’s why I’m on this site right now.

    You seem to forget you and 2dopeboyz or all media for that matter is just what it says it is.
    You have great power in choosing which arists to promote but that’s IT, there’s no bigger glory in it for you then just doing it for the artists and getting some dap from the musicians.

    If you want a bigger role, go head and make dope music.

    A couple of lines will only influence the dumb, live with it and move the fuck on, don’t even bother spending time on all that negativity, what’s it gonna do for you?

    I actually felt like not commenting and ignoring this post, the sad thing is this post actually got about 55 x as much comments as a good music video/track and THATS what makes me sick.

    So in conclusion;
    Actions speak louder then words,
    please just post some more good music.


  27. I’m not posting music because the people want it. I’m posting it because the people need it.

  28. The people who have commented slating this article and the writer further the point he is making. You are just 2DP dick riders in the same way 2DP rides the dick of whoever is ‘hot’.

    In all fairness i do not class 2DP as a Hip Hop blog anymore, it is full of people making top 5 dead or alive lists, arguin and riding dick so hard its coming out of their mouths. I mean seriously if you check any comments on any of their posts you get the same angry 14 year old white kid making the same comment about a talentless rapper and a veteran rapper time and time again.

    Everybody wants their blog to well, or they wouldnt post stuff. But the differance is between the people who want their blog to do well and the people who NEED their blog to do well.

  29. damn young h….you went in on em didn’t you? First off sir, I blog and I have fallen in and out of love with it at various times during the 1 year and 3 months since I started. I’m a writer first and foremost who graduated with a degree in journalism who was ready to jump into traditional print (mags, newspapers)when somebody convinced me that blogs were the future. So I started a blog and immediately began a bi-polar-esque relationship with the medium. At times, I feel both ashamed and proud to be a part of the blogosphere. Ashamed when I use words like blogosphere and proud when I read pieces such as this. I struggle with my identity as a writer while blogging, torturing myself with all sorts of headache inducing questions; am I saying too much, am I not saying enough, is this too complicated, shouldn’t my posts be gimmicky and fun, shouldn’t my posts be well planned, well researched, and equally well written, does ANYBODY even care to read this shit? I’m still trying to find my niche without loosing my integrity.To me a writer has an inherent mastery of language,creating arias out of simple verbs, nouns, and adjectives. With all that being said there are gems hidden amongst the various piles of shit out here, blogs that read like a writers wet dream. This is one of those sites and you my dear have made me a fan. My faith is restored that writers truly do have a place in the blogging world.Bravo son…..

  30. Cresno Fresh|

    At the end of the day. It is up to the people to decide what they want to hear,read, and support. So if you make all your decisions and choices from BLOG opinion…your an idiot. I agree with you on many points but as many have stated it is a rant that has been heard before and does not separate you from the pack(at least not that far from the pack). But alas it’s BLOGGING…there is no real credentials needed to be a blogger. Though intelligence and knowledge on what your blogging about does help. But these sites taking payola is natural at the end of the day, because like everything else that people do for “fun” at first or for the “love of” soon changes when they learn they can make some scrilla off of it. There are some(hardly any) that choose not to compromise their integrity. And when they do keep it real for the people they usually end up broke or whatever they’re doing is not SUPPORTED by the PEOPLE THEY ARE “KEEPING IT REAL FOR” so it FAILS. So what do you do? Like someone else stated…DO WHAT YOU DO and don’t trip off these other cats. As I said IT’S BLOGGING. Not a diss just the truth.
    Either way keep doing your thing fam.

    P.S. Byron Crawford does need to get mollywopped for some of the comments he makes. Theirs opinion and then theirs being an assh*le.

  31. @ Craig

    Agreed. I think we agree to disagree, but at heart we agree. That DOES make sense damn it. I have respect for what your saying and your craft.

    @ Rek

    If that was for me, you’ve yet to be proven correct. Haha. I don’t think we are internet friendly at all on a large scale. But I would love to be considered that at some point, cuz we all gotta eat and deserve our respect for being dope weirdos.

  32. …Especially with the kind of niche (internetz-friendly) sound your label cultivates.

  33. Nasa, man, I totally get, understand and appreciate where you’re coming from on this one. I just don’t like it. But I also see the futility of getting into a pissing contest about who’s more important to who and why. I would sound crazy to you if I said you need my attention to thrive. That’s exactly how I feel reading what you wrote. Suffice to say that what we both do is a craft, is creation.

    If every rapper vanished tomorrow, I’d still be a writer. I’d still be stitching words together out of thin air to formulate ideas and articulate my thoughts. If every blogger disappeared overnight, you would still be holed up in a studio affixing sounds to magnetic tape (very 20th century of me, I know). No one is wholly dependent on the other. Let’s appreciate the synergy between good music and good literature and call it a day.

  34. @ Craig

    You’re taking me a bit out of context here. Let’s get back to the reasons I said what I said.

    This is the phrasing that put me on that track from Young H’s original post:

    “I’ll briefly concede so as to admit 2DopeBoyz has hit the mark a few times and served to help the careers of a few underdogs I’m a fan of. However, these charitable acts and attempts to fight the righteous battle are diluted and rendered nearly futile….”

    Easy. “Charitable acts”? Easy. I know that’s not how YH meant it to sound, but as an artist, it’s the only way I can hear it.

    What came first, the chicken or the egg? Was 2DBZ a big blog breaking artists, or did 2DBZ blow up by posting quality content early on? That’s my point.

    Let’s make something clear. I never heard of Byron Crawford until last week, I didn’t know there was some sort of “Blog Cartel” (seriously?) until oh….5 hours ago. This is a BLOG post with mostly BLOGGERS talking about BLOGGING!!!

    Rappers don’t make albums about blogs, but entire blogs are dedicated to covering rappers.

    More context (and this next line is crucial):
    If you read what I wrote I said openly that I WANT coverage from blogs, my point was that I don’t NEED it.

    All yall bloggers have more freedom and ability to cover what you like and have more power. But so do artists. I’ve made hundreds of fans just by talking shit on Twitter, and that’s the least of what I do daily to struggle for Uncommon. Fans will reach out for good music and are willing to grab it directly, without a blog as a go-between. There will always be new methods of communication on the internet and there will always be ways to talk about music on them. Today it’s Twitter, it used to be Myspace, tomorrow it may be something even more powerful.

    I’m in an interesting position. I make music that is Progressive. The bloggers don’t all feel us, the listeners don’t all feel us, but we have our set. Everybody at Uncommon is comfortable in this lane. We will be here if all the blogs love us or all the blogs hate us.

    With all that said, as always, I have a LOT of respect for bloggers that take time out of their lives to blog about artists they may never meet or get thanked by for little or no pay. If you are in this for the love, that is a beautiful thing, RESPECT.

    If I weren’t a musician, I’m probably a big enough fan, that I’d be a blogger, God knows I’m opinionated enough.

    But don’t get it twisted. If this is an ecosystem, artists are the Sun. The Sun respects the planets, but the Sun will always burn regardless.

    No disrespect, peace to all yall doing your thing!

    PS- @Darius (your dead on right, peace)

  35. whoever writes the album reviews for this site is a bitch

  36. Read your response, Ivan. It bugs me out how much mean spirited hate, ignorance and homophobia that people excuse Bol for just cause he’s spot on hilarious sometimes.

  37. Music is in a constant state of evolution and flux. Hip Hop is being made and distributed differently these days. Hundreds of hip hop blogs have since emerged and they simply have different motivations. Some are monetized and some are not. Some WANT to be monetized and CAN NOT. Some don’t desire monetization but merely want to contribute.

    I won’t comment on things I don’t know first hand but the approach I have taken as a relatively “new” participant in the blogging scene is to write about and promote the music I like. I don’t have external pressures to promote music I don’t like. I push for the artists whoe music I enjoy to make more music by getting more people to purchase their music and go to a show when they come by. My motivation is wanting to be an active participant in an artist’s success. If I don’t like an artist I simply don’t comment on them at all. What’s the point on hatin’? Just don’t post about them.

    If I do like an artist or their release I will at least post a paragraph about the release and links (if it was given free) so people can get a feel. If I really like an artist I will post a full review and ultimately do an interview. It’s the highest respect I can pay.

    I’ve always been hesitant to post a single banner or advertisment on my blog because ultimately I feel that will change how I work with artists and their music.

    Finally, (I know I am being long winded), bloggers, including myself, better stay on the edge of their seats and get ready for the next trend. While the music is continuing to be made, bloggers could easily be rendered obsolete by the next big thing. You all must remember that music has always been a constant but the vehicle by which that music is being shared is ALWAYS changing. Just a thought…stay on your toes…

  38. D. $cience|

    Oooooo, throwing Ether at these blogs, eh…

    Honestly, the reason why I like this piece is because some “blogger” finally said it and dissed other blogs. Blogs are like rappers now…to every 100 blogs, 97 of them suck, 2 is decent, and 1 you really dig on a basis. How could you be different with a Hip Hop blog? You really can’t be…NahRight, 2DBZ, KevinNottingham, etc. all post the same sh** but at different times. I honestly find them real boring. There’s a lot of hip hop blogs that don’t get the props they deserve either, but yet every blog f***s with another blog, man. You got blogs that truly break ground and break new material from unknown acts, then you have blogs that only f***s with the mainstream for traffic purposes, THEN you have blogs that are just balanced. Even this blogging sh** is a telling sign on how unbalanced Hip Hop really is; the Internet spoiled the game with a whole bunch of kats who feel they’re entitled to post what they want, when they want, because they have an opinion, voice, or whatever f***ing right us humans have.

  39. Eat a dick!

    And when you’re done, read my response:


  40. So many issues with this post have already been pointed out, the most conspicuous being the rambling hypocrisy. I could easily nitpick the grammatical errors, weak analogous statements (partitioned explanations of analogies defeat the purpose), misquotes (if you provide the source link you could, at the very least, copy & paste text to ensure consistency), etc. However, these errors are only demarcations indicating deeper issues. Finally, it surfaces in the twelfth paragraph: the issue with Vandalyzm. The 2DBZ slight, real or perceived, set off this rant that, otherwise, would best serve as a comment and not an entire blog entry. Meka, from 2DBZ, is mentioned by name more times than conceivably necessary if any valid point were to be made. Instead of serving as a catalyst for discussion about current industry practices, the ever-changing and omniscient role of media – worthy topics indeed – it devolves into petty, almost obsessive, personal attacks. You may have had a point but who knows what it would be? Apparently it was lost in the mire this piece wallows in.

  41. @Nasa

    It’s really not all about y’all. This music/blog shit is an ecosystem. Every part of it exists for the benefit of the whole. What good is making a record if nobody hears it? What’s to write about if there’s no music? We shouldn’t get out of our stations, man.

  42. Fuck criticizing anyone else. Keep leading by example.

    Common folk will be drawn to common shit. Let them have it.

    Your quality writing has yielded quality readers. I’m assuming that’s what you want. Keep doing your thing and I’ll be reading this site for a long time.

  43. I still find it fucked up how you give an artist press… yet talk shit about them in the same post. At the end of the day, the artist wins

  44. PS how you tag a song yourself, leak it, then take off the tags and release the no tags version. That’s whorish.

  45. I liked this piece. I honestly do not like the way NMC handles their business. How do you cosign rapper X and release a mixtape with your name on the cover, but when another site (that you are not sleeping with) releases an interview with the same artist… you refuse to post it?

    I stopped caring for whatever NMC does a long time ago and now focus on trying to carve out WGTJ’s own lane while building friendly relationships with like-minded bloggers (PotHoles is an example)

  46. Props to Young H. This was awesome. I agree that a lot of the “heavyweights” in the blog game right now are pretty toxic. For one thing, these NMC blogs don’t have a personality. They post every song. They shit on an artist then pander for hits by posting their music. They have that godawful Dre and Jay song up right now on some “aw it’s mastered but it still sucks.” If it’s ass, KEEP IT OFF YOUR SITE! They’re devoid of integrity. It’s a freaking phalanx of mediocrity.

  47. @ Reyn, no, you definitely should not have to eat dicks. Haha. I didn’t realize you were referring to the generic haters, and thought you meant people that had opinions. That’s my bad.

    The last post was for @youngh of course.

  48. I don’t disagree with what you’ve just said. It’s highly suspect to post those two artists back to back. Highly. Suspect.

    But alas, the owner of a site named after himself has admitted taking payola. That’s bad for us as artists in the short term and bad for you guys as bloggers in the long term.

    I have no problem with ANYBODY making money and supporting themselves through their passion. If it’s hip-hop even better. But the way you make money on it has moral implications that must be dealt with.

  49. David Reyneke|

    @nasa I didn’t say it wasn’t to be taken seriously. Not to be taken AS SERIOUSLY as some are taking it… And when I say that, I am referring to people telling me my site sucks and that I should “eatadick.”

  50. lmfao… this is the best thing ever.
    I need to refer to this as the standard for ethering people…

  51. Nasa, I wasnt defending Kevin Nottingham. I just disagree with him being taken to task for getting paid for what he does.

    So as not to be hypocritical, the scope of my piece wasnt to give Mek & Shake heat for what they do rather than how they do it. I find myself turned off not only by how they operate but by their general disposition.

    As for their practice, if they posted up Gucci Mane and Tanya Morgan an hour apart from each other and were fans of both artists, that would be fair and balanced. But that’s not how they’re rolling. They seem to be hating Gucci while giving him spotlight because he’s what the people say are popping right now.

    My feeling is if you claim to be a leader of the culture, take a stance even if it’s the road less traveled. There’s no one foot in and out if you’re truly passionate with your mission.

  52. After reading some comments, couldn’t agree more with “Kid Captain Cool Out”.

    Reyn- you can’t post an article that you say “stirs up conversation” and then tell people to “not take it so seriously”. That’s actually not possible.

    It’s interesting, especially as I sit here at WORK and need a distraction. It got you hits on your site and you didn’t have to charge anyone 35 bucks a head to do it, you should stand by it. Good work, haha.

  53. Less talk.
    More R. Kelly.

    Beats Broke

  54. while i do agree with a number of issues brought up in here, I’m not really sold on the Bol issue, mainly b/c Bol’s blogging is different. He actually has a voice, could truly give a fuck about being “first” – hell, his personal blog is more world issues and big tits than Hip-Hop. While I don’t always agree with his views on things, he’s been one of the true unique voices to come out of the earlier days of hip-hop blogging.

    And while a LOT of your points make sense, how you can smackdown some bloggers but then sweep the Kevin Nottingham situation under the rug doesn’t really jive – on the one had, you’re calling out people for virtually sitting on high horses, but then condoning the practices over there that have been beaten to death?

    Respect for writing the article and voicing a lot of this.

  55. Let me come at this from a calm, label owner perspective. These kinds of pieces and the people mentioned in it just don’t matter to me. I’m an artist. Do I want WANT attention from blogs? Sure. Do I NEED it? Absolutely not. It’s not about yall, it’s about us. You might not like it, you might hate me for saying it, but it’s true. Try blogging about something other then hip hop music for 2 months straight and watch your hits fade. Bottom line, that’s the truth.

    My advice would be to keep your love of the music and passion for it at heart and don’t get caught up in the industry nonsense. A lot of this is just that. Nonsense. It’s just dudes being catty. How hard is it to write about the music you love and try to monetize THAT? That’s all that’s needed.

    Uncommon Records could go out and sign some sort of blog rap catastrophy and push it to yall, but that’s not us. We are a Progressive Hip-Hop label, we will never bend on our mission, whether we get coverage or not. So don’t for a second think that I don’t live and die by my own advice. All I’d like to see is as much integrity from some of these cats as I and my label mates give out.

    A second point, you lose all legitimacy defending a site that A) Charges indie artists per review (or has ever done that) and B) Has banned a certain label from their site because they got busted bootlegging that label’s music. Especially when that label has helped create the foundation of what we do as musicians in rap and what you write about as bloggers.

    Payola is wrong. You all have more choices and options as bloggers then the magazine writers and radio djs that came before you. Don’t be in a rush to get money off the backs of artists just like the major labels that you all claim to hate did.

    Remember the love of the music. Is that positive enough for you?

    No anger, no hate, just do the right thing.

    Peace to all the true heads and bloggers that have supported us and to the one that haven’t too.

  56. Interesting read…

  57. Very interesting and thought provoking read…

    I think what’s happening with the blogs is what’s been going down with mainstream radio, TV & other publications –
    (1) you got cats who are just gonna do what the labels/crews/artist of the month say to be cool, get revenue & attention and (2) those who want to do their thing on an indie level (maybe both with music as well as having their own mind in expressing how they feel PERIOD).

    I personally believe people can go in whatever direction they want, whether it’s more the complacent sell out route or D.I.Y. ’til you die. Just be BLATANT ABOUT WHERE YOU STAND.

    The issue with music sites in general for me isn’t so much the divergent editorial viewpoints or ways heads go abut things (it’s your site, do whatever the hell you want), it’s that some just aren’t up front on what they’re about.

    Want to charge for reviews? Be up front about it. You’re only gonna post up something if “site x” does? Just say you’re a trend follower, not a setter (a fine example is the Jay Electronica scenario where certain heads were damned near fellating themselves for being “risky” over posting up music various other indie sites had up eons ago). If you’re integrity is zero, put your price up front and don’t try to hide behind shit when you get called out for it. *shrugs*

    Let the audience know how you roll and make an educated decision of where they want to go and for what types of content. Hip-Hop sites shouldn’t have a problem with that IMO.

  58. I write for Kevinottingham.com
    100 PERCENT

  59. I respect the opinions and points in this piece. It’s something I’ve been saying about blogging for a while. Many folks post what the people want and NOT what they actually like. They let a bottom line dictate their content. There’s no independence in that. If you’re going to be a sell out, admit that. Don’t play both sides of the fence. I respect that it’s a business BUT don’t call yourself an independent blogger if you’re allowing labels and advertisers to control your content. I respect blogs like potholes, bloggerhouse.net, hiphopiscoolagain.com and others because they constantly supply quality music from both underground and mainstream artists. It’s what I strive to do to with blogging.

  60. I can’t help but wonder the people going out the way to slam the piece are constant visitors of the sites mentioned. Hip Hop blogging is seeming kind of trite these days. Not to knock anyone’s hustle, but there is no integrity. I can appreciate someone writing an actual piece since very few sites do it anymore. Every other blog contains the same links and snide remarks. I’ll pass on that.

    And if you actually believe Bol is a talented writer, something is wrong with you. He’s a lower quality Howard Stern of blogging.

  61. David Reyneke|

    I think there are good points brought up here, but also some that tend to beat a dead horse. I think some stuff also comes off as hypocritical, but the intentions are all in good spirits.

    I think it would have helped to provide possible solutions to these problems, rather than just complaining, but that is just me. All-in-all, an interesting post that stirs up conversation about something that I feel should be talked about.

    That being said, I think people shouldn’t take this as seriously as they are. It is an opinion of one man, and it is meant to stir up discussion.

  62. VatoFromSanAnto|

    Long winded. Boring sentences. No voice. Trite.

  63. Reyn: “One of KN’s writers was charging for reviews behind his back.”

    Who told you that? Kevin? *sneers*

  64. Interesting read. I can’t help but notice the hypocrisy in the article at times (blatant at times), but as an active reader of Potholes, I enjoyed it.

  65. I kinda miss the days of magazine writers gettin’ their asses whooped. It kept cats from going beyond their signatures and slowed the exposure of wack shit. In my opinion, one of the best ways to show a dislike for something is to not address it all. It also prevents you from becoming the target of your own discomfort.

    I come to this site to read you guys’ reviews. There’s a lot of new music everyday and yall help in my decisions at times. This post reads as someone who’s fallen and doesn’t wanna get up… or lugging a wagon of negativity becuz it’s now become a part of them. You sound like you wanna see a change but seem to be adding to the problem. F@ck them, do you.

  66. your all poos mate, crab tryna reach the top of the pot by clawing others down… been done a million times, you dont get props for dissing others. so what, fuka rapidshare? fuka limewire? fuka soulseek? its the new breed, claiming others out for internet fame, what you init for?

  67. only write about byron crawford… it got boring when u started talking about 2db. who gives a fuck.


  68. David Reyneke|

    @Eric yeah, it doesn’t really cost anything… HAHA

  69. “website’s expenses”?…too funny, hosting, domain..I mean, is that even 100 bones?

  70. good read. though i’m not super aware or informed about some of the stuff you hit on, i thought it was thought provoking.

    i think what it comes down to is this: it’s easier and faster to destroy and tare something or someone down instead of build. with the way the world is, and how lust for instant gratification goes – there’s always gonna be somebody out there trying to jump in the fast lane no matter what the cost. and lets be honest, we’re all guilty of that to some degree but the most important part is what we’re doing to try and help the situation out.

    props for speaking out.

  71. David Reyneke|

    No, I didn’t write this. No, KN doesn’t charge for reviews any more, nor did Kevin personally charge ever.

    Justin and HW – One of KN’s writers was charging for reviews behind his back. Kevin said it was okay when he heard about it, but quickly changed his mind because even though it was paying the website’s expenses, it was immoral. He later fired the writer that was doing shady business behind his back.

    I will try and provide my own thoughts on this in a little bit, not that any of you even give a damn what I have to say.

  72. ^^How recently did they start doing it?

  73. Great read, and kn.com does charge.

  74. Taking the names out of the subject and focusing on the issues — it is safe to say that there is something rotten on the web. One of the major reasons why the idea of “blogging” in hip-hop has reached a stale P.O.V. is because there isn’t much originality that comes from working with someone else’s original work. When it comes to anyone who puts their opinion out there for public consumption, regardless of any contradictions, the written word is a bond shared by the author and the audience.

    Entertainment sites have their value, but if nothing more can come from it out of its current model, then how is that helping to move the culture anywhere? Things become worst when anyone who has attained a level of influence uses their voice to maintain profit (of any kind) over proliferating growth — then a line has been crossed.

  75. I enjoyed this article. I too disagree with the double standard of the NMC, but I understand that at the end of the day people have to make money, so it is what it is. I constantly find myself gravitating towards sites such as this one or the equally dope grandgood.

  76. Damn Reyn!! You’ve been sensitive than a mug these last few ehh? Whomever posted that pic of James Pants in a post, has no room to beef. That’s the fruitiest pic I’ve seen accompany a post in quite some time. Let me get past the first paragraph of this “rant” now…LOL

  77. Please don’t start essays with dictionary definitions.

    This whole piece was just…meh. Kinda 2005. Nobody believes the hype anymore, whether it’s music business 2.0 or social media or bloggers being heroes of the people.

    I get it…your blog is called “not a fucking blogger dot com”…but seriously, that’s still a fucking blog. This reminds me of the “____ is Dead” blog posts everyone inevitably resorts to…lord knows I’ve done plenty of linkbait in my day, too.

    Still, I don’t see how this contributes anything more than catharsis for your.

    I also don’t know what you’re talking about with Kevin charging $35 for anything, we’ve gotten our artists posted there before and never been charged or asked for money or made aware of any kind of policy like that.

  78. I could have done without “girly-mouthed”and you have a little too much faith in Flex, but otherwise this was a great article and very necessary. Conversations like this are good for the culture, not just Hip Hop but the mainstream culture as well, because you’ve touched on the issues around social media, the crumbling record industry and the fact that the meme exists for perpetuating the status quo instead of innovating even though it already is a new day. I say innovate or die. Keep doing what you’re doing.

  79. this site is cool and so is 2dbz. there is no reason to point fingers. if any of these aspiring rappers/bloggers had to go through as much whack shit as any of these “tastemaker” blogs, they would understand. vice versa, if the blogger was in the studio with “hardworking rapper” and saw all the time and money that went into their project, they might treat it different and not throw it in the spam bucket with the others. everybody’s human. especially, when it’s not technically your job to riffle through these submissions like say, the unsigned hype guy at the source.

    when mek says he would have appreciated if the music just found him.. that’s real talk. if i sleep on your shit but its good enough, itll eventually find my ears and i’ll give credit where its due. don’t try to discredit me because it slipped past. fuk outta hea. no apologies.

    lastly, when it come to bol.. he’s probably one of the only cats that doesn’t “play the game” and get in bed with any labels. He says what needs to be said (or not, but its funny as hell regardless).. even going so far as giving his employer XXL shit whenever he feels like it. its like the top half of this post is in conflict with the bottom half. you might win over a couple net emcees with this post but you’re going to have to do a little bit more convincing when it comes to your blogger peers (you a blogger too son, dont run from it!)

  80. I stopped reading after you called Bol a talentless hack. I’ll finish it up later. Maybe. If you don’t find Bol’s writing wildly hilarious, engaging, or relevant to the culture, then I suggest you end your (short-lived?) writing/blogging career pronto, or at the very least rethink it a bit.

  81. Johnny M.|

    You think you’re doing something different, but you’re not. You’re just like everyone else.

  82. Zach Cole|

    Fantastic article!

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