I have a confession to make. When the 1,193 of you subscribed to Hip Hop Blogs years ago, you thought the purpose of this site was to share cool links and advance interesting discussions about this hip-hop culture of ours. Not so. This site was designed from the start to serve only The 17. Let me explain.
I started blogging about rap music back in 2003. This is before Facebook was invented. This is before web video was easy with YouTube, and way before Twitter.
According to my Googling at that time, no one in the universe was blogging about hip-hop. So, I jumped in and did it first. Later I found that two guys beat me to the self-publishing punch by less than a season. However, one guy is M.I.A. and the other is too modest to contradict my Original Rap Blogger status. So, for now, he is I and I am him.
I started on Blogger and moved to Typepad. I spilled all of my reckless, uninformed thoughts out through the digital ether, and my little audience clicked with me and grew beyond what I could have imagined.
However, I wasn’t attention greedy. Every time a new hip-hop blogger sprouted wings, I was there to give him encouragement to be fly. I pushed people to turn on RSS feeds back no one knew what it was used for. I pulled people into the community conversation, knowing that our cross-links would rise all of our boats in the web content waters.
I created an email group that was only built for rap blogger links and shared every new web publishing trick I learned. I helped as much as I could with whoever I could. I wasn’t the most popular, the Michael Jackson of the game. Or the Will Smith of the circle. I was the Quincy Jones.
Despite years of evangelizing I saw that the funniest, most insightful, most inspiring voices in the music culture I loved were still not blogging. For them the tech and time it took to build a blog was too much. Bootleg forums were their only outlet (remember again, this was before the social media glut that’s out there now. You kids have it so good).
This is where the need for the group site, Hip Hop Blogs came from. I wanted to create a platform and invite all the smart people I could find to speak their truth here. Sorry, 1,193 subscribers. I was using you as a springboard for them.
And jump they did.
There are 17 guest bloggers here.
Michael Miraflor started here. He spun out and created his own blog and email list about hip-hop advertising. For years he’s been sharing his knowledge and using his connections to help small timers become big timers.
But the gang of 17 were all volunteers. When SOHH allowed me to try out the Hip Hop Blogs concept on their bigger site, I was able to cut checks for Ron Mexico, Fresh of Crunk and Disorderly, Angela of Concrete Loop, Eskay, and others. It was the first time any of these talented people were flipped coin for their words. Each of them moved on and became certified entrepreneurs, confident that there was value to their work. They’re the real Young Money.