An interview with Just Blaze and a response from eskay of Nah Right have prompted a discussion about hip-hop blogs and unauthorized leaks. Rather than reiterating what’s already been said, I’d like to put one point under the magnifying glass.
Toward the end of the clip, Just Blaze says that bloggers are largely concerned with making a name for themselves by getting a song out first and that Nah Right is the only blog that has successfully monetized its success and created a brand. I can’t speak to how much money anyone is making, but there are many hip-hop blogs with very strong brands. Nah Right and Rap Radar function as news wires that do a great job of telling you what’s going on in hip-hop at this very second, but sites like Fake Shore Drive, Dirty Glove Bastard, BLVD ST, SpineMagazine, Unkut, The Smoking Section, and T.R.O.Y. have defined themselves with distinct writing styles and tastes or by specializing in specific regions and subgenres. Sites like these have stronger identities than blogs that drop an exclusive every few weeks.
Unless you can do it consistently, dropping an exclusive is an overrated experience. Once, when we had an exclusive Wale track, we got linked everywhere, but it didn’t turn into a massive spike in traffic and I didn’t get a sandwich named after me or anything. One of the so-called “major” blogs didn’t even link to us. Just this week we had an exclusive Mark Ronson x Ghostface track, which is crack btw, but few sites picked it up, probably because they were all watching the new Drake video. But a lot of people did tell me how much like liked the song. The point I’m trying to make is that you shouldn’t be after recognition for posting a song first, you should be after recognition for your taste in music. The best dap I ever got was when someone commented on the Kanye Beat Drop that they liked my taste in beats. If there’s one thing missing from hip-hop blogs, it’s taste.
Remember, we write about this ignorant ass music because we love it and it keeps us from going postal when that girl we’ve been obsessing over doesn’t return our Facebook messages. (you better poke me back, bitch)