So much hate. Ever since Elliott Wilson, B.Dot and their team stepped on the scene, the hate and screams of "f*ck RapRadar" have reigned supreme. So where does all the hate come from? Is it because YN and friends didn't start from scratch and already had a powerful business partner in Pauly Rosenberg and years of experience behind them? Is it because YN and B.Dot are afforded opportunities other journalists aren't? Let's remember a few things here:
- Elliott Wilson has been doing this Hip-Hop thing since '92 when he was the Music Editor of Beat Down Magazine. Shit, I've been doing this a long time (since '96) but nineteen ninety got damn two?!?! I mean Hip-Hop was only in its teens then. There is no substitute for experience and time.
- As YN, his editorial in XXL Magazine was more anticipated than the bloody artist interviews and he made XXL a true Hip-Hop authority as The Sauce fell off. Argue with me.
-...Not to mention the fact that he, along with his Ego Trip collective, wrote two of my favorite books of all-time "Book of Rap Lists" and "Big Book of Racism."
One of the biggest complaints about RapRadar is that it caters to certain artists or labels in order to gain advertising dollars. Actually, this was a frequent complaint when YN was EIC of XXL Magazine as well. Here's the reality people: XXL Magazine and RapRadar are BUSINESSES. And like any business, it needs to make money. Do you know why it needs to make money? SO IT DOESN'T GO OUT OF BUSINESS. So if YN was putting Interscope artist after Interscope artist on the cover of XXL issue to issue and the issues were selling, would you not keep doing it? I never had an issue with that because the cover features were always dope and the rest of the magazine was creative and an engaging read. And looking at RapRadar, is it heavy on MMG content? Are there a lot of DJ Khaled posts? Is the "hot" artist of the moment always on the site? Yeah, but if you look at Alexa (I know YN, "fuck yo Alexa") and the comments section of RR, they are doing numbers and engaging visitors. Is everything they post my cup of tea? No, but isn't that what we're always asking for in the Hip-Hop blog world? Differentiation? I see plenty of posts on a daily basis at RapRadar that I don't see anywhere else (or very few other places). Not to mention that YN and his team have completely shaped Twitter and instagram for Hip-Hop. RapRadar not your thing? Go to The Smoking Section or DJBooth. Totally different web spots that have carved out their own space and created and engaged their own audience.
The hate has been pouring in for RapRadar this week as they unveiled their 2012 year-end lists. I won't get into specifics other than to say that for a site so demonized by "real Hip-Hop heads", these lists have been pretty solid. I especially agreed with B.Dot putting Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "The Heist" album as the #1 Most Underrated Album of 2012. If you don't think it took balls (press play don't press pause) to do that, then listen to "Same Love" and tell me that being a "head" like B.Dot is and being a fan of this dude and his music ahead of the rest of the crowd wasn't being a thought leader.
And before the hate comes to me, let me clarify a few things. brokencool.com is not RapRadar. There is no other blog like brokencool.com and just because I'm a fan of RapRadar, it doesn't mean my opinion still doesn't matter the most (ask your friends) and that I still don't deliver some of the hottest original content out. Also, I've never been paid by RapRadar or XXL and never worked (save for a few blog posts) for Elliott Wilson. Shit, I'M NOT EVEN ON THE GOT DAMN BLOGROLL. I do however understand business, creativity and pushing things forward. I would argue that RapRadar handles their business, is creative in their own way and pushes Hip-Hop culture forward.