This is a place for raw, honest hip-hop criticism. Where mature listeners can find a peer’s opinion about what’s dope and what’s trash. And it’s my reaction to the rest of hip-hop’s so-called journalism. Hip-hop has always been a very big part of my life. I grew up during the 90s golden age. I remember the agonizing wait for Beats, Rhymes, and Life. I read The Source back when 5 mics meant much more than a Grammy. I remember when underground rap regularly got played on mainstream tv, especially on Rapcity.
I don’t say that to establish some sort of pedigree, but to explain why I feel the way I do about today’s music journalism. It’s abysmal! I’m used to a balance in the coverage of underground vs mainstream, to real questions in interviews, to decent writing and copy-editing, to depth, and to editorial honesty. These are not what I currently see out there. Now, instead of further complaining about what music journalism has become, I’ll spend the rest of this piece explaining what 100 Proof Hip-Hop is:
- Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. AKA raw and honest, AKA not nice. I don’t hold my tongue. I’ve been called a hater a million times before, it’s nothing new.
- Balanced in underground vs mainstream. Somewhat. I’ll try to cover everything that I find noteworthy.
- Devoid of nefarious influences. I don’t have ads now, and likely never will. In fact, I hope to build a fanbase worthy of a successful patreon campaign, and to make money that way. Corporate money will not dictate content decisions.
- Updated on a slow schedule. Music cannot be digested quickly, and I do this in my spare time. So I always have a huge backlog. And I need to listen an album at least 4 times to really assess it, and there needs to be time in between those listening sessions for the music to sink in. Sometimes I read every lyric on a site like Rap Genius to ensure I understand. So real reviews will often come way after the music is released. For more rash opinions, I have “Hasty Generalizations”, and I use “Quick Shots” for first impressions. Those shorter writings will also be used for some more straightforward or negative opinions.
ScorelessScored. I’ve changed my mind about scores. I like that they force the writer to come to a definitive opinion, and that they give the reader a quick way to identify, characterize, remember that opinion. So instead of remaining scoreless to avoid arguments with those who don’t get scores’ purpose, I’ll just try to stifle or avoid those when arguments if they come.
I’m critical because I love hip-hop and want to see it continue to grow. Hopefully, what’s posted here will end up improving the genre in some way.