Believe it or not, at one point in time there was no Hip-Hop Internets. Back then, OG websites you might not remember, like Hookt.com or 360hiphop.com, elbowed their way into the Hip-Hop journalism game that was once caught in a firm headlock by outlets such as The Source, Rap Pages and XXL. However, the dot com bubble burst.
Nevertheless sites like AllHipHop and SOHH, for example, were able to thrive and often surpassed the work put in by their print counterparts that eventually, if reluctantly, jumped into the HTML fray, too. But the rise of blogs eventually evened that playing field. Soon, there was a cacophony of voices in the digital Hip-Hop milieu seeking attention.
Some did so by being the loudmouth at the party racking up page views or being the focused intellectual putting in consistent work, gaining dedicated followers in process. Other spaces just found their niche and ran with it. Plenty of misinformed and suspect opinions prevailed, and still do, but fortunately many Hip-Hop blogs and websites found their bearings and distinguished themselves from the pack.
This list compiled by Hip-Hop Wired isn't trying to point out every dope blog out there. There are simply too many to name and give their proper due. However, consider this a cheat seat for the best the Hip-Hop digital sphere has to offer. We didn't just consider page views (though they can certainly help) but also considered quality of work, consistency, influence, and other such factors (like, do people actually check for the site or say they do because it's trendy?). Lock these sites, and Hip-Hop Wired (of course), in to your daily rap readings and your Hip-Hop IQ will grow exponentially.
Feel free to tell us who was robbed and who should have been higher, lower or completely booted from the list in the comments.
Photo: Roc Nation