Seems it would be way too easy to write about this topic, but this series is about going beyond the surface and figuring out what it all really means. It’s 2013 and even your moms has a blog son, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that everyone else has one too. At least in some way, shape or form, whether it be a website, twitter account, or that Foodie Facebook group my aunt keeps inviting me to. Everyone has a blog because everyone has an opinion. Whole time, how many articles do you read that aren’t just a top 10, 20, 30 count down on Complex? There aren’t too many popular blogs left that aren’t turning into gossip rags, or hosting sites for that new mixtape, video, or song. What was that I was saying about opinion? I’m trying to keep this series based mainly on fact but this one hits close to home, so it might be a tad bit biased. There are just a few things I wanted to address and maybe someone will actually read…if not, D5 is over in the mixtape section.
What Makes A Good Blogger?
This is the most blatantly subjective topic to start off with, but fuck it, it’s a good question. Seeing the interview process first hand to be an intern at GoWhere made me realize that we’re not all just a bunch of rap nerds that poo-poo on anything not produced by Premo or featuring Nas. I mean, for the most part, that’s true but not always. I’ve seen plenty of kids that didn’t know the difference between Lil Wayne and Lil Poopy try their hand at blogging about rap. Maybe not to that extreme, maybe as close as Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa (which I’m not going to get into…it’s just…it’s just not the time or place). Basically, what I’m getting at is, know what the fuck you’re talking about. I think that’s one of the most important things, but if you’re just writing little blurbs here and there, it’s easy to fake it till you make it. I would hope that someone that worked at a rap site would actually listen to rap. I would also hope that if their life depended on it, a blogger could spell ‘tomorrow’ without having to pause and count the M’s. At the risk of looking like an asshole because this piece is full of typos and mistakes…I hate typos and mistakes. I’m Commander in Chief of the Grammar Police. That’s not a huge deal in making a good or bad blogger, but please, spell-check your articles people. It just makes your site and your brand more professional.
Making Your Blog Stand Out/Increasing Readership
As much as I would love to be able to post opinion pieces all the time here, that’s what message boards and other internet forums are for. So really, when I say readership, I mean traffic. Not the Lil Reese kind, or the kind that I want Miley Cyrus to play in, but website hits. I’ve often wondered what makes people choose a certain site over the millions of others. For the most part, similar content is featured on all of them and people (e.g. rap nerds) usually spend time on at least a handful of different sites a day. So what’s the discerning factor? For me, when I was just a fan and nigh a writer or a rapper, it was mainly about finding a site that had the song for download that I was looking for. Eventually, my tastes evolved and I was craving familiarity. Sometimes those 2-3 lines of text under a video can be quite witty, insightful, informative, or just plain coonery. Big Ghostfase is probably the funniest guy on the INNANET. I think making your blog stand out involves a lot of interaction with your site, and in the real world. It helps to have the newest Jay-Z leak on the site before everyone else, but it also helps to sponsor a local showcase or host a mixtape or two dozen just to keep the name buzzing. It’s a competitive world out here people.
You know what’s crazy? I’ve seen countless articles and tweets by bloggers blasting that local artist that “just wants his music heard because it’s gonna change the world and his life”. Yes this guy is a pretentious douchebag with shitty bars, beats and mixing, but embarrassing him does nothing for you or your brand. It gets frustrating on both ends, but nobody dares tell a blogger that he shouldn’t be a prick or believe he is the end all be all of the interwebs. I applauded GoWhere when I first came in about their User Submission section. It provides a great platform to ensure that local artists are heard without the hassle of hassling us with angry emails and tweets. On a larger scale, it’s hard not to be a fan. As fans, we are biased, critical and harsh, even towards established rappers and celebrities. There have been countless bars hurled at bloggers calling us nerds, gay, losers, etc, etc…and only some of it is deserving. I mean, what’s the line to cross though? We’re all entitled to our opinions but is it necessary for a blogger to say Big Sean raps like he’s trying to talk his way out of a beatdown? Is it necessary for a blogger to say Justin Bieber is a tool that’s probably gonna die taking a selfie doing 200 mph in his Lambo? Probably not, but I’ll be damned if I, or he doesn’t have the right to say it. There's probably gonna be a part 2 to this and many other EQVs but enjoy the video below which sums up how some rappers probably feel about bloggers these days.
Loading the player...
Esse Quam Videri is a Latin phrase meaning "to be, rather than to seem". I chose that as the title of this series, besides my own vanity, because there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes in the lives of rappers, singers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, etc. I think that in order to really appreciate these artists and their work, it would help to know more about them, their mindset and their process. Stay tuned for many more interviews and behind-the-scenes perspectives. #GoWhereYouLove