In August 2012, I started this blog. I started this blog to write about hip-hop every now and then, maybe improve my writing ability, possibly even gain a bit of credibility. I know a lot of people listen to hip-hop, lots of people say that they love it. Back then, music was just something I was fond of. My love for hip-hop and the industry grows as I become more involved in it. Since the start of this blog, I’ve come very far – further than I ever thought I could come in just under two years.
I revisited this blog a few days ago and thought I’d explain why I’ve been so vacant, why this blog has been abandoned and the reasoning for that. After a few months of dedicated work to this blog in 2012, the popularity was slowly rising. Getting 1,000 views per day was unimaginable back then. Seeing people from all over the world reading what I had written, reading my opinion – it was crazy. Little did I know, that was only the start.
I applied to contribute for a small, hard-working hip-hop blog, TheNQM, where I was pleasantly accepted. I posted occasionally, mostly when I could, I wasn’t the most dedicated writer ever. Then, I had the opportunity to write for Word On Road (Drake’s Official Fan Site) – I’m still proud of the feature I managed to conjure up, I can still remember how ecstatic I was when I saw it posted.
Since then, I’ve contributed to multiple US websites here and there, nothing major, but my portfolio was calmly expanding.
In September 2013, I started University. At that point, I still referred to myself as a blogger – the only power I had behind my name was on my laptop, on the internet. As I’ve grown, matured and extended my hobby into almost a career, I am a journalist.
I’ve written for a few low-key magazines whilst being at University and had things published in The Nottingham Post, but nothing seemed satisfying enough.
At the start of this year, things changed. I had my biggest break (so far), I applied to write for UK Hip-Hop and Graffiti Magazine, Wordplay Magazine. Luckily, I got it. At the beginning, I was writing reviews which was dope; I enjoy expressing opinion, plus, I was broadening my knowledge and sonic range. But, writing reviews has never been my strong point, I didn’t feel entirely comfortable. In March, I was offered the opportunity to interview Freddie Gibbs, which I pounced on right away. Freddie Gibbs is a big deal, he has been a XXL Freshman and a few weeks before I interviewed him, he dropped one of the biggest hip-hop albums of 2014, ‘Piñata’. Interviewing him was difficult, but I got through it; Freddie Gibbs was the first rapper I’ve ever interviewed, so I got dropped in the deep end. In the upcoming issue of Wordplay, my interview with him is featured. This won’t be my first time seen in print, but it’s going to be my first major contribution to a well-rounded, respected magazine. I don’t know what it is about print, but since technology is evolving so rapidly, there’s something a lot more credible about having your name and work on paper. Especially the fact people will be reading the interview and my reviews after paying for the magazine.
This last month has been manic, though. I got offered the chance to interview YG and DJ Mustard, two of the biggest names in hip-hop right now; YG famous for his “My N***a” record and also critically-acclaimed album, ‘My Krazy Life’ – so I’m interviewing them both in London on Thursday 3rd July (as far as I know – the location hasn’t been confirmed). But, the biggest news that I’ve had so far in my journalistic career was confirmed a few weeks ago: I am going to Wireless Festival, London on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th, backstage, for free. How? I got press passes, meaning I am a lot more important than I was nearly two years ago. To add to the magnitude of the news, the artists performing on both Friday and Saturday are: Kanye West, Drake, Wiz Khalifa, Chance The Rapper, ScHoolboy Q, Earl Sweatshirt, A$AP Ferg, YG & DJ Mustard, Pharrell Williams, Kid Ink, Meridian Dan, Vic Mensa and G-Eazy. I’m a fan of every artist I have listed. But, there are other big names at the festival, too. So, to have the opportunity to be backstage with them, meet them, interview them or even observe them is a dream come true.
Two years ago, I paid around £300 to go to Wireless Festival for the weekend to see some of my favourite acts. In the space of two years, I’ve managed to establish myself in an area that I am extremely passionate about. The first weekend of July is my time; interviewing YG and DJ Mustard on the Thursday, then heading to Wireless Festival on the Friday and Saturday to be surrounded by some incredible artists.
So, to everyone that laughed or wondered why I bothered writing about hip-hop on this blog, look at me now, less than two years on. I’m not going to say something cliche like “hard work pays off”, because everyone knows that. But, if you’re passionate enough about something, don’t care about what anybody thinks about it, do you.