Today, the worldwide web is a microcosm of the hip-hop industry. Any and everybody can make a website with MySpace, youtube or similar online â€œcommunitiesâ€. Thus, itâ€™s hard to decipher what is real from what is just hearsay.
With that in mind, Iâ€™m going to give you the best websites to check out for everything that concerns hip-hop music. To find the most recent music or anything you missed, I suggest www.hiphopdx.com, specifically its audio section. Go there at 8 a.m., and I guarantee by 8:15 a.m. someone has posted at least one new track. When Jay-Zâ€™s Show Me What You Got leaked, it was one of the first to post it. The reason hiphopdx.com is so nice? They donâ€™t limit their exclusive posts to just mainstream hip hop â€“ they also feature tons of underground music.
For shopping, I recommend www.undergroundhiphop.com. First, they sell a good balance of mainstream and underground music â€“ better than any site Iâ€™ve seen â€“ with album snippets you can listen to, as well as track listings. Plus, they are legit, and punctual with their orders.
When it comes to dirt and the most recent rumors, deals and release dates, I direct you towards www.allhiphop.com, which parallels hiphopdx.com in its consistency with the news. They update constantly throughout the day, so itâ€™s not just one post while you wait for the next update.
Mixtapes? This is a no-brainer. www.mixtapesusa.com has every single mixtape ever. If you happen to miss one in a series, like J. Periodâ€™s mixtape series or DJ Drama, they have them all archived so you can purchase a mixtape you didnâ€™t cop back then because you had to pay your cable bill.
For the most links and all-encompassing coverage, I log onto www.okayplayer.com. Everything is relevant and everything on the site is relative to something. The site has become more mainstream because the Roots are not involved with Def Jam, so there has been more Jay-Z references this year than any other website I can think of. Okayplayer represents the artists that you donâ€™t hear on the radio 24/7: artists such as Erykah Badu, Common, Dilated Peoples, Kenn Starr, Madlib, Kweli, the Procussions, the Strange Fruit Project and others. It also features recent books and events going on from NY to LA. If they could infuse more mainstream music into the site, it would be every hip-hop headâ€™s dream come true â€“ balance in hip hop from music to media.
So for all new-comers to hip hop on the Web, check these sites out and Iâ€™ll return with more in-depth sites to diversify your musical omnipotence.