XXL‘s Official 100 Best Hip-Hop Web Sites, Pt. 1 (#-K)

At this point, imagining hip-hop without the Internet is like imagining modern life without electricity—vaguely comprehensible but clearly tedious, inconvenient and primitive. Whether the World Wide Web is actually the new streets is debatable, but the ease of exchanging music, words and ideas has forever altered the way hip-hop is created, marketed, distributed, sold and discussed. Albums, singles and videos leak online first. iTunes has replaced both local record stores and national chains. And Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and MySpace are increasingly narrowing the distance between artists and their fans. In an effort to help readers wade through the ever-deepening stream of information, XXL has assembled a list of the 100 Best Hip-Hop Web Sites: Blogs, lyrics archives, MP3 downloads, artist pages and digital record pools are all included here. Get your clique on point with the point and click.

1200squad.com
Back in the day, DJs joined regional record pools, where labels exchanged new vinyl for grassroots feedback. What’s vinyl, you ask? Oh, forget it. Now providing the same function with MP3s and also forum-style commenting, Cornerstone Promotion’s 1200 Squad offers free membership to DJs and filthy industry types.
2dopeboyz.okayplayer.com
Smart, knowledgeable blog that doesn’t think East Coast and underground are epithets.
24hourhiphop.com
Gossip, news and music (ostensibly) provided around the clock.
57thave.com
Thanks to memorable interviews, a syncopated delivery and awesome lyrics (“Bone a bitch in the butt, make her say ‘what, what’”), N.O.R.E. carved out a unique niche as rap’s thug clown. His Web site, which features hip-hop news, music, videos and all things C-N-N, keeps N.O.R.E. eating up the bandwidth.
allhiphop.com
Launched back in antediluvian 1998 by Greg “Grouchy” Watkins and Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur, AllHipHop became the grand dame of rap-news sites by virtue of dependable original reporting, opportune Q&A interviews and those famed e-mail blasts. Writing quality can seesaw between professional and greenhorn, but sprawling coverage of music, fashion, gadgetry and sports gives aspiring journalists a valuable place to amass clips and stylistically sand off the rough edges. All the while, members of the site’s teeming Ill Community message boards have spent eight long years scrutinizing the most important topic in rap-forum history: Jay-Z vs. Nas—who lost and why?
ballerstatus.net
Founded in 2002, this feverishly updated urban-lifestyle site focuses on music but dabbles in not-so-distantly-removed areas of politics, sports and fashion.
bbcicecream.com
Even if you’re not convinced by Pharrell’s $35,000 all-over-print sweatpants, this music, arts and culture blog has its thumb on the pulse of what cool is supposed to be.
beatsandrants.blogs.com
Beats, rhymes and snark.
bestofbothoffices.com
A hip-hop video Web site where the clips actually have music in them and/or rap-related content.
blogxilla.com
Some music, some relationship advice, lots of sex—hey, that also describes an understanding girlfriend on the side!
bobatl.com
A social network with Bobby Ray’s fans.
bossip.com
Unleashing “exclusive” scoops, such as “Gucci Mane, Is This Your Baby Mama???” this gossip blog specializes in music and entertainment news, with occasional forays into politics and current events. If Jay-Z or Beyoncé so much as breathes, they’ll gleefully document said lung expansion.
brandonsoderberg.blogspot.com
Better known as No Trivia, Soderberg’s blog gives rap the kind of intellectual, analytical respect that it deserves.
buckmarleyxxx.com
Blog with new MP3s and lots of exclamation points!!!
byroncrawford.com
Imagine the perfect blogger: witty, controversial, curmudgeonly and a bit portly from all those hours spent raging on the Interwebs. Now put him in St. Louis and have him write about rap. As evidenced by altercations with Bun B and Lupe Fiasco, Crawford is the rare blogger whose personality distinguishes him from the rest of the field. (Also can be found blogging on XXLMag.com.)
chamillionaire.com
The best place to hear Cham recount how Michael Jordan sonned him in a club.
cocaineblunts.com
With insightful writing and great access (the wide breadth of interview subjects includes Bun B, Too $hort, Freddie Gibbs and YZ), this site is as dope as its name.
complex.com
When they’re not showcasing turquoise flannel shirts, the online appendage of Marc Ecko’s men’s magazine, Complex, stays in the news cycle with timely pieces—fake Twitter conversations, lists of Jay-Z’s lousiest songs, an online sepulchre for dearly departed rap mags—and the ingenious Complex Soundboard of trademark audio snippets (killa!).
concreteloop.com
Urban-entertainment blogging since 2005.
cratekings.com
One-stop site for producers: interviews, beat battles, drum kits and advice on how not to get stuck for your papers when using samples.
daily-math.com/weblog
Hosted by Combat Jack, a music lawyer turned scribe who once worked with artists AZ, C-N-N, Tragedy Khadafi and Color Me Badd (holy flashback!), Daily-Math melds insider insight, smart humor and sharp writing. Whether discussing how he succumbed to Gucci Mane’s charms or reviewing video games, Jack stays ripping it.
dallaspenn.com
A heavyweight in numerous ways, always-entertaining Dallas Penn and friends chew the fat about hip-hop, sneakers, food and ever-important boozing at New York City industry events.
datpiff.com
Calling itself “the authority in free mixtapes,” this site backs up its boast with a monster collection of freebies from big names and uploads from users (most of which you might not need to hear).
daveyd.com
Here lives the politics of music from Davey D, veteran Bay Area–based hip-hop historian and activist.
dctobc.com
Rap music and news, plus some sport, out of D.C. and Boston… And then some.
differentkitchen.blogspot.com
An eclectic mix of fresh music, antiquarian nostalgia and the random entry about Afghan elections.
djsmallz.com
Home of Southern Smoke—and we’re not talking about brisket.
down-south.com
News, music, videos and reviews for those enchanted by hip-hop beneath the Mason-Dixon Line. Lots of Gucci, lots of Jeezy, even some Lil Wyte!
dubcnn.com
For all of the endless griping about the East Coast’s fall from grace, the West Coast’s plunge into obsolescence has been even more devastating. Carrying the flag for the beleaguered region is DubCNN, a site that covers both legends (MC Ren, Warren G) and the future (Nipsey Hussle, Young Giantz).
fakeshoredrive.com
Due to the popularity of Kanye, Lupe Fiasco and legions of upstart rappers in skinny jeans, there may be a perception that the Windy City’s hip-hop scene has gotten ultra trendy. Stand corrected at FakeShoreDrive, a Chi-Town–centric blog that also covers Bumpy J, Bo Deal and that good gangster shit.
getrightmusic.com
Cherished resource for free mixtape downloads.
globalgrind.com
Launched in 2007 with funding from Silicone Valley venture capitalists and Russell Simmons, GlobalGrind gets by with a good amount of aggregated content supplemented by exclusive guest blogs. GG’s original material can be compelling, but the combination of a glossy design with a low user-comment rate gives the site the feel that the public hasn’t picked up at the right pace.
grandgood.com
Video clips and music, with an eye on the ’80s.
gyantunplugged.com
Citing inspiration from radio big-bug-mouth Wendy Williams—a fine idol if trafficking in gossip is your life’s ambition—Atlanta-based Gyant dishes dirt and snares some exclusive interviews.
hear-it-first.net
In this era of instant gratification, sometimes making a pilgrimage to buy mixtapes from your trusty local bootlegger is a richly rewarding experience. Oh, screw that. Go to Hear-It-First and download the latest singles, DJ blends and street albums from artists both famous and obscure.
herfection.com
An emphasis on hipster-hop and rappers who view Kanye as their fashion god.
hiphopdx.com
A few mandatory links to Lil Wayne mixtapes and Soulja Boy MP3s notwithstanding, HipHopDX’s editorial bent leans toward the subterranean realm of lyrics-heavy true-school rap (yes, it apparently still exists!). Releases from Lupe Fiasco, Nas and Atmosphere earn rave reviews here, and HipHopDX takes advantage of the Web’s unlimited space to run comprehensive interviews with artists like Royce Da 5’9”, Cormega and Ras Kass. Capable writing and extensive features make HipHopDX a valuable outlet for rap fans from the land of the lost.
hiphopgame.com
Aside from news and audio, HHG drops an array of East Coast–oriented interviews with grizzled veterans, hopeful upstarts and beatmakers.
hiphopisread.blogspot.com
Ever wonder where rap’s hottest producers get their samples from? This gem of a site is like a virtual dig spot, offering compiled playlists of hip-hops’s original source material, minus all the digital dust, of course.
hiphopofficial.com
Hip-hop purists with a dash of modernity.
icedotcom.blogspot.com
It’s a hodgepodge of good ripped hip-hop content with some extra fluff.
illdoctrine.com
Jay Smooth—founder of NYC’s venerable Underground Railroad radio show on WBAI—drops video blogs and jewels about hip-hop, racism, homophobia and politics, without being preachy. Word.
illroots.com
Interviews, reviews and some mixtapes with Mick Boogie.
itsthecons.com
He’ll eventually put an album out, but until then, here’s Consequence.
itsthereal.tumblr.com
Borscht Belt goin’ ham! The witty Rosenthal brothers (Eric and Jeff) bring levity to hip-hop, with video-based sketch comedy featuring artists like Cam’ron, Clipse and Capone-N-Noreaga. “Sure, you could joke about his affiliation with Young Money,” they quip about Drake, who they laud for being half-Jewish. “But it’s not like he’s an accountant.” L’chaim!
joebuddentv.com
Whether beefing with members of Wu-Tang Clan, talking hoops with Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings or showcasing his ex-girlfriend Tahiry’s ample hindquarters, Joe Budden continues to ignite controversy with his opinionated video blogs. When you go indie, sometimes all press counts as good press.
kanyeuniversecity.com
Splashed in a pastel, Harajuku motif, Kanye West’s Web site uses a spacey, animated city to direct visitors toward streaming song clips (and the iTunes store), his charitable foundation and Kanye’s Travel Ventures, a budget online booking agency that highlights flight and hotel deals comparable to those found on a zillion other sites. The blog is updated several times daily, with fashion photos, interior-design links and MP3s that underscore ’Ye’s eclectic sense of cool. And although he’s abandoned the claim that he works without a ghostblogger, the all-caps rants about Twitter impersonators and apologies to Taylor Swift distinctly appear to be his handiwork.
karencivil.com
News and exclusives from a New York industry insider formerly affiliated with Dipset.
kevinnottingham.com
Underground rap shit.

Log on tomorrow CLICK HERE for Pt. 2 (L-Z). XXL’s Dec/Jan double issue hits stands December 1!!!!!!

  • FBomb

    Uhm…where’s thisis50.com, the BIGGEST site of them all??

    • General

      I know the alphabet is a challenge for most 50 stans, but thisis50.com starts with a T, notice that todays list only went to K, which in the alphabet is well before T…

      Check back tomorrow, I’m sure you will see it and be able to sleep again

  • http://www.iKeepsIt100.com Fred Bear

    http://www.iKeepsIt100.com should have made this list for Rookie Of The Year. Ran solely by Fred Bear,this site is the only site that keeps it 100 at all times. “I’ll tell ya mama you aint shit!!!” …. check it out

  • SOUTHSIDE A-TOWN

    & out of all those websites xxlmag is who i fux w/ the most.

    -that michal jordan story chamillionare told was fucked up & funny @ the same time.

  • Mr. Batch

    @FBomb The sites are in alphabetical order, and at the bottom, it says that Pt. 2 is coming tomorrow.

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  • http://www.forbezdvd,com ForbezDVD Staff

    where is http://www.forbezdvd.com? and i know someone didn’t come to the site and say we’re a knock off wshh.com and or vladtv? because that’s like saying xxl magazine is a knock off source magazine. do your research on a website before you speak like that. if you did, you would know that some of the biggest footage on the internet comes from http://www.forbezdvd.com. doubt it? i can prove it easily and it’s all original content. you even have ning sites on there and that’s a free website. and not like this list is credible or anything like that, i’m just saying.

  • http://www.jamal7mile.blogspot.com Jamal7Mile

    Co-sign Southside, XXLmag got this! Just stop dropping my posts.

    AllHipHop is stumbling a lil bit. What’s up with the IC? Still love my Rumors, but they gotta kick those spammers off. Illseed hired him an editor today – eh, typos don’t really bother me that much. As long as you don’t type like you got boxing gloves on, I’m good.

    Global Grind is starting to grow on me a bit, too.

  • T Cole

    http://WWW.HOTNEWHIPHOP.COM
    you don’t even know…

  • Rob Markman

    Shouts to the COMMISSION

  • ROBADON

    THE FUTURE OF HIP HOP IS HERE, XXL YALL SHOULD DO A TORY ON ARTIST THAT ARE, ON THE INTERNET. THAT ARE LEAVING THE RADIO, AND TV MUSIC AKA MAINSTREAM MUSIC, AND JUST STRICKLY LISTENING TO UNDERGROUND MUSIC, AND BEATS CHECK OUT THIS SITE
    http://WWW.DOPETRACKS.COM

  • http://www.thehiphophost.com Da Jeneral

    We’re just starting out, check us out. Next year we’ll be at the top of the list. The Hip Hop Host

  • Ran

    Yall gotta hit thacorner.net, the forums is ran by real Mods & admins that know hip hop, no bullshit threads, real hip-hop fans from all culture & If you bring that bullshit they will kick you out for good. The Realest sit on here forums wise & you get all the mixtapes that’s out 4 free!,

    Thacorner.net, XXL put this UP!

  • http://www.msn.com raoul

    Hey, all these sites are american or what, what about international sites. In Africa, there is definitely one, http://www.vinyl1980.com. No.1 in South Africa since 2006.

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  • http://www.dallaspenn.com/weblog Dallas

    The meatsauce what wrote this shit don’t even know dallaspenn.com

    Take my site off this list and in its place put deez nutts you effin’ jagoff

  • Hmm

    how do you guys forget djbooth? that doesn’t make any sense

  • Paul C.
  • Pingback: XXLmag.com - » Hits For Days (Inside XXL’s Internet Issue)

  • http://Siccness.Net Carlito

    That shit is weak. The biggest Website is not on there!

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    What about blindiforthekids.com?

  • mel

    XXL Mag is a joke what about sickhop.com?

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  • John Burke

    I like downloadmixtapes.org.
    Cool list anyhow.

  • http://twitter.com/jaysmallNEWS BLASFEMYent

    no vladtv, forbezdvd, boobootv, thisis50??? –BLASFEMY ENT

  • http://www.hiphopsyndicate.com/ hiphopsyndicate

    Hip Hop News, Music Videos, Downloads, MP3s, New Rap Albums, Mixtapes and more / HipHopSyndicate.Com

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  • http://hmigraphix.weebly.com vonp

    uuuhhhh…..worldstarhiphop??

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  • http://hmigraphix.weebly.com vonp

    xxl yall always fucking some shit up!! every year yall fuck up the freshmans, the best songs etc. yall should just stay away from shit like this cause yall obviously dont take census from the fans. i dont know where u get your information from but where ever you do u need to fire your source

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  • http://Hiphopallstarmedia.com Beano

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  • Matt

    Untamed Youth Music (dot) com **Biggest Up & Coming Label** very similar to Strange Music, Funk Volume and Rhymesayers

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