Where are they now?

I had an odd experience the other day. One of my friends had her computer crash at work and she had to call the IT guy to come and fix it. While he was working his magic, they got to talking about hip-hop, and somehow my writing came up. Apparently, the IT dude reads my blog. When random IT guys know your name, you know that you’re kind of a big deal. I kid, I kid. (And a big shout out to Dre’s hip-hop-loving tech friend.)

It got me thinking, though. The XXL crew has been going strong for almost a year now and we’re getting to be well known in hip-hop circles on the Internet. And that notoriety—some would say “infamy,” but whatever—has begun to spread to other areas of the culture. We’ve been shouted out on Hot 97 (Eskay, Fresh). Our names have been dropped during cultural issues shows on New York radio, in the same company as Jessie Jackson, no less (Bol). We’ve spearheaded campaigns (see Fuck Jive ‘06) that may have been responsible for getting your favorite rappers’ record released (kris ex). We’re getting Scratch scratch (Noz). We’ve won Def Jam blog contests and covered Jay-Z’s Kingdom Come press frenzy (Eskay). We’ve had newspaper articles dedicated to our antics (Bol). And we’ve had enraged rappers of all stripes grumble about us in interviews (Bol, Bol, Bol, and once, unfortunately, me). Plus, IT guys everywhere know my name.

On the serious tip, you really can’t beat having a completely uncensored forum (thanks to the Boss Man) with wide reach to hone your skills and develop your voice and build your readership. It’s pretty fecking fantastic. Also, more than a little fun.

Anyway, I’ve found myself wondering what Internet notoriety is worth these days. Where, exactly, does Internet fame get you? (I may have to holler at Sickamore and see what he thinks about all this.) In mainstream culture, bloggers have gone on to become TV personalities and radio hosts and columnists at national newspapers. I’m curious where all of us are going to end up.

Will Noz be the next Jeff Chang? Will Fresh be the next Miss Info? Where will the XXL Blogs crew be a decade from now?

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  • blaQ

    XXL aint that hot Tara….its decent tho. ppl hate on Bol-licker but they keep coming back to read his blogs

  • http://brandonsoderberg.blogspot.com brandonsoderberg

    I would say the immediacy of blogging is what makes it read-able and “popular”. To be perfectly honest, waiting a month for the new XXL or ‘Scratch’ when I can read the whole thing in about 2 hours is a bit disappointing. However, I’d say that as much as I read and frequent XXL blogs and other more “popular” blogs, I don’t think they are quite as uncensored or “Free” as they appear. Many points made her or by Tom Breihan are things I read on other blogs weeks or months before. They often appear here or on TB’s in safer, less controversial terms. I hope all the bloggers don’t have the ego to think that they are being ripped off(it’s more just coincidence), but it reminds me of how mainstream or semi-mainstream coverage or any topic is months behind and always provides the same information on more digestable terms.

    I know you guys get paid for this stuff, so it’s different, but it’s odd to claim freedom. Even if it’s given to you, you’ll think twice before posting things too controversial, unless it is controversial enough to offend and get press.

    EXAMPLE: Eskay is clearly somehow in the pocket of Def Jam. Now, I’m fine with that, I don’t even consider it “selling-out” or anything, but these professional bloggers can’t possibly claim to be the same as me or a million other assholes who do this when we’re NOT working.

  • content

    The bloggers with substance may move on to bigger and better things but the ones who use shock value and comparisons in every post probably won’t. They will never evolve from their one dimensional writting style.

    See I got through it without naming any names.

  • Rizzop

    Its gives people something to do at the plantation…..oops work i mean!

  • derfla the hus’la


    aslong as bloggers keep they shit real and thorough they gonna be doing big things…… hiphop always finds a way to talk to the people since no one is realy checkig for radio’s and other mainstream media these days….

    but one thing tho Tara when this blogging shit goe’s mainstream and they start giving oscars for this shit you better not go hollywood on us


  • http://www.myspace.com/16kingz da’realestwritin’



  • EReal

    Tara Squad = Best Selling Author, gets some of that J.K. Rowling type paper.

    Sickamore = Writer and Civil Rights activist. Maybe senator?

    Noz = Programming Director for Radio or T.V., then eventually writes a best selling book on all things old school.

    YN = Bossin it Somewheres, probably some form of entertainment media, be it T.V., Radio, Publication, or all three.

    Treats = World Record for watching most Music Videos, goes crazy and has to be admitted because he beleives his life IS a music video.

    Sunday = In Jail or on Parole for assaulting someone who bad-mouthed Jabba the Bol, but becomes a writing teacher while locked down and finds the muslim religion, is called on to be Lupe’s spiritual Adviser.

    Bol = Becomes Fattest man in U.S., cannot be removed from his mom’s basement and becomes a recluse, taking his revenge out through his blogs and articles on all those who have scorned him. He also keeps a minion army of rats and cockroaches to do his bidding and eat the insects off of his engourged body.

    1 hunned.

  • NickeNitro

    Plus you guys all won Time’s Person of the Year! Yes, did you look at the cover? It was YOU!

  • NickeNitro


    Prime Minister!!…?

    Tara’s in the webbing, and she’s feeling herself. And any kind of notoriety is a legitimate, real commodity these days — just ask Paris “What me herpes?” Hilton and anyone making an ass of himself or herself on reality TV.

    But I’m personally hoping the writers with influence will worry more about how they can use it to push hip-hop foward rather than to push themselves forward. That’s something that hip-hop needs right now.



    XXL runs this blog game thanks to Bol he always has new posts that are funny. Billy Sunday is killing it too. I wish Tara and Noz would share their knowledge with us everyday. Step your game up Sickamore you could kill this blog game if you posted once a week.

  • EReal

    NickeNitro Says:

    February 9th, 2007 at 11:02 am
    Paris “What me herpes?” Hilton
    LMAO!! – “no lie and you know this, Vaaalllltrrexxxx!!!!!”

  • skip


  • DANJA29

    Human Bol Box will have written a book that pisses off more rappers than Superhead. Unfortunately this book will get him blacklisted and he’ll probably be in his mom’s basement writing blogs for himself.

  • thoreauly77

    tara will have made the trek out to santa barbara to become my wife. i will be a wealthy professor and tara will ride around on a red vespa to conduct all of her interviews. i will retire early and dedicate my life to building houses for the poor. tara will give me a high-five for it.

    the end.

  • Hannah Smith

    Let’s not front, this is how it should read:

    “It got me thinking, though. The XXL crew has been going strong for almost a year now and Bol and Bol alone is getting to be well known in hip-hop circles on the Internet.”

    No one else’s posts would stand up in a print media column, it ain’t hard to tell.

  • Joao

    You’ll be a crack whore on Canal, Bol will still be living in his mom’s basement beating it to Asian pron while choking himself.

  • EReal

    ^ So you’re telling me that Bol’s uninformative, racist, sexist, mostly retarded posts would stand up better in print than someone like Tara-Squad’s well written thought provoking posts that intelligent people actually ENJOY commenting on??

  • http://www.myspace.com/poisonousdarthfc Poisonous Dart

    Tara, as much as I enjoy you, Sick and Noz’s blogs (yeah, I left the others out on purpose) XXL bloggers are NOT the Source Mind Squad/contributors circa 1992-1998 nor are they Ego Trip’s team from 1994-1998 nor Stress, On The Go or Blaze’s staff from 1996-2001…I look forwrd to seeing what you three do in the industry from here on out but don’t hold out much hope for everyone else.


  • Boner Jams 03

    I will be Boner Jams 13 in ten years

  • Nasser

    In ten years Bol will be dead…heart failure from all the twinkies.

  • http://www.myspace.com/belizeanbway Belize


  • NickeNitro

    Hannah Smith Says:

    Let’s not front, this is how it should read:

    “It got me thinking, though. The XXL crew has been going strong for almost a year now and Bol and Bol alone is getting to be well known in hip-hop circles on the Internet.”

    No one else’s posts would stand up in a print media column, it ain’t hard to tell.

    ^^^This is the part where everyone goes “OOOOOOOOOOOOh” in unison. Did Tara boom get your boyfriend or something?


    Bol will have moved on up, from the basement of his parents house to the garage.

  • http://www.MOREMENOCAL.com Andres Menocal



  • http://www.myspace.com/thaanswermikeyd Dip Set City

    Apparantly you’ll be out of work

  • http://www.myspace.com/enigmadamystery Enigma Da Mystery

    how did u start blogging for XXL ?,do you already have to be an established blogger or writer ?. http://www.myspace.com/enigmadamystery

  • jacquez
  • Fernando

    10 years huh……lets see,

    YN – So whipped by the TI’s at interscope & Curtis, he actually pays for some computer experts to re-format the blogs so that any disparaging remarks against G-Unit or Interscope are automatically deleted.

    Sunday – Realizes that he bites Bol’s style and moves to India for 10 years to re-discover himself.

    Bol – In a tragic twist of fate, Bol eats so much Taco Bell that his fingers get too fat to type. He is then left to wallow in his own excrement with nobody to share his opinions of hip-hop with. The smell from the basement is so pungent, that even the three friends he has (rey, his mom, co-worker from BGM) no longer visit. A few years later, Tara visits to profess her love for the whale sized Blogger, but he can no longer see or hear because the copius amounts of fat that shield his eyes and ears from the world has enveloped his face

    Sick – Same as today, does nothing.

  • Miss J.

    IT girls read your blogs too, not just the filthy dudes that stare at the fellow IT girl all day.

    The Sexiest IT Girl on the Block

  • the real yellow nigga

    its saying a lot that Bol wasn’t mentioned at the end there. 3 words to describe that nigga…

    Clock Radio Speakers.

    he’s gone from ashy to more ashy…

  • http://xxlmag.com eskay

    >>Eskay is clearly somehow in the pocket of Def Jam.

    *sigh* ok, I’ll bite. how is Eskay in Def Jam’s pocket.

  • Miss J.

    Enigma Da Mystery Says:

    February 12th, 2007 at 7:32 am
    how did u start blogging for XXL ?,do you already have to be an established blogger or writer ?.

    She pieced together coherent sentences without any extra punctuation.

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