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?