Hits For Days (Inside XXL‘s Internet Issue)

There’s nothing like a great win. Just shutting haters up with a victory. Leaving it to where they can’t really say anything at all. 50 Cent knows those haters. And he knows those wins. He just had a big one with his new album, Before I Self Destruct. Even those on the Internet with the loudest keyboards had to give it up to him and the LP with their comments and greater-than > < less-than symbols, when the album leaked online a month before its release date.

Ohhh, it’s all about the Internet. We all wake up and eventually plug in somehow. Our Berries, iPhones, laptops, whatever… Nowadays, it seems like there’s always a conversation to be had about how, if you go away from the Web for a few days, you feel lost, out of the loop. Who knows what you could miss in rap?!

Like, tweeted words of wisdom from one of our great entertainers. (Twitter’s become a weird self-help fortune cookie for those who like to hear [or see] themselves speak.) Or leaked music. We don’t even have to go outside anymore or spend money—and there’s new music every day. (Granted, it might not be good new music every day, but—must…download…new…music…every…day…) And then there’s videos of rappers doing or saying plain crazy or dumb shit that we just love (do I really need an example?). The low-budget music videos (there’s nothing too high-end for the Net), the bloggers (a few who have some crazy opinions about rappers, until those rappers confront them, then things change a bit), and the beef (a whole new level once hip-hop met Photoshop). YouTube alone can have you sitting there for hours. I recently spent an unnecessary amount of time watching freestyles of Gucci Mane and live performances of Lil Boosie on the video-sharing site. (Quite a few of the clips I’ve actually seen before, but who can watch too much Gucci and Boosie?)

After extensive iChatting and e-mailing, BBMing and text messaging, we at XXL decided it was time to do the first-ever Internet Issue. We gotta cover what’s going on here, people. Next year, the Net will probably be even more insane, but for right now, it’s pretty much at a level nine as is. Rappers can’t put albums out without them leaking first. Five minutes after an interview wraps on radio, it’s posted online. Almost every MC is socially networking. There’s at least a million hip-hop Web sites, and for the most part, they all have the same stuff, ripped from the same sites. Aggregate was a word very rarely used in my vocabulary a couple of years ago. Now it’s all I hear and say. (Side note: XXLMag.com is primarily original content, with very little aggregating. Look for the link or the shout-out, or whatever they do, at some of your favorite sites when you see some good content—if they credit.)

So for the first-ever Internet Issue, who better to be on the cover than the king of the Web himself, 50?! It’s covers No. 11 and 12 for the Interscope MC (putting him in the lead), and, no, that’s not because XXL is best friends with the label. It’s because, well, who else should it be? With a regular Internet presence, a successful site (thisis50.com) that most of you are members of, and a hot, newly leaked album, Fif knows what’s up with the online game. He deals with it every day. And besides that, you know y’all love to read what he has to say.

With a bajillion hip-hop Web sites now online (more popped up since the last paragraph), we decided we wanted to help fans out. So we’ve provided a breakdown of XXL’s official Best 100 Hip-Hop Web Sites, a basic guide to rap online (shout-out to Ben Detrick and Jesse Serwer!). And Thomas Golianopolous reports on the phenomenon of being an online rap star.

Jumping away from the topic of the Net for a minute, in the issue, we catch up with Snoop Dogg, do lines with Drake, learn more about OJ Da Juiceman and celebrate the lives of ODB and Mac Dre, in honor of the five-year anniversary of their deaths. If you have interest in the new Gucci Mane album, The State vs. Radric Davis, which I know you do, check page 111 for the review.

This is a double issue, folks. The mag’s not back until January. So make sure to go to XXLMag.com for your XXL fix in the meantime, to get all of your hip-hop news and needs (plug). We got you covered during the downtime. Were you worried?

Click, puff, pass,

Vanessa Satten

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  • http://www.justice.gov.za GO-Getta’

    Internet killed hip-hop…nah u just ‘ve 2 flow with the ever-changing times

  • Jhon da Analyst

    XXL……you cats are fallin off. Gucci Mane & Lil Boosie are both hot garbage and dumb as shit. Is that not why they’re locked up? Yet, you bastards seem to pump them up every chance you get. Is this the message you wanna send to the youth. Be dumb as shit, make some $$$, and go to jail. Way to empower the youth. XXL needs to check itself. Must be the money from the labels.

  • macdatruest

    I knew when the article started with a prologue about Fiddy, he was involved in this somehow. He was just on this month’s hard copy cover, with no buzz or anticipation. Now he’s on your “Internet Issue” with even less buzz. These are the type of spoon-fed accomplishments that will make XXL go the way of The Source. Still in bed with Interscope… I already know what to expect from you guys, from this and this is a poor ass way to say XXL is finshed as a magazine, and will now be a hip hop “related” bullshit site.





  • http://xxlmag.com Blakout615

    “do lines with Drake”

    No thank you, not a fan of the white.

  • http://www.myspace.com/ofromdablockgsny O. From Da BLocK

    Talking bout the internet meet Long Island, NY rapper O. From Da Block on datpiff.com and his site http://www.myspace.com/ofromdablockgsny.
    he got mixtape coming out Dec 6. 2009

  • D. $cience

    *Counts how many XXL magazines I own with 50′s face on it*

    After reading this “editorial” I realized how much XXL mirrors the current state of the Hip Hop industry right now. It’s sad that the only issue I felt was significant in a long time in XXL history was the Freshman Class of ’09 cover, because at least that issue was breaking through the industry norm. Now we need another 50 Cent cover “digitized” though?

    Funny that I mentioned in the latter part of this comment that XXL mirrors the industry. The latest issues, including this Internet issue with 50 on the cover, is proof that they’re still “trying” to sell magazines in a climate where nobody is “selling” sh**. Same thing with commercial artists like 50…he’s still “trying” to sell records with his “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” method, but in reality BISD isn’t doing “50 Cent” numbers. You can’t blame the industry neither, because 50 is “suppose” to sell more, but his repetitive, unoriginal bullsh** attempts is causing people to not buy his image.

    I know this is a long comment, but I’m just saying. If XXL doesn’t do anything to make further impact on the culture by breaking new artists and become more universal, then XXL is the 50 Cent of magazines…repetitive covers, unoriginal interviews, and will slowly see their numbers go down “before they self destruct”.

  • Chilly Willy

    Hi, Ness ! Good to see you back. With that being said, a few words.

    “50 Cent knows those haters. And he knows those wins. He just had a big one with his new album, Before I Self Destruct. Even those on the Internet with the loudest keyboards had to give it up to him and the LP with their comments”
    There ain’t been no general consensus about the actual quality of this product. This can be your opinion, which I respect, but don’t get Nadahoe on us with the haters b-s, please.

    “(Quite a few of the clips I’ve actually seen before, but who can watch too much Gucci and Boosie?)”
    I beg to differ. Gucci and Boosie are the rap equivalent of junk food. You know it’s crap. Sometimes it feels good, and you shouldn’t feel bad gettin your fix, but yes, one can eat too much junk food. Same thing with Gucci and Boosie.

    “(…)and, no, that’s not because XXL is best friends with the label. It’s because, well, who else should it be? ”
    C’mon, baby (no Saigon), we ain’t going there again, are we ? I ain’t even thinking that hard to come up with names such as KRS-One and Buckshot(solid album, always outspoken, hiphop runs in his braids), Rakim (I thought America loves a good comeback kid), shiiiiiit when was the last WuTang-related cover ? I mean, Ghost did his thing, he’s one of the most consistent evar in the game (50 ?, not so much), Rae took it back, and they all cookin up some marvellous shit right now with that tax-oblivious dude…but I guess it’s not their time yet, right ? They’re not there yet ?

    About Interscope, even you don’t believe that sentence, so basically you need more people on that one……Bol is so sloppy with his keyboard game that he basically pulls out his drops(nhjic)whenever he try to watch pr0n online, which oddly happens whenever he talks about Interscope, is that it ?

    My 2 cents


  • john deer

    it makes me very happy xxl would discuss mac dre in their magazine. you have a tendency to not talk about bay rappers in detail. you should do an article about kortney money. hes with oj da juiceman

  • chillin mayne

    vanessa, you like boosie and gucci mane?.. they’re so…unintelligble to me..regardless, why the rest of yall frontin on the 50 cent cover…this is XXL…its covers hip hop music, usually who is hottest at the time…this aint XXL the mag that covers obscure lyricists who spit hotter than any of these top sellers will….yadamean?.. so what do you expect?

    vanessa….are u a fan of pun…big??.. joell ortiz..pharoahe monch?? im just tryna gauge what type of hip hop u into, cuz that gucci mane nonsense is…..nonsense

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