XXL’s blogs list: purposely offensive?

It just so happens that Vibe’s list of the top 50 hip-hop blogs ran in one of the very last issues before karma was visited upon that magazine. It may have led, in part, to the weird situation where, when the TIs finally did pull the plug, ?uestlove from the Roots was literally the only person on Twitter who had anything good to say about Vibe, and that less because he was interested in what the Dungeon Family is up to these days than because he was afraid the Roots wouldn’t be able to get the same media coverage they did in Vibe anywhere else. But I saw, the other day, where Rolling Stone is running a feature on ?uestlove’s favorite moments so far as Jimmy Fallon’s genial black foil – the Doc Gibbs to Fallon’s Emeril Lagasse, if you will. So at least he doesn’t have to worry as much about money.

What’s more, Vibe magazine will be back on newsstands any day now. They’ve got some guys in charge, but it isn’t clear to me that the focus will be any different from the Vibe hardly anyone really liked. For example, Chris Brown is on the cover. And I think I may have read on Twitter that there’s a feature on Drake. I’ll have to check with Noz to see if they’re still allowing white guys with questionable views on rap music to indulge their every whim. An exhaustive Pimp C retrospective could be in order.

Speaking of my former coworker here at XXL, Noz has an interesting post over at “CB Rap” in which he breaks down XXL’s blog list by the numbers. It’s full of interesting statistics, like the fact that, of 100 sites on the list total, only 28 featured at least one original (not quoted or syndicated) post longer than 200 words on their front pages, while 36 mentioned Drake on their front pages, and 39 mentioned Gucci Mane. That’s dangerously close to half. There were 23 sites Noz had never heard of prior to this list, and exactly 0 he plans to visit again in the future. Damn.

I’d go through the list and see how many sites I could find that are worth a shit, in my humble opinion, but of course I’m not willing to put forth that kind of effort. I’m not even willing to try hard to get with a girl I might be able to have sex with. I’m like a panda that won’t fuck to save its species. I’d rather just crack open a bottle of Yellow Tail’s excellent Shiraz (as good as many brands that cost twice as much), turn on Californication and call it an evening. Drake knows what I’m talking about. Noz says it took him two hours to put together those stats. He’s a better man than I am. If we could get him to stop pretending he likes LCD rap, he’d be dangerous. Anyone down for an intervention? We can lie and tell him it’s a press junket for the Wacka Flocka album.

I’d suggest XXL should have capped its list at 50 sites, but you saw what happened with that Vibe list. That douche Dart Adams and a bunch of other failed hip-hop bloggers threw a bitchfit, because they weren’t mentioned. Even I had to go in on Vibe, for only ranking my site 29th. Knowing some of the people who used to work there, they probably didn’t want to mention it at all, but they figured it would be even worse if they put it way down on the list. Elliott Wilson’s RapRadar, aka RapPravda, was in the top 10, despite the fact that it may not have even been launched when Vibe put together the list. But I’m still kinda glad they did that, just because it was such a petty thing to do. The fallout from it led to several strong opportunities for lulz.

XXL’s list is almost opposite Vibe’s list, in that, rather than pissing people off by assigning each site a rank, or excluding altogether the work of less talented bloggers, it mostly just pissed off some of more prominent bloggers, with its site description. I’d applaud XXL for having the sheer balls to stick to some of the fevered egos of the hip-hop blogosphere, but I’ve been here long enough (a third a decade of dominance) to know this was almost certainly by accident.

It’s obvious they only spent enough time at some of the more obscure blogs to get a vague idea of what they’re about. A blog called Kevin Nottingham, for example, is described as “underground rap shit.” I’ll have to add that to my bookmarks. Meanwhile, they may have done too good a job of describing some of the big dogs: Notice how the description of missinfo.tv turns into an apology for the banal nature of the content. RapPravda is made to sound like a propaganda organ for Shady Records. But did XXL dis those sites on purpose, or because it’s kinda hard not to? I’m gonna suggest the latter. You try writing eight sentences about Nah Right without mentioning that the music sucks balls and the posts lack analysis. It might be impossible. And obviously they couldn’t devote any more text to the less prominent sites.

Recommended for You

Around the Web

Best of XXL

  • General

    I gotta agree that any insults taken from the list were purely by accident because it is obvious that whoever runs this site is extremely afraid to anger the wrong people, which is why you have had so many blogs pulled from the site and burried next to Hoffa…

  • Worley

    That was the first and the last time I’ll probably hear about many of those blogs. Who the hell is going to read 100 blogs on the daily. Not gonna happen.

  • Casey

    kevin nottingham is a dope site tho

  • No Mames Buey

    Dart Adams’ blog > Byron’s life

    Dart Adams recommends dope new albums by listening to 100s/yr, Byron just lazily shyts on everything.

    Byron is a Rosenbergesque douche for shyting on Dart like this.

  • No Mames Buey

    Dart Adams’ blog > Byron’s life

    Dart Adams recommends dope new albums by listening to 100s/yr, Byron just lazily shyts on everything.

    Byron is a Rosenberg-level douche for shyting on Dart like this.

  • InfamousO
  • $ykotic/Don McCaine

    “I’d rather just crack open a bottle of Yellow Tail’s excellent Shiraz (as good as many brands that cost twice as much)”

    Taking shots @ $yk huh? I’m sorry I have a little more change to spend than you do. But I made you look…

  • http://www.plasticsquirtguns.blogspot.com thoreauly77

    sheeit, xxl should have put MY blog up there. i rarely discuss hiphop, but hell, i KNOW more about it more than half these sites. and at least mine is all WRITING.

    anyhow, i will go ahead and start the argument: analytical blogs are superior to aggregated blogs. you have nahright, 2dopeboyz (shouts to meka soul)that are aggregates: they compile links and occasionally provide exclusives. then you have the unkuts, passion of the weiss, noz, dallas penn and bol who provide analysis, insight, hating, praise, and PERSPECTIVE. thats dope because its like hanging out with your friends and arguing about the nicest track on OB4CL2 (its “gihad” btw).

    • $ykotic/Don McCaine

      “Walk With Me”


      “Surgical Gloves”

      “Ason Jones”

      “Sonny’s Missing”

  • http://www.plasticsquirtguns.blogspot.com thoreauly77

    “track” means “one”, syk: take a stand!

    • $ykotic/Don McCaine


      I knew you were gonna go there sir!

      Sorry but you sparked a convo where one isn’t enough. Many agree Linx 2 is good, why not go into details?

  • http://www.ronmexicocity.com Ron Mexico

    i’m with you on the yellow tail. i keeps that in the crib. i fucks with the blends too. righteousness.

  • http://www.shabooty.com shabooty

    i prefer blogs that are powered by government cheese wheels and or yellowtail in bol’s case.

  • hate

    co-sign casey. kevinnottingham is ill

    what # were you bol?

  • btb

    i really hope yellow tail is payin you for these plugs

    trying to get a new audience among hip hop nerds or something

  • Chilly Willy

    “I’ll have to check with Noz to see if they’re still allowing white guys with questionable views on rap music to indulge their every whim. An exhaustive Pimp C retrospective could be in order.”

    Way to hold a grudge…it’s been at least 2 years, Bol, let it go.

  • Victor

    Dart Adams’ blog is slept on, one of few sites which puts a music filter indicative of the writers taste. Kevin Nottingham is ill as well.

    As for cuban linx 2 the best track is a toughie. I’m impartial towards “10 Bricks” “Gihad” “New Wu” or “Black Mozart” which is that Rza weirdness i love.

  • sealsaa

    “RapPravda is made to sound like a propaganda organ for Shady Records.”

    Yellow nig, a shill for Interscope? The HELL you say…And here I thought that 50 Cent earned his hundred or so appearances on the cover of XXL. This Uncle Ruckus(No relation)ass negro.

  • macdatruest


    Onyx was the anti Tribe Called Quest. More aggressive. “Throw Ya Guns” ain’t aggressive? “Shut ‘Em Down”? “Slam” is more aggressive than ATCQ’s whole catalog, regardless if you didn’t know Sonny Cheeba’s name.
    riiiight. And how was Onyx “aggression” instrumental to hip hop??? musta been an east coast thing. I personally feel (ahem) Onyx added no “balance” to THE GAME at the HEIGHT of their career, fuck how they balanced out Tribe. I never said they werent aggressive but so what?? Aint Fredro Starr still Hip Hop’s aggressor then? He still mad all the time. Man Onyx aint balance shit. Stop tryna play them up to prove a point.

    Treach was out there with a machete and a chain & lock around his neck. The anti CL Smooth. And your 2 examples were weak. Try “Uptown Anthem” or “Ghetto Bastard” for a better argument. People know those songs. So now one of Pac’s well known homies in the game was a coat-tailer. OK.
    Yea OK. Who the fuck called Treach a “coat-tailer” oh yea either you aggressive or you “coat-tailin huh?? weak. “Uptown Anthem” and “Ghetto Bastard” still dont define “aggression” in the form of a rapper antagonizing other rappers, which is the aggression Fiddy displayed. So really your two examples is bullshit. And guess who else had a machete and a chain and all that shit in the 90′s? TLC. weak ass portrait of aggression…Oh yea ask anybody on earth what song they know naughty by nature for and send me a dollar for everytime they say “Hip Hop Hooray” or “O.P.P.” if my examples were weak. People dont identify an artist by their most popular songs? Thought so nigga. Step ya game up…

    What you fail to realize is that I’m not comparing 50’s ANTICS OR BEEF. I’m talking about the stance. The balance of two worlds to keep the competition going. Aggressive content vs. passive content(dance, conscience, rap & blues). Even in “Purple Rain” Prince & The Revolution were the passive ones, Morris Day & The Time were the aggressors(competition).
    Yea it sounds good. Balance and ying and yang and purple rain, but how about a well rounded artist?? instead of a stable of “tough guys,” and a stable of “passive” rappers and calling that equilibrium, what about balanced artist? I can name a shitload of artist who cannot be categorized as neither because they are well rounded. Try me. Most of the time if you set out to be some pre-selected archetype you wont be around long anyway. Lil Bad Ass Lil Boosie Boo can only be so bad and so little for so long before that shit get old. Even if you a richer, more buff Lil Boosie (Fiddy)

    • $ykotic/Don McCaine


      You still on that? Like I said, there has always been competition in the game. Some with aggressive content, some passive. Simple and plain.

      And on top of that in the comment I described 3 different versions of competition. Label, political, & content. You used the 2 softest songs in NBN’s catalog to debate an aggressive content point. I stated 2 high selling “ra-ra” songs to prove my point. Whatever you say about Onyx doesn’t take away from what it was. But I will correct this:

      The “other guy” was Sonny Seez, not Sonny Cheeba. Sonny Cheeba is with CAMP LO.

      And I named Heavy D & Chubb Rock to step away from the aggressive/passive stance. They were both passive competitors. Fat boy vs. fat boy. bboycult even stated all comp is NOT AGGRESSIVE.

      Plus I clearly stated, which you even cut & pasted, that this is not about 50′s antics or beef. In the original comment I asked WHO WILL TAKE HIS PLACE. The next “big thing”, the challenger for the crown. You seem to think I’m comparing those I named to 50 Cent.

      “musta been an east coast thing”

      You’re quick to throw that East b*llsh*t in the mix though.

  • http://kevinnottingham.com Kevin

    Thanks for the shout Bol! gotta love this underground rap shit… lol