HiphopDX Editorial Policy

Hi there, I hope you find this constructive rather than rude, but I can't help but think editorial on HiphopDX such as the following link, runs the risk of making the site something more like TMZ than the respected, insightful and credible publication I've not it to be for many, many years. Whilst there is no doubt a thirst for celebrity news and 'he said, she said' stories, I challenge you to consider if they have a place on HiphopDX moving forward. There's so much more you could be writing about. Should you feel inclined to continue with the tabloid style stuff, can we at least keep it within hiphop. Okay, Beyonce's married to Jay Z, but she's not hiphop... Thanks. Keep up the good of the work you do. http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id...
1 person has
this question
+1
Reply
  • Thank you for reaching out, Tony.

    This is actually something that we debate internally everyday: To run the story or not run the story. Our content strategy is simple. We write about Hip Hop music culture, but also the most relevant R&B artists because Hip Hop and R&B are first cousins, if not siblings. So when you see a review on Trey Songz "Trigga" or read a story about Rihanna's tour, that's where the position originated. Throughout out it's 15 year history, DX has always covered the most relevant names and sounds in R&B. That's the first thing.

    But to your primary point, Hip Hop's evolution presents a number of challenges to modern music publications, one of which is the rising prominence of "Gossipy Rapper Says..." stories. Everyone from ESPN to TMZ are covering emcees from a celebrity standpoint. "Such and such was at such and such wearing such and such when such and such showed up causing such and such to leave the club screaming such and such..." It's all happening everyday in real time. Walking that tight rope is hairline receding. These are the times when our content strategy is most important.

    So here's the thing about DX: We don't cover sneakers. We don't cover video games. We don't cover athletes. We don't cover fashion. We don't cover Game of Thrones. We cover Hip Hop music culture, which includes the artists. We cover artists when they do awesome things. We cover artists when they do awful things. That's our fiduciary responsibility to our audience. None of our exclusives take a gossipy approach. There isn't a HipHopDX exclusive conversation in any section that's ever based on conjecture. That's not how we choose to use our voice. But choosing which TMZ-type stories to aggregate is critical because of the times we are in. Ignoring a Jay Z vs. Solange elevator fight ignores members of our audience that appreciates that type of conversation. We don't always adhere to that audience, but we have to understand them.

    Now about the story. In this case we looked at three things:

    1. Star is one of Hip Hop's most venerable shock jocks. The work he did at Hot 97 and every other station he's carried is an indelible part of Hip Hop history. He currently has a super popular radio show as well. The story is about what a storied voice said in his interview with DJ VLAD.

    2. Star is talking about Jay Z and Beyonce, who will both likely always be covered by HipHopDX in some fashion. They're just that big.

    3. In this conversation, Star is sharing his opinion on Jay Z and Beyonce's relationship four months after the elevator video of Solange attacking Jay Z surfaced, which started a firestorm of questions surrounding the stability of "Hip Hop's First Family" (if such a moniker makes sense outside of politics). It's a piece not far from the unfortunate news cycle.

    That's the reasoning behind the piece. I sincerely appreciate your comment, Tony. The most important people to us are our audiences. The artists come after that. If we're losing you all, we're doing everything wrong. Thank you for holding our feet to the fire. Everyday we're working to improve and it's people like you who help us do so. If you have a moment, send over your address and T-shirt size. I'd love to send you a DX t-shirt for taking the time to offer ways for us to get better.

    Justin Hunte
    Editor-in-Chief
    HipHopDX
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned happy, confident, thankful, excited sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • Hi Justin,

    Thank you very much for taking so much time to get back to my message, and promptly too.

    I am pleased to hear of the daily internal conversations you have along these lines and feel much more at ease that you're not oblivious to my points, as the editorial teams of far lesser hiphop music and culture websites seem to be.

    In reflection, whilst I definitely do not enjoy the more tabloid style news reports on the site, I was in part writing out of frustration that there is so much of it throughout the actual culture itself offline, and that to some degree, in some corners of the culture, things resemble more of a soap opera than the greater entity it once was and could continue to be. Of course I don't blame or hold HipHop Dx for that!

    I'm not oblivious to the perils of running a publication or commercial entity, and the need to do things that you'd much less prefer to do than, say, a line by line annotation of LL Cool J's rarest of tracks, as I work in marketing myself.

    I actually once ran Rapnews.co.uk which was the biggest hiphop culture publication online in the UK at the time. The bigger the site grew, the more broad a range of music I found ourselves reporting on, we moved further and further away from the 'underground, non for profit e-zine' we started out as and readers started dropping off before it eventually closed. So I sympathise with the balance you find yourself having to strike.

    Perhaps someone can develop a 'No Gossip' browser plugin for us grumpy purists. In the meantime, I wish you all the best. I'd love a t-shirt if you don't mind shipping to the UK. And perhaps I could send an article or feature your way some time, on one of the better acts on these shores.

    Thanks again, apologise for the grumpiness and good luck.

    Tony.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned happy, confident, thankful, excited sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • A 'No Gossip' plugin for purists!! That's an awesome idea. I also like the LL Cool J annotation idea as well. Feel free to pitch any stories you think would work on DX. My email address is justin@hiphopdx.com. Thanks again, Tony.

    Oh and we definitely don't mind mailing a shirt across the pond. Send over your address whenever you get a chance.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. indifferent, undecided, unconcerned happy, confident, thankful, excited sad, anxious, confused, frustrated kidding, amused, unsure, silly