By Jolie Sanchez
Hip-hop has become one of the world’s most progressive contemporary cultures, despite barely notching four decades on the musical timeline. From movie placements to fashion and luxury brand commercials, hip-hop pervades nearly all facets of everyday life. While we continue to pay respect to the MCs who fuel its spirit, RapFix also recognizes the influencers who help it thrive. Below our team highlights five Culture MVPs who epitomize innovation and have stimulated growth within hip-hop’s movement.
Elliott Wilson (Rap Radar)
Before hip-hop became immersed in the world of 140 characters, there was good old-fashioned print journalism. Elliott Wilson, current chief of RapRadar.com and Respect Magazine, is the face of hip-hop journalism and at this point its safe to call him a culture historian as well. He has contributed iconic cover stories and lent his editing expertise to pioneering media platforms like XXL and The Source.
Steve & Sav (Best of Both Offices)
When they’re not hosting a conference call for the Def Jam roster, Steve and Sav are maintaining their brainchild Best Of Both Offices. Aside from premiering some top-notch exclusives, the site doubles for a brand development resource helping to market artists of all ranks.
Chuck Creekmur (AllHipHop)
Who knows where we’d be without the digital innovations of Chuck Creekmur. As a co-founder of AllHipHop.com, Chuck made way for the influx of hip-hop blogs by pioneering a new form of music promotion. Even with the fast pace of today’s blogosphere, Creekmur keeps the site relevant, establishing it as an authority on all things hip-hop.
Jake Paine (HipHopDx)
Jake Paine got his start covering west coast rap in 2000, before joining the team at AllHipHop two years later. After working freelance for a year, he signed on as part of the full-time staff at AHH and remained there until he landed a position at HipHopDx in 2007. Paine, now the editor-in-chief of HipHopDx, keeps the site updated with daily news, reviews, interviews and other original content that include his own personal essays.
This Is 50
Founded on the mantra of rapper and businessman, 50 cent, Thisis50.com has managed to shed gimmicky labels and remain a leading source of content in the hip-hop Net waves. The site has garnered over 22 million views on its interview series alone, spotlighting acts with insightful Q&As.
Lee “Q” O’Denat (WorldStarHipHop)
The mastermind behind video blog, WorldStarHipHop, Q left an indelible mark on the web world. Juxtaposing music with jerky video submissions, the site’s addictive nature will turn its worst critic into the biggest hypocrite. There’s not much else to be said about the founder, who has managed to keep a low profile despite running one of the top 300 sites in the United States.