The Unbalanced Hip Hop Journalism, ‘S/O to baby lotion media’
Written by Ayella N. R.
The blog-sphere keeps getting new members to try and contribute to hip hop culture through trying to cover it in icy stories. The rate at which persons start up so called hip hop blogs or self titled music review websites is higher than the download stats of O.P.U music, given the fact that NEW Site keeps popping. With blogging platforms like WordPress, Blogger and Tumblr, opinions are published by every one to the rest of the world. The problem however is when lukewarm ‘hip hop authorities’ try present themselves as the voice to the Genre and the culture as a whole. (Actually there is no Ugandan Hip Hop Authority yet and that is slightly what this article is about in a bit)
When Bana Mutibwa released Tetubonga Nawe, a number of online tabloids presented the situation as ‘Attention seeking of hip hop artists in Uganda’ Others Called it a flop but well may be they are right or not!. Hip Hop is being treated like a fat girl. They can’t deal with the fact that she is overly grown and needs just a little shaping up to be in order. Just last Year a head line run in both Nation Medias’ Sqoop and Vision Groups’ The Kampala Sun saying Hip Hop Not Dead Just Broke. I am not even so certain if the two media houses had a deal to run such. That is what happens when the entities want to make some money off a genre built on peace, love, having fun.
How do they make money?
Hip Hop has managed to make its way to the corporate world in away that its only endorsed if the company is making money from the a prominent rapper; normally they aim for the best packaged and influential. Like the rolex some individuals in the corporate world consume the music and make sure to put it on their companies PROMO strategy. You remember the Femcee on the mountain dew add in 2011? Not that it’s a bad thing! The companies pay for your role in the AD and yet the media (Journalists) will refuse to acknowledge how far rap music (at least its the popular element) has reached. The media houses that don’t have any attachment to the genre will write positive if lets say they sponsored a rappers event.
What happened to Objective journalism?
Do you know something about ‘paid articles?’ Those that will give a total sum of money spent on videos and irrelevant reporting. Some articles sound that way without a balance and we read them in our dailies. The media ignoring some important information or events happening because when you walk to Vision Group you won’t find; Hip Hop Section desk. And it’s not like there is RNB section. The hip hop head journalist is more of none existent. If he/she is there he/she may happen to be like the so called hip hop journalists in the Blogsphere (the world of bloggers). I know going online personally gave me a voice to be able to air issues like this. Laughing at this every time i type it, Hip Hop authority!
Back to the people in the Blogsphere,I personally founded NuveyLive to create a platform that was at least objective towards hip hop as much as possible and the objective is achieved everyday. Anyone else would feel the same way and start up something for the genre. But then the question I keep asking is; Why are you getting involved? What do you do it for? With the ease of starting an outlet for hip hop in form of a blog or website the one true problem is unparalleled articles and click [clique] motivated journalism.(Click because the titles are meant to lure you to read semi informative posts and Clique – because the writers write about there buddy whole year whole season)
Boss, so about Unbalanced journalism?
This will be simple, when we are told we cannot come to your event because it is far lets say in Kajjansi (Does Kajjansi happen?) and so anything to with us is forgotten, that is one way. One thing that is misinterpreted about such a move to have a rappers event in a location far from the city centres is to try help them come up with more fans in that area. Sometimes the rappers budget might be low. For some “Hip Hop Authorities” that is taken for a problem, a reason the Journalist wont attend the event. Back to the main point, bloggers who want to attend every event to show proof they reach out Yuh Dig? And of course miss the point, the story!
When My best buddy is a friend to Rapper N and I try to build rapport with Rapper N, so may be you Know I could get a shout out or something. There is such a situation, with all the thought to be recognized attached to it. Such individuals, blogging or writing don’t have really feasible goals or objectives for the genre. Their’s is to attend a free event. I was at Keko’s Love from Venus release and a certain one person introduced them selves coming from a certain media website and hoped to be let in for free. I have made entrance for free at some events because my work was recognized and I felt a little bit awkward. I am a hip hop fun and I believe in support. So if the blogger/journalist makes it a serious point to be let in for free, if not may be they won’t ever write a story about them(the artist). The goal of such journalist is not the event or the story but its about them being in the place. And objectivity entails being open minded and for the sake of hip hop a journalist supports with criticism and credit where it due in writing.
Even the Lingo has something to do with it..
When ‘the rappers who rap in English and rappers who rap in local languages conversation’ begins you will realize where the’ journalist’ will turn. The tendency of division-ism still looms among hip hop fans and the journalists too. There are those who truly value and rock to indigenous sounds and those who love more modern hippy sounds. But it is unfortunate how some so called First Hip Hop website bla bla you know the story will claim the authority over the genre and yet they don’t even have a simple review of SHEMY B’s Ebilango Video. May be they have reason why they shouldn’t have so much indigenous sounds.
Some hide in the shade of ‘we only have Urban Culture, well my definition of urban culture informs me that, hip hop it self is urban culture whether to quote from Tucker, “in the language of the Brits or Luganda“.
There is a chance for blogs and websites that define themselves along hip hop as a niche and the possibility to create content unique enough and worth the hip hop readerships attention. But with Clique and Click Journalism where shall we be. Bloggers who have there content right have a quality to being hip Hop Authorities and this means they contribute to the intellectual debates among Ugandan hip hop fans. And those outside the circle of hip hop stand a chance to obtain well balanced information.