Hoodhype: A Lesson In The Value of Being You

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Do you remember that “Hey Love” commercial for the R&B compilation album where three guys are sitting on a couch across from three ladies bored as hell and one of the guys says “Hey y’all, I got a great new album in the mail today”? I’m kind of a nerd about obscure commercials and songs that used to play on BET Soul so maybe you don’t, but the most famous line from that commercial was “Noooo my brother. You’ve got to buy your own”. Still doesn’t ring a bell? Maybe this will:

Not too long ago  my lady and I were up after a long day of dealing with the kids, making a late dinner. All we wanted was some good music to jam out to, preferably Hip Hop, since that’s what we both love. We turned to Last.fm but were tired of the same old songs that played from my music library. We turned to Pandora but were tired of the same old songs from the 90’s golden era of Hip Hop we usually rock out to. We turned to the blogs but sorting through all the stuff that sucked to find something to listen to was too much of a process. Everything seemed to be failing us.

A light bulb went off in my head as I thought “Hoodhype”. For those that don’t know, Hoodhype is a weekly online radio show and podcast. They came through in the clutch. Good music, good conversation, kept my lady laughing, and had her looking up new artists whose music they played that she’d never heard of. In the episode we caught they were discussing Lil Wayne’s Leopard skinned Jeggings. Not to go too much into it, the show was just funny and mad entertaining.

I first discovered the show when I was searching for Hip Hop podcasts to get my music placed on. Back then they were like a lot of other media that claimed to serve the unsigned community. Artists know the drill. You submit a song to a competition and then send all of your friends to the website where the competition is being held in order to win some type of prize or get your track played, but they played all of the songs that were in the contest on their podcast. In fact, the only way you could hear the songs in the contest were to listen to the podcast or visit the artist’s myspace page/website and hear the music there. I would assume their preference was that people would elect to listen to the podcast over going to each artist’s site. Something tells me that most people elected to do neither.

I assume that most of the people that artist sent to the site knew the artist’s music and weren’t interested in hearing the other artist. They just wanted to show their support and vote for the artist they knew, a practice that wouldn’t earn the show many new listeners. Another thing the show did to generate traffic was interview established artist every episode. Though the tactics used to build awareness of the radio show made a lot of sense, they created a dependency. What if the artist in the contest didn’t have fans to send to vote, what if the people they sent there to vote just voted and didn’t bother to listen to the show, what if they couldn’t secure a known artist as a guest?

On the Hoodhype blog Major put up a post titled “Your Passion is the best marketing tool you have.” I found it rather fitting that he would write that post because as he stated to me “[The show] got popular when Major said let’s stop trying to be what we’re not and say fuck it… do what WE want… that’s what really did it man…” Now the show centers around three guys; two blacks (Major & Phro) and a whitie ( J Mack) and what interest them.

I don’t tune in to hear any particular artist’s music or interview. I tune in to hear them talk shit about artist’s music, various other topics like SOPA, and hear some hot new Hip Hop. The development of their show really is testament to a term my lady coined “sticktoitiveness”. In this Hip Hop music industry where everybody is whatever they think they need to be to get a deal, what gets lost is the importance and value of being one’s self, the individual uniqueness of our personalities and perspectives. Hoodhype has a segment called “Bump It or Dump It”. Any radio show could have a segment like “Bump it or Dump it”, I’ve come across a few that have, but not many can make it as entertaining as Phro, Major, and J Mack.

The show kind of reminds me of Stretch Armstrong’s Future Flavors show mixed with Ed Lover & Dr. Dre’s show, minus a lot of the antics. I don’t always listen to Hip Hop podcasts, but when I do, I listen to Hoodhype.

Check for Hoodyhpe every Thursday at 7:30 pm Eastern @ Hoodhype.com. If you’re an artist you should definitely head over and submit some music for airplay consideration.

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