Jim Jones, Miss Info, Lil' B & More Fire Back On Federal OnSmash Shutdown [UPDATED]
The shutdown of rap blogs OnSmash.com, Dajaz1.com and RapGodfathers.com might be only the first attack in the battle of ICE vs. The Internets. VIBE rounded up some of the biggest personalities in the hip-hop blogosphere to collect their thoughts on the future of posting up and taking down. —Compiled by Mikey Fresh and John Kennedy
Naledge (Rapper, one-half of Kidz In The Hall):"Blog sites give power to the consumer to decide who they like without filter. It's refreshing to me, but also scary because we have to monetize our work somehow. Sites like OnSmash have made us popular but haven't made us rich. But we can't censor them...we gotta be creative."
Shaheem Reid (Journalist): "My opinion in the situation is the government shouldn't just indiscriminately shut down these hip-hop websites. There are many such as MissInfo.tv, RapRadar.com and of course Nahright.com and their affiliates that are a great service to the game and are a vital part of the new hip-hop life line. With that said, there are many crooks out there in cyberspace who don't care about journalism and steal everything they can as far as footage and music. Seizing of websites should be done on a case by case basis and in conjunction with labels and tv staions, but especially with the artists. HoF from OnSmash is my man. He's a respectable cat and I think it was a huge mistake to put him in the same category as the cyber criminals. Same with Dajaz1.com. That's one of my go-to websites. I know plenty or artists who go to onsmash and dajaz1.com with exclusive content.
B. Dot (RapRadar.com): "Biggie said it best, things done changed for real. This is kind of like the mixtape debacle DJ Drama and Don Cannon went through three years ago. It puts a lot of sites at risk because it came without warning. Now a lot of sites—including myself—are walking on eggshells and are more cautious of posting certain content."
Miss Info (MissInfo.tv): "I'm not about to delve into the ethics of music blogging, and whether or not music should be online where it can be downloaded or heard, royalty-free. It is this way now. But I agreed when Nahright's Eskay said on twitter, along with a whole lot of other gems, that it's ironic how labels put getting their artists on music blogs at the top of their marketing plans with one hand, and report those same blogs to the RIAA with the other hand. Not all blogs are the same. And yes, there are blogs and forums that get pirated movies, software, whole albums, porn. Maybe some of it comes from hackers or inside leaks. The easiest way to find those download links is on Google and Twitter. But those are not as easy to take down, I guess. As for Homeland Security, if they took "six months" to come to the conclusion that a site like Onsmash, which works in concert with artists and labels to deliver music, videos, reviews and news to their fans... is as 'dangerous' to the public as a website that sell counterfeit bags... then that leaves me feeling highly 'insecure'."
Jim Jones (Rapper): “This is bad enough that the climate of the industry is cold. Using viral outlets such as Onsmash makes us hot, once they take that away from us what outlets are we going to use to help feed our families.”
Karen Civil (KarenCivil.com): "I understand to a certain degree, they want to cut down on Internet piracy and limit the file sharing done on music. Before they can implement a policy they need to make sure they have a better understanding of what sites 'are to blame' It's not fair to hip-hop websites that get caught in the crossfire. For instance, OnSmash.com has done what record labels couldn't do, help a new undiscovered artist reach a new audience and create a fan base. They were a label friendly site, who had no qualms of removing music if asked. They helped break the career of people like Emilio Rojas, J. Cole, Joell Ortiz, and Troy Ave to name a few. When you look at XXL's freshman cover, you're looking at a majority of artists OnSmash.com helped create. Rather than sending C&D's they need to start sending thank-you cards. #freeonsmash"
(Rapper): "This is devastating to an artist like me who works with and trusts blogs and online websites. They are shutting down my team. It’s something that hurts and must be stopped."