Hip-hop music can be heard blasting from The Set every Friday or the television sets tuned into BET. Now it can be heard and seen on an Internet blog created by two Florida A&M University students. Seth Lewis, a 19-year-old sophomore broadcast journalism student from Baltimore and Cornel Wedge, a 20-year-old sophomore business student from Washington, D.C., frequently found the topic of hip-hop music present in their conversations and wanted to share their thoughts with others.
This desire prompted the duo to create their own blog called “The Liberators of Hip-Hop.”
The blog itself is “dedicated to giving a spotlight to artists many have not heard about, while providing information relevant to the hip-hop community,” according to the web site. Although the blog focuses mainly on hip-hop music and culture, it also covers topics such as R&B, Neo-Soul, Poetry, DJing, Graffiti and B-Boying.
Lewis and Wedge met each other before arriving at FAMU and quickly saw the advantages to working together.
“I met Seth when I was back home before school started on Facebook and we realized that we had some of the same musical interests,” Wedge said. Lewis and Wedge created the blog in December 2007 and they receive 150 to 200 visitors a day.
The original title of the blog was “Something for the People.” After some thought, Wedge and Lewis decided to change the name to “The Liberators of Hip-Hop” because they believed they were giving true lovers of the genre a chance to shine, instead of focusing on mainstream music.
“We believed we were giving our opinions to people. We later realized that the original title wasn’t catchy enough and it didn’t relate to the topic,” said Lewis.
The blog’s authors are five students, including Lewis and Wedge, who attend college all over the country. Lewis believes the hardest part of creating the blog was obtaining a creative layout, especially with the conflicting ideas of five separate students, who all believed they had the best idea.
“We struggled to get a layout because we wanted something that would grab someone’s attention,” said Lewis, who eventually had the layout done by a personal friend.
The site hosts plenty of popular interviews, the most popular being an interview of Nicolay, Kay and Phonte, members of the music group Foreign Exchange. Lewis says this interview has shown up on a few other web sites. He has also interviewed rappers Big Pooh and Phonte, members of Little Brother.
Many students have enjoyed visiting the blog.
Autumn Daniels, a 19-year-old pharmacy student from Deltona, Fla. said she enjoyed the time she spent browsing through the blog and wouldn’t mind becoming a subscriber.
“I like the fact that it was created by people my age and that it covers the black entertainment industry,” said Daniels.
With over twelve hundred posts, Lewis hopes the blog will continue to be successful.
“I hope it gets to the point where we are a big name and occasionally get invited to album listening parties and such. Maybe later on we will be featured in a magazine.”
The blog can be viewed at www.theliberatorsofhiphop.com
–Leslie Moore Correspondent