Monday, November 13, 2006

Republicans Lose House, Congress Same Week The Beat Turns 1 Y.O. (concidence?)

So, last week the Demos demolished the Repubs in a true display of voter power, symbolically ending the Bush administration's stranglehold on national politics and turning George Dubya into a very lame-duck chief commanding officer.

Not a bad way to pre-celebrate one year of hip-hop blogging for The Beat.

This week marks the first anniversary of The Beat. But it's not about politics or the hope of a better America that has driven me to dutifully churn out 70 posts during the past 12 months. The Beat started out as a cool idea by my editorial superiors, hungry to bring in a young demographic that will, supposedly, stick around to check out what else my newspaper is covering.

However, I took it as an opportunity to provide left-of-center coverage to local and national stories involving urban pop culture, particularly where hip-hop music was concerned. I've done so with concert reviews, trendspotting, Q&A's and general observation pieces. I'd like to think I've achieved some success in each of these endeavors, along with a modest net following (since we started keeping track of blog traffic in May, The Beat has averaged 700-900 hits a month).

Sure, I've come out the side of my neck with a of my statements - I dissed The Game to my undoing, mistaken one Marley brother for another - but that's the way the blogging game goes. On top of the corrections, I've been called a racist and told that I have no idea what I'm talking about, albeit by people who were probably racists themselves and had no idea what they were talking about.

All of that is cool and the gang, because I'm not afraid to admit my mistakes and, more importantly, I'm not afraid to go out on a limb and speak my mind. To borrow a quote from one exiled opinion personality, former KNBR radio host Larry Krueger, "I'm often wrong, but seldom in doubt."

In taking stock of the good, I realize there's been plenty to go around: my trendspotting on local hip-hop groups and Web sites has led to cover articles in rival publications (it's all good if you use my blog to get story ideas, just make sure you spell it C-A-B-R-E-R-A); I've managed to do interviews with several artists whom I respect and admire (M-1 of Dead Prez, Zion of Zion I and Aesop Rock come to mind) and I've gotten to see a ton of free shows! But I'm not bragging.

So, as 2006 comes to a close and 2007 veers on the horizon, I will make a sophomore year campaign promise to continue my honest coverage of urban culture, be it local, national or international.

This next year I hope to include even more coverage of local artists, but y'all have to help me out on this one. If you know of anyone out there looking for a show review or who has a new album, hit me up.

I hope my hit numbers can increase, so again, I'll need your support. Tell a friend about The Beat, and let everybody in on the action.

Who knows, if we play our cards right, we may get The Beat elected to the Oval Office by 2012.

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