In the words of Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth, “Good news everyone!

Okay so usually when he says that to the crew of Planet Express he means exactly the opposite — but in our case it really IS good news. We’ve figured out our strategy to migrate the new version of RR that has been temporarily hosted at back to the original domain name where it belongs. This should speed up website performance as well as lower any confusion about where we truly are (or belong). A few things are going to change as a result of migrating back to our true home.

1.) The RapReviews RSS feed is (at least in the short term) going inactive. It was originally a great place to quickly disseminate breaking news and editorials, but WordPress allows us to do that far quicker and more fluidly than before. Honestly it has also gotten bogged down with press releases and audio singles that I shared there to make eager artists and publicists happy, but instead of easing my burden it created a bigger one as the demands on my time increased (and on the server as well). Matt Jost likes to remind me now and again to get the focus back, and turning off the feed will do that AND make the site run faster. The bottom line is simple — if something important breaks we’ll share it right here on the home page then tweet and share it instead of vice versa. The only difference you’ll notice is things just work better now.

2.) The ICYMI series is ending. The reason we had a (W)rap Up series on the old site was that it was (let’s be honest) hard to navigate, so sometimes people missed our new reviews and content. Now that we have a more functional site with an easy to use search bar at the top and all of our current content clearly laid out with big thumbnails on the home page, doing ICYMI or a (W)rap Up is redundant at best and a waste of time/resources at worst. The time put into this feature can be better spent on reviews, interviews, videos and editorials that bring you more of the content you love.

3.) To follow up on that second point, I’ll be making a concerted effort to upload more hip-hop content to our official home on YouTube. That includes both migrating the rest of our old content from our original channel (which peaked at 1/4th the number of subscribers our current home has now) and creating more content to share. This has always been a tricky problem because one of the largest hip-hop arts is of course THE MUSIC but if you even think about sharing it you’re going to get slammed with content ID matches and even worse copyright strikes straight in the face until it stabs your brain with your nose bone. Here’s the thing though – in the last 35 years I’ve amassed quite the collection of hip-hop books, albums, records, tapes, et cetera. It’s not like I can’t show you all THAT without getting any Mobb Deep style nose boning from IP holders. (Side note – if you have royalty free and copyright free instrumentals you want used as the backdrop of said videos just for the exposure please hit us up.) We will of course bring you new interviews too as time and opportunity permits.

4.) Here’s the humbling part – I know I’m the architect of this s–t but we’ve got a whole team and it’s supposed to be about everyone on it. If that requires me to submit less content to the site each week so be it. I’m sort of a workaholic by nature so that’s a hard thing to fight but I want the 61% of the site by everybody else to be as important if not more so than the 39% by me. Consequently once the migration back to the original domain name is complete our recruiting department will be open again. I’m sad to say there will be no money in it short term because web ads don’t cover our expenses and the hosting comes directly out of my pocket. We’re still going to need to get sponsorships or be Patreon funded if new talent gets paid let alone the team on deck right now. Once we break even on the costs that can happen. In the meantime you can still get on board and contribute if you’ve got the time and the skills to do it.

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading and for joining us for this week’s update.