I hope everybody is doing well right now and following the recommended guidelines to stay healthy during the coronavirus pandemic. There is no vaccine for COVID-19 right now and there probably won’t be for at least a year, so homemade masks, social distancing and good hygiene are the only sensible way to proceed. If you do go to the store for essential needs please follow all of these guidelines and any others recommended by your local government where you live. DO NOT HOARD items like toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Only buy what you need for yourself and your family. Be mindful of the fact that if you buy all of the cleaning products, how are OTHER people supposed to practice good hygiene? We all need to work together to flatten the curve and keep the spread of COVID-19 down.

It’s strange to me to ask for your help in a time where we’re all worried about ourselves, our families, and our future. Unfortunately the economic realities of running a large website like RapReviews haven’t really changed, while the potential sources of income certainly have. The hosting costs between $60-$75 a month (it fluctuates based on the value of the Euro) and as of this writing Patreon support is between 25-40% of that total. I write for MMA Mania as a sports reporter interviewing fighters and covering fights to make up the difference, and obviously during a pandemic like this there ARE no fights taking place. Even though our editor-in-chief has been incredibly supportive and encouraged us to all “get creative” this obviously puts the source of income I need to cover the webhosting in jeopardy. At this point we may not have MMA fights again before AUGUST.

It’s not an ideal situation. If RapReviews was 100% funded by patrons we wouldn’t need banner ads and I wouldn’t need a second job to cover the hosting, but the costs of hosting don’t go away even during a crisis like this. I’ve told fellow writer Matt Jost that it makes me uncomfortable to do “e-begging” so I hope you all know that I wouldn’t ask for your support if I didn’t think ours was an endeavor worth supporting. As the people who have already pledged tell me, ours is the rare voice in the music industry that’s completely independent, not part of a major media conglomerate of websites, not answering to the demands of record labels or large advertisers. We can cover what we want and what YOU want.

It’s difficult under the best of circumstances to ask you to reach into your wallet and give us a dollar (or more) a month, and these are FAR from the best circumstances. I can only tell you this — if you need something to read other than the depressing news that we get about the pandemic day after day, a dollar a month is less than your Starbucks-to-go, your subscription to the local newspaper, or a gallon of gas (though that prices keeps dropping) and where are we driving to anyway? Other than food or medicine we’re all staying home right now, so if you pledge to support RapReviews your dollar provides you something to read every week AND whenever you like. Our archives have 8,000+ reviews and articles and we’re constantly working on new content for you. Our whole team does this for the love of hip-hop and you the reader because we’re not taking a salary from it. Please take care of yourselves, be safe, and enjoy the content whether you pledge or not. Thank you.

Steve ‘Flash’ Juon, RapReviews.com