The next blog I'm honoring in my Livications series is Oh Word. I've been following Oh Word since late 2005 back when the Hip Hop blogging scene really first got poppin'. There had been the regular Hip Hop sites and messageboards that came and gone over the years but Oh Word stood out from the rest. The Halftime Online's, and Unkut.com's where putting you up on the past and present but Oh Word not only highlighted what was going on in the burgeoning Hip Hop blogosphere (it wasn't a bloggerverse yet) but it gave it's own unique perspective on the worlds of blogging, the internet and Hip Hop as a whole. Does everyone remember those old Wu Tang vs. Peanuts strips? Those joints were crazy! Shout out to Agent B!
As is the case with most innovators, there are biters. When Oh Word launched their "50 Incredible Rap Songs You Need To Hear Right Now", bloggers and online users took them and posted them up on other sites and never gave them credit (they got caught out there eventually). I used it as inspiration to create my own "Top 50 MySpace Producers That You Need To Hear Right Now" series. Back when Rafi used to do his This Week In Blogging drops on Oh Word, my lone goal in my early blogging career was to make that list.
Whether it was leading in the field of viral videos as half of the Internets Celebrities (and inspiring more copycats), bringing the world the first glimpses of Cam'ron's rhyme book or informing the public about how to live with the affliction known as Baduizm (Erykah herself responded @ #69), the heads at Oh Word are head and shoulders above the rest. Whether it's R.H.S. and his stream of consciousness rants or Sach Orenstein's unique take on Hip Hop and popular culture or one of Abe Beane's drops the site never disappoints or fails to either make you open your eyes or just make you laugh.
This summer, I responded to one of Sach O's posts on Oh Word regarding the sad state of Hip Hop in 2008 and it went across the bloggerverse in record time. Oh Word remains the place where the online Hip Hop community comes to exchange ideas and comment about the current climate surrounding not only Hip Hop but the entire internet and bloggerverse as well. In the spirit of an Oh Word feature I present to you my interpretation of Rafi Kam having the good fortune to show up as a contestant on Jeopardy! during Hip Hop Week:
Hello, I'm Alex Trebek! Welcome to a special themed week of Jeopardy! where all of the questions will be about Hip Hop and Hip Hop culture. Today's contestants are Brown University Physics professor Dr. Christmas Jones, retired police detective and crime novel author Lincoln Rhyme and writer, blogger and filmmaker Rafi Kam. Now that we've met our contestants, let's get started and play Jeopardy!
Today's categories are as follows: "I'll Slow Flow Y'all To Death", the clues describe an emcee who raps slow and you must identify them. "Kick This One Here For Me And My DJ", identify the DJ described by our clue. "To The Beat, Y'all", this category is for rappers that are famous for being offbeat." Clans, Posses, Crews & Clicks", the clue runs down a list of emcees and you tell us who they're affiliated with. "Def Jam", all of the clues pertain to the iconic rap label Def Jam Records and finally "The Writer's Bench", the clues describe a grafitti writer and you have to give us his or her identity. Mr. Rhyme we begin with you, please pick first.
Umm..I'll take "To The Beat, Y'all" for $100, Alex. Okay, let's read the clue: His tendacy to go off beat on classics like "Magic's Wand", "Big Mouth", "Freaks Come Out At Night" and "Friends" made him the pioneer of the offbeat rap flow. Rafi? Who is Jalil? Correct! You now have control of the board. I'll take "I'll Slow Y'all To Death" for $100, Alex. The clue is: This brother from Brentwood, Long Island is also known as Mr. Slow Flow. Who is PMD? Correct. I'll take "I'll Slow Flow Y'all To Death" for $400, Alex.
The clue is: This Likwit Crew member debuted with the underground single "Bionic" on ABB Records in 1997. Who is Defari? Correct again, Rafi! I'll take the same category for $500. And the clue is: As half of the underground duo Dilated Peoples he's also known as the guy who always rhymes about the weather. Who is Evidence? Correct. *Applause* Impressive start, Mr. Kam. You're up to $1000 now, Rafi. Please pick a category. I'll go with "Kick This One Here For Me And My DJ" for $500, Alex. Feeling ambitious, are you?
Here's the clue: The DJ referred to in the title of this category manned the wheels of steels behind MC Lyte. Who is DJ K Rock? Correct again, Rafi! I'll take "Clans. Posses, Crews and Clicks" for $500. The clue is...A Daily Double. Rafi, you're currently the leader at $1500. How much are you willing to wager? All of it. Alright, and the clue is: Goldy, Father Dom, Ant Banks, Too Short. Who are the Dangerous Crew? Correct! *Thunderous applause* And you're now sitting at $3000 and you still have control of the board.
I'll take "Writer's Bench" for $400, Alex. Alright Rafi, the clue is: Even though he lost an arm...Who is KASE2? Correct. "Writer's Bench" for $500. The clue: The phrase "Wild Style" is attributed to...Who is Tracy 168? Correct again, Rafi! *Thunderous applause* You're in the lead at $3900 and none of our other contestants have even attempted to buzz in yet! You still have control of the board, Mr. Kam. I'll go with Def Jam for $500. Okay, the clue is: The first release bearing the Def Jam title was the single "It's Yours" by what lyrical king? Who is T La Rock? Of course it is, you can hear his influence in early LL Cool J recordings.
I'll try "To The Beat, Y'all" for $500, Alex. OK Rafi, the clue is: This brother of Master P...Who is Silkk The Shocker? Correct again. I'll go with "Clans, Posses, Crews And Clicks" for $400. And the clue: D.U., Az Iz, Denzy, Axe. Who are The Outsidahz? Right again. You now have $5300 and total control of the board. Just out of curiousity, Mr. Kam...What kind of blog do you happen to run again?