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not to reign on your parade, but i do believe rebirthmag.com was the first real hip hop 'blog', ryan waxenberg, aka waxdaddy went onto found formulawerks and other companies. so its nice and all to credit yourself as a pioneer but the truth of the matter is, ryan and others were doing it a good 2-3 years prior to you. respect the architects..


I can hum along to every track of Smoothe the Hustler's first album. From memory. Including skits.

Face it. I'm the Original, my dude.

Nathan Driver

Can't wait to see how everything is traced to here man. Congrats on all your early success and wish many blessings upon you.


wow its been that long?
I remember being one of those lowly subscribers..
I look forward to your new blog and hopefully will learn a few things.. Good to see ya back.


also lettin u know theres an address on 8th ave that comes up when I subscribed. Theres an apt # too. Don't know if you meant to post that :\


Thanks, WaterblockNYC. I changed the address to the correct one.

Cameron King

Congrats on all your success man. This was an interesting read, very inspirational. I just subscribed to the newsletter. Good luck w/ your future endeavors.


great album hashim. don't make you original but still, look into it and you'll see i'm right. hell, if you all linked up, look up ryan waxenberg and aks him.


All jokes aside, Spitler as soon as I read what you wrote I looked up Ryan to see how we could connect. I love talking to any of the triple OG's out there

Span Cole

My children were listening to a song on a online radio cast from a group called "RTBYM". I thought it was some of the most conscious rap that I've heard in a long time. They even have a ringtone for iPhones @ the iPhone store. I hope that maybe this group will get a review on your page soon. Just something I thought after listening would be uplifting for our community and our youth if only it gets more play.



real talk hash, people been doing this kinda ish pre-blogs and what not, you want a real interesting view on who really started this whole championing obscure hip-hop movement, talk to some of them mp3 ripping groups. they been doing the equivalent of what blogs are doing now for damn near 15 years. they're the ones who deserve the real credit. i can think of a lot of records added to my collection cause of stuff i downloaded that they ripped.

Jay Smooth

Rebirthmag was not a blog. Maybe it became one later but at that time it was (as the name suggests) a magazine style site, and far from the first site to represent hip-hop in that manner.

When it comes to being a hip-hop blogger, this post is correct: Jon from Hip-Hop Anonymous, myself and Hashim were the first. (you could make a case for lynne d johnson and maybe one or two others)


Rebirthmag focused on overlooked/indepedent hip hop artists and promoted them. How is that any different than 99% of blogs that exist nowadays? They had editorials and what not as well as one would find on any type of blog, and yes, it had mag in it's name, but I'm sure Ryan will confirm this; it was done to legitimize a medium that had no respect in mainstream media. Calling it a mag(azine) just made it easier for doors to open, but it was essentially just a blog, albeit pre-blogs. Its nice that you're taking credit for legitimizing hip hop blogs but thats simply not true. Give props to Ryan and the rest of the Rebirth crew for giving birth to the rest of y'all. I'd like you to name a similar site that existed before it?

I can't think of any and I've been fairly net and tech savvy for a good 12-15 years, so please jay smooth, enlighten me.. or are we just conveniently re-writing history to heap accolades on ourselves?


I'm pretty sure Hashim is correct. Sure, there have been people writing about hip hop online before blogs existed in the format they do now (forums, message boards, online email lists)....but in terms of an independent blogger writing about hiphop on a blog? That's definitely located right here. No offense spitler but you're def off the mark here.

Lynne d Johnson

Thanks for mentioning me Jay. Back in the early days of my blog (2001) was when I started. I blogged a lot more about music, and specifically hip-hop music, lifestyle, and culture. I was writing early reviews and giving out samples of stuff way before it even came out. I even held the title of hip-hop feminist blogger for a while until there were others.

But the way I remember it, is as Hashim said it was.

Sure, I was even someone who was writing online about hip-hop pre 2001, but not for a blog. It was for an online mag, a print mag that had an online component, or an online community. If we want to go that route, there are loads of names I can throw out.

Not sure if you guys even know what NetNoir was, but Greg Tate was a music editor for it at a point, and people like dream hampton wrote for it, but again not a blog, and that's the way I feel about Rebirthmag.


if it looks like a blog, reads like a blog and has the exact same content as a 'blog' but existed prior to the word blog, does that not make it a blog?
from wikipedia: A blog (a contraction of the term "web log")[1] is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video.

So rebirthmag, which only existed on the net, and was not the online portion of a regular print mag, and had the exact same content as what we now call 'blogs' is not a blog, why?

Perhaps I am mistaken in crediting rebirthmag as being the first hip-hop blog, but it's the first one i remember (and yes, i would call it a blog) and pre-dates anything anyone has mentioned here, with the exception of a vague references to sites like netnoir, which is not a music site so therefore cannot be considered a hip hop blog.

Rebirthmag focused on hip hop and hip hop only. It put shine on artists that nobody was paying attention to at the time (isn't that the cornerstone of blogs now??), as well as commentary on the hip hop scene and reviews/promotions of concerts and new singles/albums/etc.. again, how is that different then a 'blog'?

Anywho, even if i am wrong about rebirthmag being the first 'blog', it still proves my point that hip hop blogs existed long before hashim, jay or liz were 'blogging' and that Hashim is not the innovator he claims to be on this site. Everything you've listed to credit yourself as the first hip hop blogger existed well before you ever threw your hat in the ring, and rebirthmag was the first site that sprung to mind. the only thing you've done that they didn't do was email people tips on how to blog (again, more than likely because it existed for the most part pre-blogs).. so again, please explain to me the innovation here?
and Lynne, i'd appreciate if you said what sites it were you were writing for pre-2001, because as outrageous as my claims may seem to some, I've backed it up with names/sites that can be checked and verified. Not vague statements concerning anonymous online mag's. oh, and since you too have written for an online mag.. can you explain to me exactly what the difference is? XXL's only original content (i haven't checked that site in years so forgive my ignance) were the blogs by bol, noz, etc, etc (oh and eyecandy).. so is XXL a blog or a magazine? Where do you draw the line? Seems to me that people are conveniently drawing lines here and there to make themselves appear as pioneers when they so clearly were not. I may be wrong about rebirth, but I am definitely not wrong about you guys being the 'first' bloggers... unless you have some vastly different definition of what a blogger is..

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