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Are Bloggers the New Curators of Hip Hop?

#sxsw #HipHopBloggers

With a growing demand for the latest music and news around the clock, Hip Hop blogs have become the go-to destination for most fans to consume information. Should that level of power and influence also come with great responsibility? Find out how bloggers build their fan bases, what revenue streams keep the lights on, their relationship with labels and how they decide what is featured on their sites, and more.


MODERATOR Nick Huff Dir/Journalist Hard Knock TV

Hard Knock TV lives up to the motto “Curators of Fresh” because of their unparalleled track record for being the first to discover
emerging trends and talent on the rise to superstardom. Nick has had the opportunity to interview and expose new artists to a large
audience, often before they become household names. Hard Knock TV's Youtube channel has 55 Million Views and 65 thousand subscribers and features the MOST VIEWED video interviews for some of the fastest rising stars such as such as Wiz Khalifa, J Cole, Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Mac Miller, Tyga and Big Sean, just to name a few.

Elliott Wilson CEO Rap Radar

B Dot Rap Radar

Brian "B.Dot" Miller is a journalist from Queens, New York. A 2006 graduate of Delaware State University, he's written for XXL, RIDES, Essence and VIBE. He's also appeared on BET, MTV, Sirius/XM, and Fox News. Brian is currently Content Director at

Ashley Outrageous

Ashley Outrageous is a hip-hop aficionado and culture mover. The young media maven and mogul who calls South Florida her home, was named one of The Source Magazine’s Digital Power 30 and has become an innovator and tastemaker within the hip-hop community and entertainment industry. In a male dominated climate, Ashley has created her own lane through her website, where she doesn’t just chat about her music knowledge – she backs it up. In addition to the latest news and exclusive interviews with some of today’s most progressive artists, Ashley has also turned the website into a platform to curate an array successful live events in South Florida featuring artists that range from superstars like Curren$y and Big Sean, to promising up and comers. The following and influential reach Ashley’s building has been noticed by iconic companies such as: Heineken, who selected her for their 2012 “Open Your World” Campaign, creative agency Team Epiphany who have tapped Ashley to work with their long list of clients to help enhance the live experience at many of their events, and Live Nation who drew upon her skills to coordinate a pre-show mixer for one of Kendrick Lamar’s Miami tour stops. She has also lent her efforts to music festivals like SXSW, A3C and CMJ. Her knack for determining what’s “next” in hip-hop has helped to make her a prominent figure within the hip-hop culture today. Ashley’s future is promising as she plans on bringing some true flavor and authenticity back to the culture.

Steve Raze

Al Lindstrom CEO Sirius Shade 45/

Driven. Innovative. Visionary. These words only begin to describe the indelible force that is Al Lindstrom. A consummate professional with over 15 years of experience in radio and promotions, Al’s devotion to his work, coupled with his innate ability to anticipate and respond to his client’s needs, make him an invaluable asset to everyone he works with.

Al’s passion for his work comes as no surprise to those around him. His instinctive eye for business and ear for music actually started at a young age when he served as a Radio/Street Promotion Representative for EMI/ERG Records. After getting his feet wet handing East Coast college radio and street promotions at EMI, Al hit the ground running becoming the Director of Rap Promotion at Pallas Records, Director of Mix-Show Promotion at TVT Records and Manager of National Rap Promotion at Jive Records in just seven years. Al also brought his myriad of talents to Tommy Boy Records as National Director of Mix-Show Promotion and Marketing, The RPM Group/Mixshow Power Summit where as Director of Radio Promotions and Executive Editor of Emixshow Magazine he secured and exceeded the expectations of new clients such as Arista, Def Jam, Reebok and Shady LTD and even played a vital role in the creation of Funkmaster Flex’s hugely successful annual Funkmaster Flex Celebrity Custom Car and Bike Show.
However, in 2004 Al decided it was time to take hold of his destiny and go for his dream. With years of experience under his belt and a crystal clear vision, Al ventured out on his own and founded ALMG. ALMG is a marketing, promotions, and digital distribution company that builds brands and relationships with consumers and tastemakers. Over the years, ALMG’s client list has read like a who’s who in entertainment, with the company servicing big names such as Def Jam, Rockstar Games, Interscope, Universal Records, Warner Bros., Capital Records, Sony BMG, Maybach Music, Disturbing Tha Peace, NUVO and more.
Al prides himself on ALMG being a “small company that thinks big and acts quickly.” Don’t believe him? Just ask Clinton Sparks, Syndicated Radio Personality / Producer, Get Familiar, E! TV who says “ALMG is one of the most efficient companies that I’ve worked with … Their ability to market your product is unmatched and their follow up is equally tenacious” or Pusha T of the Grammy nominated hip-hop group, The Clipse, who gives his stamp of approval without hesitation “I’ve worked with Al Lindstrom for the past couple years and the experience has been amazing. The way in which he has taken the promo of my project and managed it with hands-on care really impressed me. To see the respect that others have for him as well as the genuine relationships he has in this field reaffirmed my position that ALMG is the right company to have on your side.”
In addition to being an entrepreneur and successfully running his ALMG empire, Al also produces, DJs and co-hosts a show on Eminem's Sirius/Channel Shade 45 for DJ Tony Touch and recently launched, a website based around the idea that the younger generation finds their information on the music business from various forms of entertainment. The goal of is to provide original content that is not only informational, but has enough of an entertainment value to keep people logging on for more.

Al's inside knowledge of the entertainment business allows him to realistically focus on the needs of the client and then initiate and implement plans that not only sparks ingenuity, but helps his clients exceed their goals as well. His zeal for his work is unmatched and proves that he will be an indomitable force in the industry and definitely someone to keep an eye on.