IAMHIPHOP.COM is an up-and-coming Web site for hip hop lovers, and lovers-to-be. Founded by Evan “Israel” Brenner, who brought on Alex Avant as a partner, the site seeks to empower the hip-hop community one member at a time.
Although in the pre-launching stage, both Brenner and Avant (son of music industry’s legendary Clarence Avant) have managed to create enough hype around IAMHIPHOP.COM for it to be considered the next major social networking outlet where people can share their views and ideas as well as have a place to post their own music, videos and photos. The lists of registered users are filling up, as is the small studio where they tape the talk show they call “Spitfire.”
“‘Spitfire,’ is the first of its kind of talk show that really represents the hip-hop perspective,” explained Brennen, who serves as president. “Our idea is to take hip hop beyond its traditional confines of just being a musical genre and expand it to talk about the things that affect everybody that’s connected with hip hop—politics, current events, the music industry, the craft and the art of hip hop.
“This show is the catalyst to catapult the idea of what we’re doing. We have a strong tradition that we’re upholding. We’re purists in the sense that we’re respecting the traditions of hip hop and where it came from... but we’re also taking that vision and bringing it to the world.”
While Brennen continued explaining the details of the show, which is hosted by Kool Mo Dee and will begin airing on IAMHIPHOP.COM mid-November, Avant, who serves as the chief networking officer, busily tended to last minute preparations for Tuesday night’s taping, which featured special guests Chuck D., MC Lyte and Tavis Smiley.
“The format of the show is really a conversation,” Brennen said of the show that taped its sixth episode on Tuesday with just a couple more to go.
“Tonight the show will focus on politics,” he continued. “We invited Chuck [D] because he is uniquely involved with activism and the political process; [MC] Lyte is a pioneer in her own right, being the first really outspoken female in hip hop; and, Tavis [Smiley], who is not necessarily associated with hip hop but is an example of how we are broadening the scope of the show to include all types of people of intellectual-level voices.”
The show is truly an open forum where the invited guests are able to freely speak their minds on the topics presented and the audience members are able to openly ask questions or share opinions about their choice of issues.
During Tuesday’s show, the foursome discussed issues within the realms of the politics of hip hop and hip hop in politics, where Chuck D focused on the state of hip hop as a genre today, MC Lyte touched on the offensive language used toward Black women in the lyrics, and Smiley opened up about the role of artists as leaders as well as the role this young generation plays in the political arena and vice versa.
To get the full broadcast, visit www.IAMHIPHOP.COM, the site where Avant says that every generation and every nationality can come to feel part of a community. “This is a place where people can feel they can create their own identity. It’s a big statement to make, especially for young people, and IAMHIPHOP.COM is the perfect way to do that.”