April 24, 2003

Hip Hop On The Web

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In the past, hip-hop battles between emcees were fought face to face and decided by the shouts and cheers of the crowd inside of the club, but now most hip-hop battles are fought through CD diss tracks, are often about materialism, not skill, and are removed from what hip-hop fans actually have to say. However, it is the mission of Cornell grad and web pioneer, Sandro DeMoraes ’99, to return the power to the people’s voice in hip-hop through the use of his online community of lyricists and fans alike. At www.Goldmic.com, Sandro has designed a web site that allows fans to decide the outcome of lyrical battles and, for a small fee, emcees can post their rhymes and beats on the site. The daze had the opportunity to sit down with DeMoraes to find out what Goldmic.com is really about.

daze: When and where did you come up with the idea for Goldmic? What is your inspiration?

Sandro DeMoraes: I came up with the idea for Goldmic two years ago. I wanted to create a place where underground hip hop lyricists and emcees from all over the world and of all backgrounds could go to compete against each other in an interesting, organized and compelling manner, to stimulate the development and production of authentic grassroots hip-hop music. Others joined me in this project and so we decided to design an application from the ground up tailored to the intricacies of online battling so we could offer emcees a one of a kind rewarding experience … Battling has always been an essential part of the hip-hop culture, and through the vision I had of the project I knew I could revolutionize the way battling was done online.

daze: How do you see Goldmic influencing the course of hip-hop?

SD: Goldmic is leading hip-hop into the 21st century. The music industry is in a hiatus. The large record labels have acknowledged that the Internet will be the future for artist exposure and music distribution, but have yet to really figure out how to do it. Goldmic presents an interesting approach in that it allows artists from all over the world to interact and compete against each other and in the process grow as artists. The talented emcees receive exposure and recognition due to our one-of-a-kind “World Ranking System” that separates the sites most talented artists over the long run. Goldmic will become more and more useful to the A/R executive as a talent scout tool. At Goldmic, there is a democratization of the music — the audience chooses who has skills, not a record executive. I have no doubt in my mind we will be able to shine a light on the roots of hip-hop, and revolutionize the way talent is developed and discovered by combining the power and the reach of the Internet with the underground talent and giving these emcees a platform to be heard.

daze: Do you find the hip-hop community has been responsive to the site?

SD: Absolutely. We have actually been overwhelmed from the amount of positive feedback we have received from our members. We have over 12,000 members from 35 countries signed up, all through word of mouth … Our members are very active and involved, for some it’s a hobby, a passion and a pastime and yet for others it’s a perfect place to showcase their talent … Only at Goldmic can emcees battle efficiently, vote effectively and be ranked accurately

So far all you budding emcees, check out the first annual Goldmic Supremacy Battle, which will feature 18 individual events with emcees across the world and offer over $10,000 in prizes.

Archived article by Andrew Gilman