UndergroundHipHopDotCom Closes After 19 Game Changing Years
Since before the term “Underground Hip Hop” was in the Rap lexicon, Boston, Massachusetts based UndergroundHipHop.com has been a keystone in the culture. Launched in 1997, by Adam “Quest” Walder, the site (and subsequent retail store) became a destination for those seeking grassroots Hip-Hop audio, video, and discussion forums that featured numerous would-be professional artists. Some of the acts that the site and store supported would come to include Eminem, Talib Kweli, DOOM, Madlib, Jedi Mind Tricks, Anticon, and El-P, among countless others.
Approaching its 20th anniversary in just days, Quest announced that the elite retailer of CDs, vinyl, merchandise, and street-wear is closing its website and retail operations. “We have been fighting our hardest to stay in business for the past few years, but with declining revenues it is impossible to stay in business at this point,” wrote the UGHH.com company founder as part of a longer statement. “I started UGHH out of my Northeastern University dorm room in 1997 as nothing more than a hobby to share the underground hip hop music I loved so much with the world. I had no idea it would lead into a 20 year career doing what I love to do – bringing this culture to the masses.”
Further in the statement, the Hip-Hop Head examined his personal trajectory through Hip-Hop. “Running your own business is incredibly hard (and rewarding) work and I am very proud with what my team and I were able to achieve with this website. We had a retail store for 10 years (another dream of mine come true), became close friends with many of the artists we are fans of (I went to Apathy’s wedding!), and helped so many labels and artists get the exposure they deserved. I could have worked a standard office job after college, but I followed my dreams and created a world renown, highly respected website loved by many.” In the late 1990s, Mike D of the Beastie Boys and their Grand Royal Records imprint were reportedly among those interested in investing in the dot com destination. After the web bubble burst, UGHH stayed the course of an independent store and site.
The mentioned Boston-based retail location which opened in the 2005 and closed in 2014 featured over 200 in-store appearances, including GZA, Little Brother, Kool Keith, and Cormega, among others. The site presently features a gallery of Polaroid photos from many of these appearances.
The times they are a changing. Thank you for over 13 years of support, many people discovered my music because of you guys and for that I’m forever greatful. And those message boards were the epitome of trolling, I would cry laughing at least once a day at some of those posts even the ones about me and my team. Good luck to you all on whatever comes next! @ughhdotcom
Other online Hip-Hop music sites including HipHopSite have also closed, with that example shuttering in 2015.
Salute to UndergroundHipHop as a pioneering bridge between Hip-Hop culture and the web, and introducing many Heads (including some of us) to so many artists we know and love. And thank you deeply for letting me get some of my own first ink back in the late ’90s there, too.
Taken from ambrosiaforheads.com