About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Five Fantastic Years
Monday, April 11, 2011

Believe it or not, last week’s Artist Of The Week feature on Duv was my 260th. That’s five full years of featuring talented, hard working, independent artists who fly too far under the radar for the major press outlets. Five years is a heck of a milestone. I also think it’s the perfect time to retire the feature.

Originally, I started my Artist Of The Week feature because Elemental Magazine, which I had been writing for, shut its doors. I knew quite a few emcees that had suddenly lost one of their biggest outlets for promotion. Commercial hip-hop publications weren’t, and still, for the most part, aren’t, interested in promoting the underground, so I said I have the contacts, why not get something started to give these artists a voice and let people know about their work? I honestly had no idea how long it would last. I had a couple dozen artists in mind, but other than that there was no long term plan.

Five years and 260 artists later I feel like my Artist Of The Week feature has a small place in hip-hop history. I’m not saying it’s the biggest thing ever, but I feel like I’ve made an impact. I’ve exposed talented artists to the masses, and those artists are proud to have the title of B-Lister (a term that was co-invented by Chaz Kangas and I during a radio call-in).

Those five years represent an era for me. I documented scenes growing out of scenes and into real forces. I’ve seen some former Artists Of The Week, including Rabbi Darkside and Homeboy Sandman, go on to national fame and be featured on MTV. I’ve seen others, many others, tour internationally. Very little in this world makes me happier than seeing a B-Lister gain fame.

All that being said, I want to retire this feature when it’s still at its peak. Call it doing it Barry Sanders style. There will never be anyone saying “man, those Artist Of The Week features have gotten wack,” and there will be no watering down of B-Lister Nation.

I feel confident in retiring this feature now because, unlike when I started it, there are a number of sites that are working to expose independent artists, such as FreeHipHopNow, iHeartDilla, BIO Magazine, BirthplaceMag and The Mad Bloggers.

Now, I’m not saying I’m going to stop featuring independent artists. I still have my column at the Fairfield Weekly, I’m still doing interviews for RapReviews.com, I’m working on a book on a very specific underground hip-hop scene, and I’ve created a place on the sidebar here where B-Listers can sell, or give away, their music. And don’t think I won’t be keeping a close eye on things. I’ll still be at every show I can attend, and I’ll still be checking out every site, and if at any point I feel like the scene isn’t being properly represented I WILL come back to set things straight.

This is not the end of B-Lister Nation, this is the next step in its ascension.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:32 AM  
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