okayplayer is, without a doubt, one of my all-time favourite hip-hop websites. The digital home of cats like The Roots, Jean Grae, Erykah Badu and Common, okayplayer features fresh content of all types, from videos to interviews to news to the occasional free track or two. The best part about it, though, is the sense of community that pervades the site. Unlike other, newer hip-hop sites (okayplayer turns 10 next year), okp, as it’s known, has a fiercely loyal readership. The people who are in to okayplayer are in to okayplayer. Maybe it’s because legends like ?uestlove and Badu are regular contributors to its boards, or maybe it’s because the site doesn’t feel contrived – it’s obviously the product of a group who remain passionate about good hip-hop.
But given its age, is it still relevant? On Tuesday, the Root ran an article entitled “Is Okayplayer Played Out?” in which Marcus J. Moore asks:
“… now that the Afrosphere is in full bloom and the very ’90s “neo-soul” genre has faded, a question has emerged: Has okayplayer become the digital equivalent to the old man at the club?”
Fortunately, he answers in the negative. After describing how a couple of other okayplayers feel, Moore offers his own insight:
“Not only is okayplayer still relevant, but it represents all that is good in music. Facebook and MySpace are more personal and allow people to reconnect with long-lost friends and family. But there are few other places on the Web to build friendships with others who share a progressive philosophy about music and get exclusives on new projects directly from the artists who share that sensibility.”
Definetly check the article out for yourself. But before you do, here’s a classic joint that’ll make you think twice about doubting whether there’s still a place for sites like okayplayer .