GlobalGrind.com is the world according to hip-hop. If you haven’t yet stumbled across it while surfing the Web — well, shame on you. And you’re missing out. GlobalGrind, edited by industry legend Russell Simmons, brings together on one site everything that matters to the hip-hop community. Similar, lesser “aggregation sites” have been tried before — 360hiphop.com, reportedly the recipient of an absurd $14 million to $17 million in funding, was one famous failure. Where that money went I can’t even begin to imagine.
GlobalGrind, by contrast, has proved a bigger success without having to spend the GDP of a small country to get there. Described — self-described or by others, I haven’t yet figured out — as “the Huffington Post of hip-hop,” GlobalGrind thus far seems to be living up to that lofty title. (It does, in fact, make considerable use of HuffPo content, which appears to make up the bulk of GlobalGrind’s absorbing “News and Politricks” section.) Although it’s an aggregation site that covers music, current affairs and overall hip-hop culture, it also offers a wide range of original content. One example is an “open letter” responding to Rupert Murdoch’s agreement with Glenn Beck’s statement that President Obama is “racist.” The letter politely proceeds to tear to shreds both Murdoch and the “fair and balanced” Fox News. I think any site that can rip apart Fox as eloquently and incisively as GlobalGrind is always worth a read.
Its celebrity blogs, though, seem to be garnering the site the most attention. Simmons’s vast Rolodex of celebrity contacts has generated for GlobalGrind an impressive list of bloggers — Rev Run, Damon Dash, LL Cool J, Alicia Keys and Dr. Benjamin Chavis among them. Many of them use the blog as a platform to promote their charitable causes (or just themselves, as some celebrities inevitably will). The best blog posts, though, typically come from Simmons himself. Seeing what makes someone like Simmons tick is a rare treat — and incentive enough for me to get in on the Grind.