Today is the official 5 year mark for BehindTheRhyme.com. Although I had a promo video post and an explanation of why the site would exist in June of 2012. The first actual piece of content I created didn’t go live till July 18th, 2012.
It was a video of me with a low cut, in a suit, with a shirt I don’t think I own anymore. Behind me was a background that was made by the woman I now call my wife. The topic? “It’s more to rap than B.I.G and Pac”. The purpose was to get all of the “trapped in the 90’s ni**as” out of their comfort zone and let them know it’s 2012 and it’s ok if Biggie and Pac aren’t in their Top 5 because we have so much music out by a lot of great artist.
The post and the video didn’t do as well as I liked. Maybe it was the lack luster visual. Maybe it was because I was too calm in delivery. Maybe it’s because it just didn’t come off “hip-hop enough” for the time. I’m not sure, but needless to say the results were less than desired.
I would make videos for a few more weeks. Content would be sporadic and not many people would view that content. My first thought was “Everybody complaining about WSHH, MTO, Bossip and all these other platforms, but nobody clicking my sh*t”. It made no sense to me. Here I was providing the alternative people said they wanted and no one even cared enough to check it out.
By August – September 2012, I abandoned “custom video content”. I just pulled music videos and did write arounds for them. Short, mildly inflammatory and heavy on opinion. Still not a great response. To fast forward this from June to December of 2012, BehindTheRhyme.com did 938 page views for the entire year. Nothing but a fail in my eyes and I wasn’t sure where to go with this leading into the new year. January 2013 started off rough. I only did 2 post that came at the end of the month. One is for a feature that I don’t do anymore. It was a plea for engagement called “BTR’s Viewer of The Week”. The classic, “if people see themselves, they’ll tell others and I’ll build an audience.” It went ok.
I made up in my mind that If I couldn’t beat 938 page views for the year of 2013, I would shut the site down. I also went in the path of written content. It took less time and I could methodically craft my thoughts and opinions, find my voice and go back to what I always had a natural knack for; Writing. My first big written win was “Rap Rape and It’s Biggest Offenders”. A post that at 124 page views, did better than over half of the months the site had been in existence. The next big win would come in June thanks to J.R. Bang and DJ RTC and their Closed Sessions Interview with Freddie Gibbs. It was the first time I hit over 500 page views in a month. Although I was in much better pace and was clearly going to beat 938 for the year before June; This month took me well over and gave me inspiration to keep going.
Then August 2013 happened. For history purposes, that’s the month and year of Big Sean’s Hall of Fame album, which I predicted to be “Album of 2013” based on the greatness on Detroit and his Cruel Summer verses and of course Kendrick Lamar’s “Control” verse. Those were the anchors of the site that month along with my “Let The Rappers Rap” Invitational”. People actually submitted verses. August 2013 was the first month we broke 1,000 page views in a month. Over 1,300 to be exact. It restored my faith and I kept pushing. Let’s fast forward some.
2014 Started off great. I did a poll with 2 rappers I knew because of an argument on FB. I don’t know if either of them got new fans or more views, but I kicked off the year with over 1200 page views.
May 2014 would be my biggest month and post at the time when Joe Budden read and Tweeted my “Pros and Cons of Joe Budden vs Hollow Da Don” post. Over 1800 for that one post. Over 3,200 for the month. Another reason why Joey will always be one of my favorite rappers.
July would beat May. My Hollow vs Joe breakdown post would get over 1,000 views, my Pros and Cons was still winning 2 months later and content like “So You Decided to Hate Iggy Azalea” would do really good numbers. Over 3,800 page views would be earned. September 2014 is still one of the biggest months ever thanks to a hot button post called “The Very Simple Reason Andre 3000 Can’t Be The Greatest Rapper Ever”. Over 3,300 page views for just that post in that month. It’s still going strong till this day.
From 2012 to 2015 my year to year grow would jump by 10’s of thousands. I was killing those dreaded 6 months with 1 post now. I felt the brand getting bigger. I felt the content getting stronger. Most importantly I was happy with what I was creating. My biggest month ever? June 2015. The post? “A Few Reasons Why I Just Don’t Feel Sorry for Lil Wayne”. Over 4,300 page views in just that month for just that post. There have been other big months, but mostly due to the law of post counts. Meaning you post more you get more clicks. The last great thing to happen to the site came this year when Funk Flex and Swizz Beatz tweeted and Reposted my write around for the Swizz vs Just Blaze Beat Battle. It put me in Auto Pilot for a couple months and was a good footnote February. My social grew more than my site with that look.
It’s 2017. It’s 5 years from the first post. Social Media is up and the website is down. I been talking about monetizing the site, but I’m not sure if I have the time and energy to do so. I definitely don’t have the money. I wanted to do more community focus content. Give people a new definition of “BehindTheRhyme” as I created content about what is going on with people of the culture and what they are doing outside of the “music section” of hip-hop. It’s a lot for a one man with 2 jobs looking for a third, with a whole family to provide for.
What’s the future of BehindTheRhyme.com? I don’t know. I’ll do the best I can with what I have like I always have. I’m no longer concerned with the site making money. I just want to go back to repping hip-hop the best way I can on my own time. I started this because I love hip-hop and wanted to provide alternative content. It’s time I get back to that. No matter what happens to this site from now till year’s end. I’m happy. Thank YOU! If you ever shared, clicked, commented or liked anything associated with BTR, you are appreciated. Much Love and Respect To You. It’s year 5 of BehindTheRhyme.com. Still plenty of time to have fun with some hip-hop. Until the next post!
Be Safe. Be Humble. Live Hip-Hop.