Kings of Rock Hall
Reggae Mama

We Are 22nd!

Clipse -- "Kinda Like a Big Deal" (Featuring Kanye West)

I spotted this via Animal New York and ByronCrawford:

Shady's Back: Eminem Covers June Issue Of Vibe Magazine

This is kinda like a big deal for me . . . Ladies and Gentlemen, Beats and Rants landed at No. 22 on Vibe magazine's list of the 50 Hottest Rap Blogs

*Cheers!* and *Clapping!*

I'm totally in shock and humbled by this recognition. I didn't expect to make this list because I consider myself a small fish in a big pond of hip-hop bloggers. So, I'm deeply honored by this acknowledgment.

I consider Beats and Rants more than just a rap blog, since I like to cover an array of different types of music, artists and genres. But to be recognized by Vibe is a great honor for me. And at No. 22!?  That's real big. It's not the Pulitzer Prize, but it's all good nonetheless.

I don't know what the Vibe editors' criteria was for picking rap blogs for this list. All I can say is that they have great taste. Ha!

However, like all cumulated lists -- they are very subjective and never ever definitive. So, of course, this tally has some glaring omissions. Here are some of my favorite rap blogs that should have graced the list: 

Ill Roots, Government Names, Kevin Nottingham, Wake Your Daughter Up and

So, in conclusion, Vibe's "50 Hottest Rap Blogs" list has some omissions but at least they took the time to devise such a list -- no matter how contorted or invalid the list is to some bloggers.

Don't hate . . . congratulate!

Hopefully, Vibe will do another concise roundup next year.

Props to the almighty Eskay of Nah Right for reaching the No. 1 spot. I have been a supporter of his blog since day one.

Although I didn't reached the summit of Vibe's 50 Hottest Rap Blogs list, I figure I reintroduce myself to my new readers by answering the same questions that Maurice Garland (No. 42), Dallas Penn (No. 36) and DJ Vlad (No. 24) answered on

Check it out after the jump . . .

Twit This!

My Name and Age:  Trent Fitzgerald, 38

My City:  Camden, N.J. / New York

My Site:  Beats and Rants

My Launch: July 2003

My Inspiration: Hip-Hop; My love for the music and culture.

My Soundtrack:  I'm listening to a lot of rap music nowadays, so it's hard to pick just one song or album. A song that represents me right now is "L.O.V.E." by Krumb Snatcha.

My Start:  Fellow blogger/journalist Lynne d. Johnson put me on to blogging in 2000. I started off on EasyJournal and then started blogging heavily via Typepad in 2003.

My Motivation:  I'm motivated by rap artists who make creative music and by great hip-hop writing by my fellow bloggers (refer to the "Hip-Hop Blogs" blogroll on your left).

My Hustle:  I am a professional music journalist. I'm very lucky to still have a full-time job reporting the rap news. I'm out there in the pocket, but I stay behind the scenes and observe. As a journalist, I have to remain objective and not let my critical judgment be swayed by being friendly with the artists. It's a slippery slope that rap writers walk on a daily basis.

My Moment: I have several standout moments on Beats and Rants.

Readers love my eulogy posts -- J DillaOl' Dirty Bastard, MC Breed and more recently Tony D.  all received special elegiac write-ups from me. Those are special yet heartfelt moments for me.

The one post that I'm still fond of is my music review for OutKast's classic hip-hop double album, Speakerboxx/The Love Below. It was a favorite among readers, as well.

My Dilemma:  Updating my blog on a daily basis. I have to get back on my blogging grind.

My Philosophy:  The greatest trick in pop culture is finding something that you absolutely love to do. Not too many people can say that they love their job. So if you can find a job or a career that you love to do, stick with it. I'm very fortunate to have a career in journalism and love what I do.

My Craziest Comment:   I don't have any crazy comments on my blog. But I did write a crazy-ass "diss" post ("A Blogger's Threat") in 2003 to a blogger who didn't like some of my content. A fan alerted me to this person's objections and I had to set this blogger straight via R. Kelly song's "A Woman's Threat." It was a bizarre writing moment for me.

My Advice:  Blog everyday! And post some original content whenever possible. And stop looking at your Sitemeter statistics or blog trackers/counters. If you post original content every day you will gain a huge following very quickly. Quality always wins over quantity. I see a lot of quantity posts on these hip-hop blogs but no quality writing.