I first found out about mask gorilla on youtube Searching for The cool kids songs, I saw him progress with putting up all of these exclusive cool kids tracks iv’e never herd.
I also saw him start making his Blog , back then it was called DopeBlog88.
The masked gorilla Blog’s about up and coming hip hop artists before they get to the mainstream
His site is solely dedicated to the new age of hip hop and a bit of fashion.
In my point of view he is one of the best hip hop bloggers out there and deserves a lot more recognition.
I also Bought some of his stickers and I tagged them all around london.
He came across very well and it shows he a massive passion for hip hop and is very hard working indvidual.
So check out my interview with The masked gorilla now !
Check out the best hip hop Blog out there.
Hey “DV” how are you today?
I’m doing great. Today is actually the last day of my first year of college… so that’s pretty dope!
So, why did you start blogging?
I started blogging a little after the one year anniversary of my YouTube channel, DopeVideo88. I planned to start up a blog for a while, but it took the loss of a very close “friend” of mine to really kick start it. You know, we talked literally every day for about four years, and saw each other just about everyday for the last two of those years. Than one day, that “friend” was completely gone from my life. So needless to say I had a ton of newfound time on my hands. Blogging was the perfect outlet, that along with skateboarding. Two things I do everyday of my life. That reason along with my knowledge for the “new-school” hip-hop game. I guarantee you I know more about these artists than their own managers So leave the blogging to me, that way you can find out about all the new music before your friends and be that cool kid who knows that next trend before anyone else.
Did you do your Youtube channel first before the blog?
Yeah, my Youtube channel (Youtube.com/DopeVideo88) was running for about a year before my blog started up.
How do most people find out about you?
I would say most people found out about me from DopeVideo88, but nowadays TheMaskedGorilla.com is a beast of it’s own. I don’t take out ads or put money directly into advertising at this point, so it’s pretty much just word-of-mouth. Grassroots is what it’s all about, and it’s working out great for the site.
Who is the biggest in hip hop at-the-moment for you?
For the scene I cover (the “new-school” of hip hop), I think Drake clearly takes that title. But for the not quite yet “main-stream” rappers, I think Wiz Khalifa has to be at the top of the list.
Old school hip hop or new hip hop or commercial hip hop and what are your views on them ?
It’s no secret that “old-school” hip-hop paved the way for the “new-school” of hip-hop that I cover. There would be no “new-school” if it weren’t for some of those “old-school” rappers… that’s just common sense. At the same time though, it’s time for those “old-school” rappers to step aside and let these “new-school” guys get some shine. Some of these “old-school” rappers are in their 40′s soon to be 50 years old, it’s time to retire. But they choose not to, because they have enough money to keep churning out hit records. If Jay-Z’s newest album isn’t a number one hit, than he must of died on the record. There is no way that his records wont be number one hits because he has half a billion dollars to his name to push the album, to get the best producers and beats, and to record in the greatest studios possible. They are so out of touch with the current scene and the youth, they are just hurting their images. So in my opinion, it’s clearly “new-school” over “old-school” no matter what the genre or subject matter be. As for commercialization, that’s the age old debate. In the same sense though, there would be no underground if not for the mainstream and vice-versa. I gravitate more towards the underground non-commercial scene for many reasons, accessibility and personal interaction being the main ones. I’m not trying to go to a concert with 50 thousand people packed in a stadium, I rather go to a show with no stage at all. A show where you can meet, talk to, and take pictures with the artists after they perform. But some of these underground artists deserve mainstream commercial acknowledgment. So if they choose to go out and make money they deserve to make, I can’t hate on them for that. That makes me no less of a fan.
Who the best newcomer at-the-moment for you?
The best newcomer has to be Sam Adams. Whether he is a rapper or a pop artist, he’s only being doing it for 9 months and is already bigger than a lot of guys out there who have been doing it their whole life.
You get a lot of exclusive Cool Kids tracks no one has do you know them or something ?
I actually do have a relationship with The Cool Kids. In the past they have thrown me on the guest-list for shows of theirs along with asking me to post certain music on DopeVideo88/TheMaskedGorilla. Actually just yesterday Chuck Inglish of The Cool Kids sent me an exclusive track from their upcoming mixtape, it was pretty dope to say the least. So yes, I do get exclusives and yes I do “know them”.
Do you go to hip hop gigs and concerts, and do you network with people at them?
My golden rule is: I’ll go to any show I am invited to. You have to understand that I am providing a service, so me paying to provide that service would just not make sense. It’s been working out though, I’ve been invited to a lot of cool events/shows lately and met/interviewed some great artists. The standout so far had to be getting invited to the XXL Magazine Freshman 2010 showcase. It’s cool to see such a well known magazine recognize my site and hook me up with some guest-list service. But yeah, I try and network as much as I can… isn’t that what life is all about anyway?
You also write about fashion don’t you; what is your favorite brand of clothing and kicks?
Yes, a large part of TheMaskedGorilla is fashion orientated. I wish I could tell you my favorite brands but I don’t even remember the last time I brought something brand named. For me right now, it’s all about just mixing and matching whatever you can find, used, old, on sale, or new and creating your own style. Right now I’m wearing a twelve dollar pair of shoes, a homemade spray painted t shirt, a pair of “Circa” jeans and a wool cap. Don’t let the price tags fool you though, I’m still fresher than most kids out there haha.
You do a few posts about kicks do you have a nice collection of shoes ?
Judging from the last question, you would think I don’t. But I actually do. I used to be really into shoes, to the point where I would not wear them too much and clean them a lot. So I have a few pair of kicks, of all different brands that look pretty new. My favorite pair has to be my Supra “Skytops”, but the pair I wear the most is either my “Era” Vans, of the twelve dollar knockoffs.
In the UK as u may know we have UK rap/UK hip hop and grime! Do you know about grime and is there any artists your liking ?
I don’t know too much about the Grime scene, but from what I have seen on your blog it looks like a great movement. If I ever get across the pond, I’ll make sure to check out a show.
Who is your biggest influence?
That’s a tricky question. I would say all those people who don’t give a fuck about what people think of them, and just do whatever makes them happy. I can’t name one particular person though. I’m trying to do me… not someone else.
You keep yourself very secretive; are you ever going to give us your name or a picture of yourself?
This seems to be the age old question asked to me. So let me go into a little bit of detail with this one. Even back to the DopeVideo88 days absolutely no one knew that I ran that Youtube channel. I’m not just talking about people on the internet and my subscribers, I’m talking about my actual family and friends. It took about a year, which was half way into the DopeBlog88 phase for me to even tell my own brother. I honestly have no idea why I kept it a secret for so long. I am a person who does keep to myself a lot, but I think the real reason was that I did not want people to know about it in-till it was a success. Than I told my main homie, and he was so surprised. This was already after I had been communicating with Chuck Inglish of The Cool Kids for a while, so it’s not like I was just telling him I ran some pointless Youtube channel and blog. So anyway, fast forward a year and my close family knows but still none of my friends or anyone from my town knows. So it just came to the point where if I wanted this to grow, I was going to have to let people in and tell them about it and what I do. So now a lot of kids I grew up with know about what I do, but my identity is still a secret on the internet. I’ve been doing real life interviews lately, so it’s been getting tricky. The site is not about me though, it’s about the music. I don’t want my face to be the logo for TMG. Let me just tell you though, if I ever do decide to reveal myself… it will be the most melodramatic moment ever.
Are there any bloggers you have competition with?
There is no question in my mind that TheMaskedGorilla.com is the authority for the “new-school” of hip-hop. So with that being said, no.
Why did you change the name from DopeBlog88 to TheMaskedGorilla?
DopeBlog88 started as just a corresponding site to DopeVideo88, hence the name. It pretty much started outshining DopeVideo88 so it was time for it to become it’s own entity. Once TheMaskedGorilla domain was brought and the new layout was made that’s when everything changed. That’s when the site, and myself, really came into it’s own and to be what you see it as today.
Do you get a lot of hits on your blog? (You don’t have to reveal how many hits you get if you don’t want to) And how do u advertise/how do people find out about your blog ?
Having a visible hit counter on your site, or bragging about your hits is like wearing your clothes with the tags on them… it’s just corny. I’m not gonna say exactly how many hits I get but I will say that I think a lot of people would be surprised with the amount. There’s no advertising, it’s pretty much just word of mouth right now.
When are you going to produce more stickers?
As soon as possible. I’m in the process designing a new logo with my graphic designer. You can see the first draft on my Twitter or Facebook page right now actually. Once the logo is finished I will be printing up a TON of stickers and some T-shirts so everyone can rep their favorite hip-hop site.
What are your goals in life?
My goals in life are just to stay happy and stay positive. I don’t want to be rich, honesty. If one day I can afford a log cabin in the middle of the woods than my life would be complete. Maybe I would want a few dogs and a sketchy mini-half pipe to go along with it too.
Do you have a job or are you a student or something?
This pretty much is my job. I’m making about minimum wage doing it though haha, but currently this is my only source of income. I’m a college student, so it helps pay for a few cold drinks on the weekends and some fast food here and there.
Is there any advice you can give to any bloggers?
If someone else is already doing it, don’t do it. What’s the point? There are a million blogs out there, it’s your choice to make yours unique and stand out. Also, don’t get into it for the money… because there isn’t any.
Anything else you want to say?
I want to thank you for taking the time out of your day to interview me. I also want to just tell people to be themselves and stay true to who they really are. There are a lot of people who will hate on you for that, but it’s really amazing how far being yourself can get you. Also, although I run a hip-hop blog I am into such a wide variety of music. If you seclude yourself to any one scene in life than you are ignorant and missing out on way too much. Listen to what you want, wear what you please, do what makes you happy and be YOURSELF! Never feel pressured to do something just because everyone else is doing it, be unique. Sidenote: You will see me on your T.V one day, in TMG we trust haha.
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