(Editors Note: This post was updated on 01/26/2011. As of this minute the WSHH.com has been “open for business” for more than 24 hours. Its seems 50 Cent is still more bark than bite and I need to pull my foot out of my mouth.)
Sometime within the last hour or so, Worldstarhiphop.com was shut down due to copyright infringement. Right about now @50cent and @FloydMayweather are taking credit for the site closure (snitching to the Feds, eh Fif?) and building their fanbase for their video site Booboo.tv to be the replacement for Worldstarhiphop.com, a site that many rap fans have saved in their bookmarks. WSHH.com started out as a very small site or at least it was when I caught wind of it some three or four years ago. Before there was Worldstar Uncut and Kat Stacks (blame Worldstar-they posted her first), Worldstar was homebase for fan submitted videos of concert footage and interviews from around the net, and nothing more. The formula was simple- give hip hop viral videos a place that focused on hip hop and keep it moving. They did it nicely for a while. Where else could you find the entire Coke Wave DVD (streaming none the less), classic Rocafella Records footage, and Trill Lee and Prince Rick hanging by they whip and dancing to their song “Mr. Hit that Hoe”? I saw it on Worldstarhiphop.com first.
But things changed soon after that. Gone were the days of quality. Here were the days of quantity. If you are like me and you don’t pay for the fastest internet possible (more money for Kush baby!!!) you know it takes at least a minute or more for a video site to load. And with the sheer number of videos uploaded to the homepage, lately I didn’t have time to check WSHH anyway. My daily visits have long ago changed to bimonthly’s. Don’t get me wrong- its not because of the traffic. No, its primarily the content.
I’ve got no problem with the sites owner Q (@QWorldstar). I have actually contacted him before about submitting a video to the site. I can’t lie. But I didn’t submit my video because Q and the team at the site wanted money. And that’s where the problems with WSHH just don’t add up. If each video uploaded is pay to play, then why is the site being shut down? It seems that the only people willing to pay for their videos to air, were the reasons WSHH sucked anyway (50 Tyson, WSHH Uncut models, and of course fame chasers like Kat Stacks). Turns out, not enough people could afford the prices. To fill the site with content, the editors uploaded copyrighted videos from major artists and record labels. (Honestly, even that won’t get you shut down. Many websites, like Vodpod, Vimeo, and even Youtube allow videos to be reposted.) The problems come when you start tagging the shit like its your own. There was not one video on WSHH that wasn’t tagged with their ugly, white and red logo. In essence, WSHH was misrepresenting itself all along, as if they owned every video they posted. THEY WERE NOT SHUT DOWN FOR FREE SPEECH. THEY WERE SHUT DOWN FOR STEALING SHIT. Save you constitutional rights arguments for the revolution, cuz this aint it.
So whats next? Where does WSHH go from here? If you check the tweets, it looks like they’ll try to revamp the site to another domain. It seems the jury is out on this one still. Right now, public opinion is 50/50. Some people respect what WSHH was doing for rap, while others are waiting for the dominoes to fall all over the black web (mediatakeout.com? bossip.com? I kind of hope so). The truth is, this has nothing to do with hip hop, so I’m not going to break a sweat. Theres always SOHH.com, Datpiff.com, Okayplayer.com, Smoking Section.com, and of course 1RevEnt.com, so hip hop heads will find their fix. Maybe this will spark a wave of original content made for original sites. If anything, this should be a wakeup call to all bloggers such as myself. Simply put, if it ain’t your content, don’t post it. The biggest shame of all is that WSHH will not recover from this shutdown. I just don’t see it happening. This blogging, like any business, is about three things- location, location, location. Ain’t nobody evicting me from my web address.
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