It was December 1, 1998 when a site called “To the Beat Y’all” first hit the net with a simple idea: preserve the legacy of hip hop pioneers.
At the time, I was recently laid off from my job and needed something to keep me busy while I searched for a new one. I figured this internet thing might take off so I thought I’d try my hand a building a web site. Coming up with an original idea was the first thing. I ran through a lot of topics mostly music related. I wanted something I had some knowledge of, would enjoy working on, and frankly, something I thought would be cool to part of.
Old School Hip Hop checked all of those boxes.
So I signed up for a free GeoCities account and off I went. The site was originally built using Netscape Composer. After about six months I was surprised at the traffic I was getting (which was still tiny) so I decided to grab an actual domain and see how it would work. When I went to register a domain “oldschoolrap.com” was already taken (although it wasn’t been used if I recall), so I went on to “oldschoolhiphop.com” instead.
Over the last fifteen years I’ve redesigned the site countless times (usually about every 2 years or so) moving from Composer to Front Page to Dreamweaver and now WordPress. As a nod to the first version site, the favicon I currently use is actually the silhouette of DMC I used in the original logo for “To the Beat Y’all”.
Here are some of the old logos through the years:
I’ve been contacted by countless fans of Old School Hip Hop and even a few of the legends themselves from time to time.
To celebrate the anniversary, I redone the site yet again and started to integrate more audio and video. Look for more live shows in the Live Show Archive and more links to cool videos like Fresh Fest 1985.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the site over the years and I hope I’m still around in another 15.