Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Government Names Turns 5 Years Old Today

On this day in 2004, I threw up the first test post on this site. At the time, music was still a pretty tiny piece of the blogosphere and it seemed like you could count all the existing rap blogs on your fingers. So when I finished exams at the end of that semester and had some free time on my hands, I started up this little page with some friends and message board acquaintances whose writing I liked just to have a space to talk about new songs and stuff that interested us. It started out with no real focus, and for the first year or so Government Names was probably known mainly for the weird Canadian kid who had a ridiculous amount of knowledge about Houston hip hop more than anything I did. But I posted about some Baltimore stuff from the very beginning, and as my interest in covering this underexposed scene grew and the other contributors gradually stopped posting, I decided to make that the site's sole focus, and it's been really rewarding and fun. This site got me bank into freelancing as a music critic after being away from it for a few years and gave me a whole new passion for it, and I've met a lot of cool people and heard some great music and hopefully introduced some people to some songs they loved.

Over the past 5 years, I've posted roughly 700 songs, but I've always prided myself on the fact that I try to be selective and find the best tracks to share, or ones that I have something to say about, especially now in the age where the 'best' rap blogs are usually the ones that indiscriminately throw up every new song without writing anything about it or even listening to it first. If someone sends me a single or a leak, I usually only post it if I genuinely like the song, and when I'm writing about a full-length I try to post my favorite song from it (although sometimes even the best song off a CD isn't very good, but hey). So I feel good about a really large percentage of the music I've posted, and wanted to kind of highlight what I think was the best of the best. So to mark the anniversary, I'll be re-posting my top 100 mp3s from the site's first 5 years over the next couple weeks, 10 at a time every day or so, with links to the original posts they appeared in. All due respect to the musicians, I can't thank them enough for making songs that I want to listen to and tell people about on a daily basis. Here's the first installment:

91. Labtekwon - "Soybeans and Tofu Cheese" (mp3) - October 8, 2006
92. James Nasty - "You So Hawt" (mp3) - April 30, 2008
93. Mullyman f/ Backland, Comp and Sonny Brown - "Gangsta Wit Me" (mp3) - August 12, 2005
94. Caleb & Saleem - "We Write Blue" (mp3) - March 12, 2009
95. Mania Music Group - "Gotta Believe It" freestyle (mp3) - April 21, 2009
96. Blaq Starr - "In The Air" (mp3) - March 1, 2007
97. Bossman - "You're Wrong" (mp3) - August 24, 2006
98. Mike Malachi f/ Ron Rico, Agg and Skarr Akbar - "Super Smash Bros. Melee" (mp3) - March 21, 2009
99. Caddy Da Don f/ Tim Trees, Huli Shallone, Los, Skarr Akbar and Bossman - "Whole City Behind Me (Remix)" (mp3) - November 4, 2007
100. Scola f/ Rod Lee - "Turn It Down" (mp3) - August 3, 2006

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Cool, cool, cool, idea. Your efforts will forever hold a part in Baltimore hip hop history.
Congrats Man!!!
Kudos on five years! I'm gonna try to keep up and listen to all one hundred you post. I love Government Names: good writing, nice selection and variety of music, and often this is where I find out about upcoming rap shows.

You should put on a 5 year anniversary show (I'm doing a show this fall for my 5 year anniversary of taping) definitely wouldn't have a problem getting people. I bet Mully would wash your car if you asked.

Here's to another five!
lol...if you asked me earlier in this site's run what I'd do to celebrate 5 years I probably would've said I wanna put on a show or put out a mixtape or something...but with a baby on the way and everything else I've got on my plate right now, I don't really have the energy to do it big like that. maybe if this thing makes it to 10 years, I dunno, maybe sooner than that, I'll do something splashy for an anniversary, but right now I'm just gonna chill, more or less.
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