You can find a bit of everything on WorldStarHipHop.com, from rap videos and street fights to twerk sessions and sports highlights — it’s kind of like a one-stop shop for all things viral.
Lee “Q” O’Denat, likes to think of his site as a cable network, except on the web, where he shows “the good, the bad and the ugly,” as he’ll often remind you.
More often than not, WSHH is criticized for the bad and the ugly, but Q and his team have been working to change that perception with a series of documentaries they call “The Field.” The first “Field” doc focused on inner-city youth in Chicago and the violence that they face daily.
The second film, which was released last week focuses on Miami, a city that the media rarely shows in its totality. “With Miami, the city itself is known for South Beach and Ocean Drive and no one really gets to see outside of that,” Q explained to MTV News. “It’s a struggle going on and those locals are really passionate about their city… They’re ready to die for it.”
“The Field: Miami” takes viewers past the party strip into less affluent communities like Opa-Locka, Lil Haiti and Overtown and it speaks to those trapped in a cycle of street violence.
“I felt like it was our duty to step up to the plate and speak to these kids out there that thought the guns were the way out,” he said. “These kids feel like the leaders are ignoring them, even the networks don’t go out there and talk to them.”
Most of the subjects in “The Field: Miami” are rappers who don’t have any type of local acclaim, but that doesn’t mean they are any less talented than their famous rap counterparts.
YD, an Overtown resident, tells his story by blending spoken word with his street-themed raps, while Dred Skeezy takes the cameras to a street corner where one of his close friends was murdered. He shows us the bullet holes in the pavement, that have stood as a reminder to him for over a dozen years. “The Field: Miami” pulls no punches.
“We all want to get out, that’s the ultimate goal to get out,” Q said of the film’s subjects and their overwhelming desire to leave the street life behind.
By creating WSHH, Q was able to overcome the hardships he saw around him in his native Queens, New York. Now, he’s focused on giving back, along with “The Field” director Mandon Lovett, producer Javier “Jay” Sang and the rest of his team.
“It feels good inside. That’s one of the biggest things for me when I was struggling, when I get on top I’m gonna do these charities, do documentaries and show people what’s going on in these streets because I feel CNN and Fox aren’t doing that,” Q said. “I think it’s my job as a leader in the Internet space to do so.”
No, “The Field” documentaries aren’t Worldstar’s most popular videos, but currently “The Field: Miami” has gotten over 12 million views since it was released on August 18 and “The Field: Chicago” sits at over 20 million clicks.
Next up is either Oakland, California or Memphis, Tennessee. Q and his team haven’t decided yet, but wherever they choose to film next you can bet they’ll give viewers an unfiltered look at the struggles in the street.
“Its not all about likes and shares,” Q said of the viral nature of his work. “It’s about who’s life you inspired the most.”