As our friends over at RapFix can certainly attest to, the wide world of hip-hop has evolved into something much more pervasive than they heyday of Tupac and Biggie. Charts are dominated by Lil Wayne and Pitbull, videos of Flo Rida are pumped out en masse and it's getting harder to keep up with each new artist, album and track. Thankfully, we've got some experts who are ready to break it all down for you each week in "Hip Hop POV," and they definitely know what they're talking about.
From record execs to music journalists, the five industry panelists featured each Wednesday at midnight will take a critical look at the genre's movements, dole out exclusive interviews with top artists and give some necessary context to up-and-comers. You'll get to see it all yourself in a matter of hours, but so that you know exactly who you're looking at when the show premieres tonight, here's a quick little cheat sheet of the "POV" hosts:
Bu Thiam (@BuKonvict): The current Def Jam A&R vice president is no stranger to the business. He got his start in the development of Akon, who happens to be his brother, in 2004, and by 2005, he had signed T-Pain to the siblings' label, Konvict music. His spot at Def Jam has given him the chance to oversee Rihanna's Loud and the merging of Jay-Z and Kanye, but he's always searching for the next best thing. "I look at my position as an opportunity to bring a young, current perspective to today's music game," he told Billboard.
Devi Dev: (@DeviDev): It was never a goal for Devi to be the one swimming in limelight. The host of "Sway In The Morning" and childhood chatterbox always knew she wanted to be in radio. "I always thought the people on the radio were intriguing and different," she said on her website. "And the only tool they had was their voice." Having interviewed the likes of Dr. Dre and Quincy Jones along her career, Dev will have no trouble holding her own in any hip-hop roundtable discussion.
Sowmya Krishnamurthy (@SowmyaK): While some lovers of hip-hop also maintain a love of old-school ways, Sowmya has helped take the genre into the digital age as a blogger and online journalist. She's written for New York magazine, The Source and, yes, even the exceedingly prestigious (if we do say so, ourselves) MTV.com. With a mic and some healthy curiosity, there's no question she'll leave unanswered.
Charlamagne Tha God (@CThaGod): Another host with a history in radio, Charlamagne is known across airwaves as bold, blunt and unafraid to speak the truth (from what we understand, he almost made Cassie cry)! As part of The Breakfast Club on New York's 105.1, the guy makes a point to speak what's on his mind, and we expect nothing less on "POV."
Amanda Seales (@AmandaSeales): An artist herself, the DJ knows what those on the receiving end of the roundtable's critiques go through. She's spun for Lenny Kravitz and The Roots, but also has a degree from Columbia and experience as a VJ and online critic, to boot. A well-educated artist, Amanda is sure to bring a level head to the quintet.
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