The soundtrack for uptown resident Alexander Wright’s teenage years growing up in Miami was filled with music by hip-hop legends Run-D.M.C., Whodini and Fat Boys. Hip-hop emerged as a cultural anthem for an entire generation of primarily urban blacks in the early 80s. As an adult Wright, 42, found that he still enjoyed the music, but the street message found in many of today’s younger rappers was not appealing and did not speak to him. In 2008, with his wife Emiene, Wright founded Grownheadz.com, a website for adults who love hip-hop.
Michael J. Solender, Correspondent
Q. Who is Grownheadz.com’s audience?
Our tagline says it all, “Got a career, got a mortgage, got kids; Still love hip-hop.” The site gets more than 2,000 unique visits per month. There is an entire generation of people who grew up with this music and still love this music but don’t relate to today’s messaging and approach to the genre. It is really satisfying when I hear from people that totally get it, this concept of classic hip-hop.
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Q. What will visitors find at the site?
We share music-for-free downloads, the Hot 5 – a satirical look at some of the trends and things going on in the world of hip-hop in the form of a list, i.e. rappers with too much posse – IMO is a first-person opinion piece on artists/performances/music. We have some news and also music reviews. We post three times weekly.
Q. How many regular contributors do you have?
About half a dozen, each with their own voice and perspective. We have people in Atlanta, New York City and the West Coast.
Q. What is the hip-hop scene for adults in Charlotte like?
We are affiliated with DR and Smiles (brothers Diarra and Damany Mayfield), local disc jockeys that put on Radio Rehab, a hip-hop music party on the third Thursday of every month at Neighborhood Theatre. Typically there are special guests, DJs and artists. It is well-attended and offers a great vibe.
Q. Who do you enjoy listening to lately?
I really like Blu, a West Coast rapper and producer, and Rekx’s new album that is targeted at graybeards like me.