HipHopSite.Com started in 1996 by KUNV DJ’s Warren Peace and Pizzo. As the world’s first regularly updated news, reviews, and information source, HipHopSite quickly became the most popular site in it’s genre, receiving numerous accolades and awards, including multiple appearances on MTV.
1997, HHS birthed it’s online mail-order retail store, which served customers all over the world, supplying deejays with 12″ singles and LP’s. The service would soon mature to carry a large selection of CD’s, mixtapes (yes, on cassette), B-Boy & Graf videos, t-shirts, and gear, shipping out thousands of packages per month, quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in hip-hop’s corner of the music industry. All of this was initially done from an empty bedroom at Pizzo’s house in Las Vegas.
1999: After the success of selling thousands of Eminem’s independently released Slim Shady EP, HipHopSite teamed with the newly Interscope signed artist to create and host Eminem.Com. The site was built and hosted for free in exchange for the exclusive distribution rights for Eminem’s tour merchandise. Similar deals would follow with Kool Keith, RJD2, MF Doom, Demigodz, and many others.
2002: Saw the launch of HipHopSite’s fourth iteration, arguably it’s strongest yet. The new site allowed each artist and record label it’s own exclusive store page, plus working search engine, inventory control system, and other perks. While these features are standard in any online store in this day and age, this was revolutionary at the time, making HHS the unprecedented leader in indie hip-hop retail. This would eventually lead to the opening of HipHopSite’s retail store in Las Vegas at 4700 S. Maryland Parkway, right across from UNLV. The massive two-story, five room homebase was where are orders were shipped from, and incidentally the largest hip-hop specialty store in the world.
2004: At it’s peak of popularity, HipHopSite saw the birth of Preemptive Hype, an exclusive new music sampler available free to HipHopSite customers on both vinyl and CD. The exclusive discs were included in each order, putting folks onto breaking new music before anywhere else.
2007: As music sales across the board began to slump, HipHopSite began to consider it’s options, on whether or not there was truly a “need” for an independent hip-hop retailer any more, especially considering companies like Amazon could do the job faster, better, and more efficiently. Albums leaking online before HipHopSite could even get copies to ship to it’s customers led to a huge dent in sales across the industry. Coincidentally, the company’s lease on the retail store building was up for renewal, at which point HHS made the choice to close up shop. After watching Tower, Virgin, The Warehouse, and other music stores close, the writing was on the wall.
2007-2008: HHS launched HipHopSite Digital, a last ditch effort to see if there was anything left in the music retail industry worth salvaging. The answer to that question is “no”, we have found out.
Now: HipHopSite.Com still the news and information source that it always has been, but now relaunched completely without the retail aspect. In the site’s sixth iteration and fourteenth year, HHS now focuses on daily hip-hop news, music, information, now complete with all of it’s archived reviews and interviews from the last fourteen years.