Originally published 2.23.09
(Blogger’s Note: Larry Hester aka Blackspot is the Managing Editor of globalGRIND.com. We met via email after I became one of the newest bloggers for that site. I went one-on-one with him to get readers more familiar with this Internet mastermind)
Why the name Blackspot?
I named myself “Blackspot” because when I came in to this field I didn’t fit the stereotypical image of a Hip-Hop dude. I was from the hood but I never let it define me. I was smart but I never felt like I was superior to anyone. Everyone was who they were in my eyes and that made some people uncomfortable. I was a blemish in some circles. I always stuck out so I took on a pen name that embraced that.
Growing up what did you aspire to be? Are you doing that now? If no, why not?
That’s a funny question because growing up, grown folks would always ask me if I wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer so I thought those were the only choices I had. Later on, I actually put serious thought into becoming a lawyer until high school where a career evaluation test told me that I should be a cab driver. Then I was just confused. I respect cab drivers but it’s not something I want to do. My nerves are too bad to deal with that.
What field are you in? Is it a passion for you or just a job?
I work in media. My first step in media was magazines. I had an internship with VIBE magazine back in 1994. That evolved into internet media, sketch radio, sketch comedy and documentary work. My love is the internet though, through that I can realize just about any idea I can come up with.
What do you do for Global Grind? Do you see the site as being valuable to Hip-Hop and the world?
I’m Managing Editor of Global Grind. The concept alone of the site was what got me excited to be on board. There’s never been a place online where multi-generational Hip-Hop heads can come together and share information. There’s so many isolated spots that compete against each other, it’s so important to have a meeting place to sort through it all. With opinion and open discussion being encouraged so much, I think it’s part of a cultural revolution. I’m not just saying that either. Hahaha!
What was the most touching experience you ever had in your life?
My most touching experience had to be when I did my first magazine cover story. My dad was always on me about there not being a future in Hip-Hop journalism especially since I was working ground up from an internship. When I showed it to him, he was so proud of me. He realized that his son was not a bum.
What is your favorite music genre? What is rotating in your I-Pod?
I listen to a lot of different types of music but my favorite will always be rap. I really like honest and creative music. I hear a lot of that in older punk records, dancehall and even IDM music (that weird stuff that sounds like your computer modem is about to explode).
Who are some of the most influential people that has inspired your life thus far?
This may sound cliched but my parents inspired me a great deal. My dad was a poor kid from the south and my mom grew up on a farm where she and her family picked cotton to make a living. They came to New York and made it work. I figure if they could do it, I can too. Professionally, Bonz Malone continues to inspire me. He was one of the many writers who took me under the wing and showed me how to use my background to sharpen my skills.
What three principles do you live by?
1) Love the people, hate the ghetto 2) Shut up and listen 3) You can’t fake respect
What is the most pressing world issue you think needs serious attention?
I think that there’s a huge communication problem in the world. Especially when it comes to the United States. Way too often, people are only defined by stereotypes and there’s not enough information out there to show otherwise. The first time I went to London, one of the first things someone asked me if I owned a gun and what kind. That’s a problem. I think a lot of folks across the waters don’t get to see the black kid that’s not great at sports or the Latino kid who can’t dance or the Asian kid who’s not great at math. We all have different personalities but if you leave it to pop culture to tell the story, we’ll stay stuck in this circle of romantic ignorance. Hating someone is way too easy when you know nothing about them.