Sourcing information has drastically changed courtesy of the digital age. Entertainment and news outlets have created a strong online presence where people can consume content tailored to their interests. Blogging and social media have also made an impact on how information is sought out and received.

Los Angeles native Bijon Bates embraced the cyber shift more than 10 years ago after co-founding hip-hop blog “WebSideStory” (WSS) from 2012-2016. Fast forward to 2022, he has since interviewed esteemed producer D.J. Battlecat, Pro Image designer A. Brims, and local artists like Niko G4, Mani Coolin’, Jay Ward, and more. On the last day of Black Music Month, Bates sat down with the L.A. Sentinel to share his perspective on hip-hop’s journey with the internet.

With his experience as a blogger in the blog era to present day, Bates created Projects & Politics (PxP), an Instagram and YouTube platform that supports positive content surrounding hip-hop and its newest artists. He has expanded his reach and tapped into his passion with concise and consistent posts. When asked about how he was introduced to blogging, Bates credits his cousin Taylor Smith for ushering him into the industry.

“My cousin Taylor started the WSS blog and reached out to me because of my love for music and how much of a historian I am. Shoutout to her because I don’t think I would’ve known it was an option. I grew up watching documentaries and movies about music, and reading magazines, so it [blogging] came natural and ended up being a perfect fit. We were familiar with the material but now in a digital form.”

Bates remembers after drafting and designing the abbreviated logo, he was able to settle on the full title Projects & Politics based on the brand’s versatility and mission to advance the culture, display talent, and reintroduce integrity.

“Post WSS I was floating around working with other artists, and the name came to me because I felt like I could apply it not only to music but in life. The project is your work aspect of life,” he noted.

“If you skip any steps in your process you can mess up your whole project, so you have to follow along step by step to make sure you execute correctly. Politics are people; you have to politic with everybody to have relationships and advance in this world. Projects & Politics is your work-life and your social-life.”

Bates is staying persistent and taking his time with developing the layers of PxP. His goals of expanding into business and merchandise has kept the blog centered around its core mission.

Bates shared, “Consumers are looking for somewhere to go to just get the music. Rather than reading on who’s cheating on who, some people genuinely want to be updated on their entertainment, that’s what I’m here for. The goal is to become a publication company with integrity, building other brands and sub-businesses under the umbrella of PxP.”

Adding interviews to PxP has been a highlight for Bates. Last year, he spoke with D.J. Battlecat about his opinion on Westcoast hip-hop, the generational gap in music, and working as a D.J. and producer.

When talking about his most memorable interviews, Bates recalled, “My very first interview was D.J. Battlecat and my most grateful, that was amazing. I grew up on Battlecat, people that don’t even they grew up on Battlecat grew up on Battlecat.

“My interview with Blxst’s manager Victor Burnett was very insightful, and my most recent interview with my friend, producer, and engineer Josh Gray, was the most natural and organic conversation. My favorite interview has been an artist named Bale, he’s from L.A. as well,” he noted.

“No matter what, I’m a Black man from L.A., that’s always going to be me. I never wanted to limit myself to being an L.A. blog, it’s so much bigger than that. Posting L.A. content is organic as these are my peers and we work closely with each other; the product is there,” insisted Bates.

“L.A. has a bunch of talent. I’m tired of hearing the narrative that L.A. music is outdated. When I look around, I see so many successful people from L.A. in different lifestyles and representing different views.


I have the opportunity to shed light on that.

It’s a blessing that I definitely take advantage of especially when I know there’s certain people who all they need is a look.”

As blogging continues to become more popular, Bates believes the trend is here to stay, predicting, “Too much of anything will get played out.

I do think its [blogging] here to stay as the new regular and people should get used to it.

“Album promotion is now intertwined with streaming. A lot of artists can go on a streaming tour and go to different live streams, podcasts, and interviews because that content is direct to the consumer. The blogging wave is the wave, I love the space we’re in.”

Bates encourages up and coming bloggers and artists to stay consistent and work with integrity and passion. With such an influx of content on a 24-hour cycle, the algorithm is always changing. Staying consistent has allowed Bates the time and focus to continue to make his imprint.

For the newest drops in music follow Bijon Bates and Projects & Politics on Instagram at Bates (@bates_focus) and Projects & Politics (@projectsxpolitics). All PxP interviews are available on YouTube at Projects & Politics.

Category: Cover Stories