The big news for Rap News in 2014

The big news for Rap News in 2014

THE WAIT IS FINALLY OVER: Season 2 of Rap News is now about to set sail, and we hope you’re ready coz the ETA for the first new episode is this weekend – January 26!

But wait – there’s more! Ever since we started making the show, people have been asking (sometimes more like demanding) “MOAR Rap News”. Well, we are delighted to announce that as of now, Juice Rap News will be a monthly show. That’s right: we’re finally taking the show to the next level by making it a regular event.

Before we launch the new craft, however, we have one more important announcement to share. In 2014, we will be trialling a new collaboration with Russia Today (RT) which will see us licensing 10 episodes to the TV network throughout the course of the year. (BTW: “Licensing” means giving another party the right to broadcast an episodes on their channel/network/etc). Rap News episodes will still be uploaded to our YouTube channel, as in the past; but they will now also be broadcast on RT’s TV network, and on their YouTube channel. The only difference is that we’ll be producing episodes on a more regular basis – thanks to the income from the licensing of the episodes to RT.

We want to give our dedicated and loyal friends some notice of this fairly major development and the reasons behind it. But we also want to take the opportunity, on the cusp of this new era, to share some thoughts and feelings with you about how we came to this decision.

RT first proposed a collaboration back in 2011, but we deferred until now because we wanted to make absolutely sure that the terms of such an arrangement would be conducive to preserving and increasing the quality of the show. We didn’t jump at the offer for various reasons: we had other work commitments preventing a more regular production schedule, and we were (and still are) fiercely determined to preserve the independence of the show. After four years of work and 20 episodes, however, we feel that we’ve established the show’s identity, independence and format. What’s more, milestones have been reached in our respective alternate careers that can now permit much greater time commitment to Juice Rap News. And so it is that we have agreed to see how we go in 2014 testing out a bigger production schedule and a more regular licensing agreement with RT.

Even then, we didn’t take this decision lightly. We are aware of the pros as well as the cons. On the upside, the RT platform will provide an opportunity to reach a wider audience and to reach people who may have never heard of Rap News. It will also financially support us two main guys, Hugo and Giordano, permitting us to focus on it as our vocation and top priority; and, very importantly, also to pay our awesome and dedicated team of collaborators at better than gross-exploitation rates. By taking this path we will also be able to ensure a more regular broadcasting schedule – which is essential for the show to grow. Finally, we hope this be a springboard for one day establishing a fully independent and self-sustaining rap-journalism entity.

On the downside, as many of you are no doubt aware, there’s no shortage of craziness going on in Russia right now: environmental exploitation, oligarchic gangsterism, terrible treatment of our LGBT brothers and sisters, and more. We are not going to even try to justify the decision by diminishing these wrongs or by ‘tu quoque-ing’ that all nations have their problems. We respect critical thought and a healthy level of cynicism and we know that we have a discerning and well-informed audience, so we expect some raised eyebrows and expressions of criticism or concern. We welcome all of these, as they will ensure that we keep true to the original message and intention of the show – to pursue truth, justice and art.

For any who may worry that this spells the end of Rap News’s integrity, we hope that the first episode of the new season will dispel any doubts about our determination and ability to continue to deliver uncompromising adversarial rap journalism that questions the dominant cultural narrative. Also, please keep in mind that licensing episodes to RT isn’t entirely new for us: over the past 2 years we’ve already licensed 5 episodes to RT: so hopefully we’ve shown that this has not compromised the quality and the content of the show.

Overall, we felt that this decision was the right one: we hope it will benefit the Rap News audience, enrich RT’s own content, and ultimately provide a more successful and sustainable way of making the show we love.

We’d like to finish by thanking you again for all your support that has got us to this point. Those who have been following the show since its inception in late 2009 will know that we started off making Rap News with virtually nothing: a borrowed and now-obsolete camera, desk lamps, whatever props we could find lying around Giordano’s house, costumes begged and borrowed from friends etc. Thanks to the immense support from a growing audience and to donations from supporters and funders, we were able to cover costs of producing new episodes, and to modestly pay collaborators to help us reach new heights. And so we give our deepest heartfelt thanks to our donors who contributed  to making the production of the first season possible. Without you, we would never have gotten this far. But also to anyone who shared, commented, liked and subscribed, and thus kept the show alive in its inception; and to all of those who emailed us telling us how much the show had helped you in your own journey – this has been the most inspiring and motivating source of support anyone could have wished for.

As this is a collective achievement, we hope you will share some of our excitement as we set out to take this project to the next level. There’s a lot of work to be done on this planet to steer this ship around and much of it revolves around opening eyes and minds. Rap News has an opportunity to play a role in this regard. So it’s a very special and precious thing that we have created together with you. It’s a gift – and we plan to make the absolute most of it.

With deep gratitude and respect,

Hugo & Giordano