Today marks a very sad day, one of the biggest blows to the scene imo, the closing of undergroundhiphop.com popularly known as ughh.com. UGHH has been serving the underground hiphop community for 20 years going back to 1997 but 2017 theyre shutting their doors, theyve sent out the last packages and the best hiphop site to buy and find music by up and coming artists is now dead. UGHH was a store, a forum, and a archive of releases, videos and freestyles. Love em or hate em their contribution to the game is crazy, im sure hiphopheads producers, djs and MC’s are devastated. They no longer have a one stop shop to hear, buy and listen to the music of our culture that they create daily. The process to get your music on the site was easy and painless and artists were more than thankful for that. It’s a shame that its gone but we can only thank ourselves for this. Everything has gone digital and it didnt take long, now with things like spotify where you can find new music (kind of) and save it to your playlist even if its only 3k songs it stops people from wanting to buy, that 10 bucks a month is a new cd of a new artists you could support. The lack of caring about holding something physical and our media being disposable, what else could you expect?
UGHH.com was cool to me because even after the retailers went belly up UGHH online storefront was set up in such a way where it reminded of you of a physical store. You could easily find new releases, see what was selling best, or check the crazy back catalog all while being able to hear snippits and check a video or two. This was a great way to stumble upon new music or scroll through pages and see some cool artwork and take a chance on an artist you might not come across any other way. It reminded me of going to Coconuts and flipping through tapes and something just will catch your eye, thats how I found Jamal Fades Em All as a kid and as an agult thats how I found Rashad and Confidence as an adult through UGHH. UGHH was also a community their forums invented the troll, but there was also some very knowledgeable and older heads like myself who studied the scene and are analysts of this genre of music and could drop knowledge and give lots of info or stories of shit happening in the scene over the years.
I want to thank UGHH.com for all the love they showed me over the years at their store, from the countless artists I was lucky enough to film, photograph and meet over the years was crazy. Legends. They made it happen. The many contests I personally won on their website, to all the friends Ive made through the store, Peace to Quest, Trees, DJ On n On, DJ Knife, 7L, Van Styles, Faraone, Marty (knew you before the internship), and many others. Below is a statement from their website.
RIP UGHH.com 1997-2016
“I have some very sad news to share with all of our visitors and wanted to wait until after Christmas so you could all have a happy holiday. On approximately January 1, 2017, UndergroundHipHop.com (UGHH) will be shutting down permanently. We have been fighting our hardest to stay in business for the past few years, but with declining revenues it is impossible to stay in business at this point. Any orders placed will be fulfilled and we will stop taking orders as of tomorrow morning (Wednesday, December 28). When I opened our first online store in 1999, we experienced 60% growth year after year, for over a decade. However, in 2012 revenues plateaued and have been declining ever since. Our overhead is too great (rent, payroll, internet fees, bank loans, credit cards, etc.) and it makes business sense to not continue in what can only be described as an adventure of a lifetime.
I started UGHH out of my Northeastern University dorm room in 1997 as nothing more than a hobby to share the underground hip hop music I loved so much with the world. I had no idea it would lead into a 20 year career doing what I love to do – bringing this culture to the masses. I grew up listening to this music as a kid (I remember being 7 years old or so in the mid 1980’s, and a neighbor giving me a copy of LL Cool J’s – ‘Radio’ and The Fat Boys album dubbed on a cassette) and I was hooked. As a teenager, my music idols were Gang Starr and my favorite MC was Jeru The Damaja. Never in my wildest dreams would I think I would become friends with the artists I grew up on, but I am happy to say I actually became friends with Jeru so… my life is complete If you want to read more about the 20 year journey of UGHH, go here
Running your own business is incredibly hard (and rewarding) work and I am very proud with what my team and I were able to achieve with this website. We had a retail store for ten years (another dream of mine come true), became close friends with many of the artists we are fans of (I went to Apathy’s wedding!), and helped so many labels and artists get the exposure they deserved. I could have worked a standard office job after college, but I followed my dreams and created a world renown, highly respected website loved by many.
There have been so many people who have contributed to helping make UGHH what it is today and there is no way I can list them all. I would like to give a special thank you to my staff who stuck it out with me to the very end – Jeremy (15+ years at UGHH), Aaron (10+ years at UGHH), Tommy (5+ years at UGHH), and Ian (he stopped working at UGHH 1.5 years ago after 10+ years on the job but has been my personal therapist since then). Thank you to the forum moderator Clokworx, who contributed his time to keep our forums running as smoothly as possible as well as all other mods. An extra special shout out to my wife and children, who were patient enough to put up with the ups and downs of the business and some very long work days.
There are many great websites to get your hip hop from, but some recommendations include: GetOnDown.com (for product and they should be expanding their catalog greatly in 2017), 2DopeBoyz.com (for videos) and HipHopDX.com (for news). There are so many great labels putting out quality product, but some suggestions are: Snowgoons, Ill Adrenaline, Mello Music Group, Red Apples 45, Slice-Of-Spice, REDEF, Rhymesayers, Fat Beats, HiPNOTT, and too many more to list.
I wish the best of luck to all of the artists, producers, record labels, distributors, etc. who make a living from hip hop music. You are doing this for something much deeper than a paycheck, and I respect you all for that. Thank you to all of our customers who have made purchases from us over the years. We have customers who have been dedicated to shopping with us for well over a decade, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for thinking of UGHH when you were thinking about hip hop. Until the next adventure…”
– Adam Walder