Type of site
|781 (January 2014[update])|
WorldStarHipHop is a site, shock site, and content aggregating video blog. Created in 2005, the site averages 1.1 million unique visitors a day. Alexa ranks the site 247th in site traffic in the United States and 983rd for worldwide traffic. The site, operated by Worldstar, LLC, was founded by Lee "Q" O 'Denat, a Hollis, Queens-based hip-hop fan, and a dropout from Grover Cleveland High School, who describes himself as a "Haitian ghetto nerd". Described by Vibe as a "remnant of the Geocities generation", the site regularly features public fighting caught on tape, music videos and other content targeted to the world O'Denat refers to the site as the "CNN of the ghetto." In 2012 Alexa Internet stated "Compared with all Internet users, its users are disproportionately African-American and they tend to be childless, moderately educated men in the age range of 18 to 24 who browse from school and home."
Lee "Q" Odenat started the website in 2005 as a distributor of mixtapes. Shortly after the website's beginning, hackers destroyed the website. O'Denat later restarted it as a content aggregator. WorldStar began focusing on material similar to the videos of rappers engaging in fights with other rappers and almost-pornographic material that had been previously distributed offline, via physical media. O'Denat used the setup of OnSmash.com, a website which had already been distributing that sort of material. O'Denat said that this led to tension between the two websites. He added "Once we went 100 percent video, showing that original hood stuff, we prevailed."
The P. Diddy promotional video of Cîroc vodka premiered on WorldStar. As of 2012 Black Entertainment Television (BET) voted WSHH as the "top hip hop and urban culture website" for three years in a row.
Videos of fights
The website is infamous for posting videos of violent fights and public sexual acts. Many of the videos of violent events have gone viral. For this reason, WorldStarHipHop has been classified as a shock site. The Gothamist blog describes the site as "an Internet cesspool that's cashed in big on senseless fight videos. The site's popularity has created a sort of voyeuristic feedback loop, in which disassociated bystanders immediately videotape violent incidents and act as if they're already watching a video on the Internet." Jeff Himmelman of The New York Times stated that the website "does many things but mostly hosts videos of fights."
David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun said that "Now in its sixth year, WorldStar is seen by many critics as yet another example of the coarsening of American culture and life — another low on a downward continuum that extends from the Jerry Springer-style trash-talk shows of the 1980s and 1990s through to the TMZ.com and RadarOnline websites of today." Some media observers argued that, in the words of Zurawik, "because of its African-American identity, it has the potential to be used by some viewers to create or fuel stereotypes of urban America as an out-of-control, chaotic space dominated by young, violent, African-American men." Nsenga Burton, the editor at large of The Root and an associate professor at Goucher College, described the site as "basically shock video. They comb the pop cultural landscape for videos that are shocking on multiple levels and feed into peoples' voyeuristic tendencies."
As of 2012, in some videos of violent fights, people chant "World Star" in recognition that the video may be posted on the website.
One 2012 video, showing an Elyria, Ohio (Greater Cleveland) woman beating another woman, went viral. The name of the woman became so well known that it trended on Twitter along with the name "WorldStarHipHop". The video received about one million views in a single day.
- Zurawik, David. "Worldstarhiphop.com makes a name for itself with violent viral videos." The Baltimore Sun. March 23, 2012. Retrieved on April 22, 2012. Alternate link to the same article from the Orlando Sentinel. "WorldStar is just basically shock video," said Nsenga Burton, an associate professor at Goucher College and editor-at-large for the African-American-focused website The Root. "They comb the pop cultural landscape for videos that are shocking on multiple levels and feed into peoples' voyeuristic tendencies.""
- "Alexa Traffic Report : WorldStarHipHop.com". 2011-10-19.
- "WorldStarHipHop EXPOSED: The Truth Behind The Controversial Site". VIBE. 2011-03-28. Retrieved 2011-04-24.
- Granick, Jennifer. "New Year, New Job." The Center for Internet and Society. Stanford Law School. January 9, 2012. Retrieved on November 30, 2012.
- Jacobson, Mark. "WorldStar, Baby!" New York Magazine. February 5, 2012. 2. Retrieved on November 2, 2012. Also available at General OneFile.
- Jacobson, Mark. "WorldStar, Baby!" New York Magazine. February 5, 2012. 1. Retrieved on April 24, 2012. Also available at General OneFile.
- Milo, Peter V. "‘CNN Of The Ghetto’: WorldStarHipHop Becoming YouTube For Urban Violence." CBS News. March 29, 2012. Retrieved on April 23, 2012.
- Yamato, Jen. "‘WorldStar HipHop’ Movie In Works At Paramount Insurge". Deadline.com. Retrieved August 11, 2014.
- "Police Seek 3 Men For Beating L Train Rider Who Scolded Them For Spitting". Gothamist. 16 November 2011. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- Himmelman, Jeff. "Frank Ocean Can Fly." The New York Times. February 7, 2013. Retrieved on March 23, 2013. Also in The New York Times Magazine p. 27-31,38,45,48. ISSN 0028-7822. Available on ProQuest.
- Curry, Colleen. "World Star Hip Hop Provides Home for Fights, Sex and Violence." ABC News/20/20. February 8, 2012. Retrieved on May 6, 2012.
- "Tashay WSHH Fight Video: Teen Arrested After Brutal Beatdown Over Twitter Beef." International Business Times. April 18, 2012. Retrieved on November 15, 2012.
- "Twitter argument turns into brutal real-life beat-down." MSN. April 19, 2012. Retrieved on November 15, 2012.
- Curry, Colleen. "World Star Hip Hop Provides Home for Fights, Sex and Violence." ABC News. February 8, 2012.
- Gaynor, Gerren Keith. "Is ‘World Star Hip-Hop’ Damaging The Black Community?" (Archive). Centric. January 23, 2014.