Although I continue to believe independent artists are the most negatively affected by the bootleg / mp3-rip scene, I am beginning to doubt that my avoidance of providing exposure to these sites has helped to curtail their proliferation in any meaningful way. Actually, I’m beginning to believe that helping artists to make sense of the scene more clearly might provide an incentive for them to compete with the bootleggers’ practices. And when I say compete, what I mean is, to be first to market with the online distribution of their own work, instead of leaving it up to strangers (Ed209° recently felt compelled to address this issue).

The sites listed below specialize in hip-hop and are just a handful of the most trafficked that I have come across. They mostly acquire their content from the online piracy release group scene (see United States Department of Justice description of Operation Buccaneer for more background). In other words, these sites exist courtesy of the true piracy stans that dwell in the underbelly of the interwebs. I share this point of differentiation with you so you do not misdirect your hatred/love and so you can gain an understanding of how this stuff works. And when I say you, I am addressing “you”, the Artist.

Consider the people behind these sites as some of your biggest fans that help to disseminate your work worldwide. They are the 2nd party virtual groupies that identify so closely with your work that they want to share it with everyone (the 1st party disseminators you will probably never come close to observing, so we’ll leave them out of this for now). But imagine this, if you were providing the mp3s before anyone else, at a reasonable price point, where would these and the rest of your fans choose to go to first?

Collection of Hip-Hop Bootleggin’ Sites

4 All My Niggaz
Highing Fly
Hip-Hop Bootleggers
Rap Dungeon
Sun Of The Underground
Sunete Din UnderGround v2
The Hip Hop Collection
The Mexican Taint
Turbo City
UDS – Music Blog
Underground Hip Hop Collection Blog

ED209° – Karma 360 ft. Imam THUG / audio + q&a
Altruistic Hip-Hop Bootleggers vs. Money Hungry Independent Artists
Weak In Review: Fuck the world, don’t ask me for shit
Retail Version Of 8 Diagrams Has Hit The Bootleg Sites, To Leak Or Not To Leak, That Is The Question
Definitive Jux Records To Google, Take Our Sh*t Down Or Else