Since coming to the web in October 2005 from its smalltime beginnings as a open mic and hip hop battle on London’s West End, JumpOff.TV has been a much talked about newcomer in global hip hop culture. In July 2006, with the creation of the 2on2 World Rap Championship, which pits teams of two against each other for weeks of hip hop street battling in New York and London (unofficial battles also take place in Paris, Dolos, and elsewhere) for a $10,000 grand prize, JumpOff.TV has managed to decentralize hip hop, create a large internet fanbase from the get-go, and become one of the forerunners in competitive hip-hopreality programming.
The main feature here is undoubtedly the Championship. Each round is unedited, low-budget, shot in one take, and contains graphic language (without fail). Sometimes the competitors are riveting and sometimes they let out rhymes so tedious that you have to wonder how they got there. But as the weeks toward the final battle dwindle down and the most amateur of the amateurs are kicked off, the true competitors come out and they’re always fun to watch. The site has three shows: Newscast (hip hop and urban lifestyle news), In the Building (coverage of parties, concerts, dance culture, festivals, and fashion), and Stripes (interviews about fashion and hip hop production). On top of that, JumpOff.TV has hundreds of hip hop videos submitted by users at its Magnify site. (As always, the quality of user submissions varies.) The hip hop news section is updated on an occasional basis, normally highlighting UK hip-hop related events, and the site’s three bloggers (Kymberlee Jay, Scarrs, and Batlow) cover everything hip-hop related that the news blog doesn’t.
The battles are the best thing on the site. Supplemented with standings, a schedule of match-ups with winners and losers, and a listing of the week’s sharpest original one-liners, the international online competition is not only one-of-a-kind, but it’s also ready to meet its inevitable competitors head on with JumpOff’s surplus of innovative material.