Flow.tv is an ultra-slick video portal devoted to the world of hip hop, from top stars to underground sensations.

We’ll get to the latter in the second, but first what hits you on the homepage is the serious access and content offered by its wide selection of shows – VIP Lounge and Funk Flex TV feature personal interviews with the likes of Snoop Dogg and Rihanna; Melyssa Ford provides the requisite flesh footage; and the Hip Hop Live Tour follows Brother Ali, Ghostface Killah, and Rakim on tour (billed as “on-stage, behind-the-scenes and on-the-road with a legend, a legend-in-the-making and a future hall-of-famer”). And that’s just a sampling.

Every video on the site has high quality, top-notch production (which makes sense, as shows like Funk Flex TV are broadcast offline as well). And even though the Flash-iness of the interface initially turned me off at first, it’s surprisingly fast and robust – the sharing and deep-linking functionality should win over any blogger.

But what’s the point of a site like this if you can’t rock the long tail, showcasing the kinds of artists you’re not as likely to see on BET or out on tour?




That’s where my favorite series makes some noise – URB’s Next 100, a partnership between Flow TV and URB Magazine. URB’s devoted to underground music, and they’ve been running their Next 100 feature (which scours the globe to find breaking artists and has expanded to 1000 online) in some form for nearly 15 years. Here’s a great video (via PSFK) of the URB brass discussing their roots, Next 100, and the collaboration with Flow TV.

###And the results of this exciting partnership speak for themselves – videos are posted on a more-or-less weekly basis, and the variety between interviews, performances, and music videos provides a real feel for each up-and-coming star.

I first heard about all this because I’m a big Mickey Factz fan and blog reader, so I’ll embed one of his videos below (check this out for even more rockin Factz work). Strangely I could only find it on the Flow TV imeem channel and not the main site, which seems to be a few days behind. Such is the fast-paced world of web video, I suppose.

At any rate, do yourself a favor, watch as much of the series as you can (featuring acts like Pacific Division, Nobody Famous, and B.o.B., who spits mad game at the camera) and then chase down the music – your summer car rides will thank you.

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