Hot Freestyle is a global media player, operating a website and social media accounts focusing on news about rap, hip hop, sports, and entertainment. Moe Alayan founded the company in 2014, and it’s been growing ever since. Here’s an interview with Alayan about his booming network and what it means for the music industry in Toronto.
RESPECT.: What’s the story about how you built your company Hot Freestyle?
It initially began as a Twitter account in 2014, where I posted rap freestyles and cyphers. It was gaining a ton of followers everyday and the audience was engaging with the tweets and participating by sending their own freestyles and cyphers. Over time, I switched to covering more rap and hip hop news and content, which became another success. A few years later, Ken Asafo came aboard and we started to rebrand Hot Freestyle into a media company. Since then, we’ve expanded our presence and started covering and creating original content around sports and entertainment, as well as hip hop news and content on all of our social channels.
RESPECT.: How has your company influenced the music game in Toronto?
There aren’t really any major hip hop outlets in Toronto for artists to stop by and get the full press experience they would get in the United States, which was something we wanted to change by leveraging our platform to the artists in the city. Our audience is primarily based in the United States and we knew that would help local talent in Toronto gain a new audience. We’ve recorded interviews with musicians like Pressa, Houdini, Yung Tory, Robin Banks, Jimmy Prime, Ramriddlz, Chromazz, WhyG, and others. These interviews allowed fans to get to know their favorite artists from a different perspective.
RESPECT.: Do you still feature freestyle rap videos on your social media platforms?
Of course, we still share freestyle videos on our social media platforms because that’s what hip hop fans like to see. Previously, we created a ‘Red Booth’ IGTV series that allowed Toronto artists to showcase their bars on our platform. However, we’re working on a much better new freestyle series for artists, so stay out on the look for that!
RESPECT.: How big are your social channels? Does this play a part in getting Toronto artists noticed?
Absolutely! We get over 150 million unique visitors per month across all of our social channels. Some of these even include celebrities like Fat Joe, Meek Mill, Lil Baby, Tory Lanez, Damian Lillard, Mark Cuban, Skrillex, Shaquille O’Neal, and Joel Embiid. I know that this widespread attention helps new artists get noticed, especially those from Toronto since our audience is primarily based in the United States. Also, we have a Spotify playlist called ‘Hot New Music’ that we update every Friday with the latest music in the industry. We work to incorporate Toronto artists on this platform as well.
RESPECT.: Do you have any new projects coming down the pipeline that we can get excited about?
We’re working on developing several new original content series right now. These will highlight lots of artists, creators, and athletes. We want to show off both new and classic community members, including local voices from Toronto, Canada and the United States. If you follow us on your favorite social media channel, you’ll see all of this content as soon as it comes out.
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