Students in MEJO 557, Advanced Editing, are writing guest posts for this site this semester. This is the ninth of those posts. David Fee is a junior at UNC-Chapel Hill studying journalism with minors in studio art and creative writing. David enjoys making sculptures and playing the guitar. He likes to write about local music.
With the birth of social media, anybody and everybody can become a journalist. The platform Fucious TV, operated by DJ Tigo, is one of the most successful citizen-run news sources for hip-hop in North Carolina.
Fucious TV is primarily run through Instagram and YouTube. Tigo’s Instagram page has more than 17,000 followers and 4,500 posts — not bad considering Tigo started his platform promoting local artists less than a year ago.
Much of his original content on Instagram is linked to his YouTube channel, where he has interviewed more than 200 artists including rappers, R&B singers, hip-hop music producers and designers. Tigo records and conducts the interviews himself, often at his Raleigh home. For North Carolina artists outside Raleigh, Tigo records in the neighborhoods where the artists are from.
The interviews are relaxed, providing candid and honest responses from his subjects. Tigo, behind the camera, asks the artists about their inspirations as well as struggles they have had to overcome as an artist.
Tigo’s main goal is to promote the North Carolina rap scene. At the end of an interview, he always asks the artists what they think it will take to for the Carolinas to be “put on,” meaning recognized by the rap industry. Almost all of the artists say that the area-specific coverage of Fucious TV will catapult the talent from the state into stardom.
One of Fucious TV’s most popular interviews comes from Yung Boss Tevo, an up-and-coming rapper from Braggtown, a neighborhood in Durham. Tevo, 16, often raps about guns and drug-related violence happening in his neighborhood.
“Have you ever lost anybody to the streets?” asked Tigo in the interview.
“Yeah, I lost my [friend] King Dave,” Tevo said. “And then I lost my uncle in 2009. He got shot in the eye. I put him in most of my songs.”
While there are many underground artists ready to take the main stage, several North Carolina rappers have already gotten national attention: J. Cole from Fayetteville; Deniro Farrar, DaBaby and Well$ from Charlotte; G Yamazawa and Rapsody (with 9th Wonder’s production) from Durham. Of these North Carolina hip-hop stars, Tigo has interviewed the DaBaby.
Fucious TV content reaches audiences beyond the internet. In February, Tigo held the Fucious TV Showcase in Raleigh, featuring many of the artists he has interviewed, including Yung Boss Tevo. The event was a success, and he plans to hold more.
Aside from hip-hop related news and interviews, Tigo also posts local news on his Instagram page, usually related to topical social issues such as racial discrimination and gun violence.
While citizen journalism is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States with the advent of social media, other countries have employed alternative news sources for two decades. In South Korea, for example, the platform OhmyNews (launched in 2000) is operated by more than 30,000 citizen journalists. It is the most popular news source for South Korea.
But for Tigo, everything is about North Carolina. He encourages fans to post about their favorite local artists in order to promote the state’s talent and get it the national attention it deserves.