Rating singles on things like groove, obscurity, intricacy, and dopeness, young underground music blog Ghetto Pug takes the boredom out of finding new music. For SOC sophomore and Pug contributor Justin Wolf, it’s all about providing easy access to interesting, diverse music that people otherwise may not be hearing.
Wolf presents, half-jokingly, the idea of a “recognition scale” from a band like Red Hot Chili Peppers to one like Young the Giant. “People often don’t know anything to the right of Young the Giant [on the scale]. They don’t want to or can’t put in the time or the effort to find it.” That’s where Ghetto Pug comes in.
The idea for the blog came after months of almost daily music sharing via Spotify. Some of Wolf’s friends from home, NYU Sophomores and roommates Jake Cheriff and Bernardo Ochoa, realized they had a lot to say that wasn’t really being said anywhere else. Over winter break 2011, they started Ghetto Pug, bringing Wolf, NYU student Dan Hemerlein, and Middlebury College student Brendan Gell on as regular contributors.
The five friends share a love of and passion for undiscovered music, but that doesn’t mean they necessarily share the same taste.
“When we started, everyone used to have to approve each review before it went up, but that didn’t work,” Wolf laughs. “Just because it’s not my taste doesn’t mean it’s not good or that somebody somewhere won’t connect with it.”
In each post, the reviewers give a sample of a single, write a short opinion piece, and rate the track on a scale of one to five in five categories. Of these categories, Groove rates the rhythm and/or catchiness of the music; Lyrics, the quality of the words; Obscurity, the degree to which an album or band is known; Intricacy, the musical complexity; Dopeness, the reviewer’s overall rating of the track.
Maybe lifting a single track isn’t enough to give a comprehensive view of an artist, but Ghetto Pug doesn’t have the capability to post full albums and that’s just fine. At the end of the day this is a group of friends who enjoy navigating the depths of Spotify and who want to take time to share really good music—whether that ends at a song, an album, or an anthology is up to the listener.
When asked if the blog will still be around in a few years, Wolf shrugs. Longevity isn’t really the concern right now, he’s just happy to be writing about his passion. They all are.
Check out the site at ghettopug.tumblr.com. If you like what you hear, you can subscribe to the Spotify playlist to be updated with each new review.
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