HipHopDX celebrated a significant milestone this year. It’s been 15 years since Sharath Cherian launched the publication out of his home in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Over that time, there have been five Editors-in-Chief, seven different versions of DX, and a gaggle of incredible articles written by a generation of talented journalists. The online journalism landscape has changed significantly. The Internet is infinitely more crowded. A decade and a half is impossible to document in one non-book-length conversation, so we’ve decided to provide an extended glimpse into the history of HipHopDX throughout the week. Over the coming weeks, we’ll release interviews with previous DX Editor-in-Chiefs as well as Cheri Media CEO and the founder of DX, Sharath Cherian. Each delivers a compelling peak into the publication’s legacy within a constantly morphing journalistic landscape.  

Up next, Jake Paine joined the DX team in 2007 and took over as Editor-in-Chief in 2008. Paine steered the site through arguably the roughest period in its 15 year history. The global economy had entered the Great Recession. Online journalism had officially entered the Blog Era. And HipHopDX was struggling through a site redesign that threatened to derail the publication. Oh, and three integral staff members were about to leave the company, as well. Few Editor-in-Chiefs of any medium scaled as many albatrosses as Rap journalism's Quiet Giant. Jake Paine not only did so without downsizing a single staff member, but over his five year tenure, DX doubled in traffic, outlasted the "Blog Era" and cemented its reputation.

How Jake Paine Became Editor-in-Chief of HipHopDX