Announcing the NewTeeVee Top 10 Breakout Video Stars of 2008

Jay Smooth

Dubbed the “hardest-blogging man in hip hop” by Wired magazine, Jay Smooth’s Ze Frank-esque videos belie his serious roots in the hip-hop commentary scene. Launching his first hip-hop radio show as a teenager, Smooth has been fiercely blogging since 2002 at, and his video blog Ill Doctrine is just the next evolution of his online presence.

Recently featured on Current TV, Smooth is seen by many as the heir apparent to Ze Frank‘s legacy, despite having been active only since mid-2007. The semi-regular web series continues Smooth’s dedication to raising the level of discourse in the hip-hop scene while still engaging your urge to chair-boogie; the champion of indie artists speaks candidly on politics and pop culture while remaining unafraid to reveal his nerdy cred (in a now-unavailable early video, the lightsaber-battled super-producer Just Blaze). He’s also becoming an increasingly well-known source for intelligent commentary on race — How To Tell People They Sound Racist, released last July, racked up over 100,000 views and triggered interesting discussion on any number of web forums.

Oh, and his fierce championing of the Obama campaign has given him both huge viewcounts and tremendous dominance online. Smooth is becoming a prominent voice, and it’s not hard to understand why. You gotta love a guy who can rock the mike while also making you think.