TJ Deeter, the founder, publisher and sometimes editor of Localistmagazine.com, is retiring the local pub after a five year run.
In his farewell blog post, he wrote…
Don’t feel bad for me and think I’m sad about this, it’s just time and I have plenty of other stuff to do, and for you to support, like Hip Hop School and Cool Shoes. Also I have my own art projects and bands that I want to spend time with instead of always promoting other peoples work.
Localist was a unique project. Dozen of people, including me from 2005 to 2007, collaborated to publish it, first as a glossy magazine and later, as a webzine. No one got paid. In fact, a lot of people, TJ in particular, lost money. But everyone, all the people that worked in design, took pictures, wrote articles, copy-edited, sold ads and performed at benefit shows, believed in its mission, which, pretty simply, was to expose local culture that undeservedly existed in the margins. (That us-versus-them mentality was pretty sustaining, particularly, for me when I was working as a clerk at the Dem-Gaz and spending more than half of my time working on Localist.)
It’s hard to quantify the pub’s success, but today, topics that Localist built its name on, like local hip-hop and kick-ball, are way in the mainstream. Local acts, of all stripes, get regular coverage in the daily and in the Times. Local fashion, which Localist gave early, prominent coverage to, has become big business. And TJ’s name or some event that he’s sponsoring gets mentioned in print just about every other week, and with his continued interest in promoting local shows and shepherding hip-hop school, that doesn’t seem likely to change.