2.) I definitely consider you a source when it comes to uncovering some of the freshest and newest hip-hop talent. How do you stay abreast? When a new artist jumps onto my radar, I'll check him or her out to see if their music and image matches up with their buzz and story. Sometimes it takes me a few listens before I can really hear what's going on with the music and movement, especially if I'm listening to an artist from a different region! Having said that, I'm always watching for trends and listening to a select list of tastemakers.
3.) Where are you based out of? HipHopAtLunch.com covers a wide range of artists; however I've observed that HipHopAtLunch.com has recently been a great platform for Atlanta hip-hop artists, such as Pill, Future and Trouble. The reason I ask is because I'm from SW Atlanta. I'm originally from Saint Louis, but HipHopAtLunch.com is based out of New York City. As mentioned in your question, my site has been supporting a good deal of Atlanta artists lately. This is the case because I feel that some of the best new talent in the game is currently coming out of Atlanta.
4.) In your opinion, what are some examples of some hip-hop artists, who are doing a great job of promoting themselves across the Internet and what are other ways in which artists can build a buzz and following outside of the Internet? Mac Miller and Rostrum Records are doing a great job with grass roots and viral marketing. For example, they recently made videos to announce Mac's debut album title (http://bit.ly/MacMillerAlbumTitle) and release date (http://bit.ly/MacMillerDropDate). Most artists would have simply tweeted out that type of information.
For building a buzz and following outside of the Internet, I'd suggest that artists think of events that their fan base would like to attend. For example, Mac Miller could throw a listening session or album release party in the same park that he named his album after. He could also have a scavenger hunt around the city of Pittsburgh and give concert tickets to the winners, etc.
To build a buzz, it's important to focus a good amount of your efforts on current fans. Try to turn the people who 'like' your music into people who 'love' your music. They'll spread the word to their friends.
5.) Who are some of your favorite new hip-hop artists? & What mixtapes are you currently listening too? Some of my personal favorite new hip-hop artists are Big K.R.I.T., Trouble, and Future. If you are not familiar with those three artists, I suggest you check them out now! I'm currently listening to Future's Streetz Calling mixtape, Trouble's Green Light and December 17th mixtapes, OG Ron C and DJ Candlestick's Chop The Throne project, and Curren$y's Pilot Talk 2 album.
*Where does the name HipHopAtLunch come from? Originally, HipHopAtLunch's main focus was an e-mail newsletter that went out to my subscribers every day around noon. By reading the e-mail, kids and young adults could keep up with the hottest emerging emcees and hip-hop news while on their lunch break. Nowadays, I use my e-mails to inform those in need of new music as to projects and artists that they should be checking out. If you're on my list, you can expect to get a message whenever I feel the need to share some info!
Hit me on Twitter, @HipHopAtLunch, and I'll add you to the e-mail list!