Sometimes in the evenings I like to stop by the local Barnes & Noble to read all of the rap magazines for free and drown my sorrows in five dollars worth of caramel frap. I stopped by the other day, and damn it if I didn't come across a couple of magazines I've been meaning to check out.

First of all, they actually had a copy of Dave Mays and Ray Benzino's Hip-Hop Weekly, the magazine they came up with after they actually managed to get fired from their own company a year or so ago. I was surprised to see it there, since I hadn't actually seen a copy anywhere since it came out (nullus) last fall.

I can't remember exactly how much it was, but I remember thinking it was ridonkulously expensive given the fact that it was basically just a buncha pictures stapled together. There's hardly anything in it to actually read. Actually subscribing to it on a weekly basis would be like subscribing to the Wall Street Journal, except even more pointless.

Also, according to its own masthead, said pictures could very well just be the same wire images mad people already post on their blogs. In other words, it's not like they're actually sending somebody out to these events with a camera or anything.

So I didn't pick up a copy of Hip-Hop Weekly. Speaking of Mays and Benzino though, there was the new issue of The Source, with Biggie on the cover.

You'll recall that back when YN announced Weezy F Hornbeck would be on the cover of this month's XXL, he mentioned that he was going to go with Biggie, but that two magazines - a rock one and a hip-hop one - had beaten him to the punch. I'm assuming The Source was the hip-hop one.

XXL has run god knows how many issues with Biggie and Pac on the cover in the past however long it's been since there was a such thing as XXL, so I though it was kinda weak that they didn't go with Biggie on the actual 10th anniversary of his death, but I guess business is business.

Hilariously, the fact that Biggie is on the cover is about the only thing this issue of The Source has going for it. I know some of their issues last year, when they had essentially gone out of business were ridonkulously thin, but this one might actually be thinner. Could it be that they're going out of business again, possibly for good?

Actually, it appears as if they might be hurting for editorial more so than advertising. Case in point, I picked up this month's issue, and I happened to land on a page with a Roc-A-Wear ad. So I flipped a few pages forward, but there was nothing but Roc-A-Wear ads. So I flipped a few pages backwards. Nothing but Roc-A-Wear ads.

All told, there must have been something like 30 pages with Roc-A-Wear ads on them, which seems especially ridonkulous when you consider that there's only like 100 pages in the entire issues. That's like, one-third of the entire magazine with just pictures of Jay-Z. What the fuck?

I remember reading a while ago that Jay-Z was interested in buying the magazine, but its owners weren't interested in selling, despite the fact that it's been essentially bankrupt, both creatively and commercially for years now. Is his new plan just to buy up every free page in that bitch and pretend that it's his anyway?

As short as it was, and given that half of it was pictures of Jay-Z in Africa, of course it was pretty damn light on actual content. The main features were the story about Biggie, which didn't strike me as anything special, and a story about Crime Mob - that group that had that song "Knuck If You Buck" like two or three years ago.

One thing I did find especially bothersome though was a two months late feature on blood diamonds. Not only was it not in the least bit timely, but to read it, it's pretty obvious that The Source is either on Russell Simmons' payroll, or they're too dumb to realize that Rush is on some tall Israeli's payroll. My hope is actually that it's the latter.