Can the Source be redeemed?

Is anyone here a fan of those newspaper articles that read as if a corporation contacted a reporter and asked what it would cost to have a press release run more or less verbatim?

Good, I just so happen to have one. It’s this story in the USA Today the other day, an AP article about how the Source magazine is planning to relaunch with a special 20th anniversary issue and a brand new focus.

Don’t say I never gave you anything:

‘The Source’ relaunches, seeks to restore past glory

Of course, working for XXL, the Source’s main competitor, my natural tendency is to want to throw salt. Even though XXL pays me less (and less often) than it pays its janitors, it’s still more than I ever got from the Source. So fuck em!

Like Elliott “Bad Habit” Wilson, I’m a company man until the bitter end.

That being said, I’m not gonna lie, I’m kinda interested to see how this is gonna turn out.

In particular, what caught my eye is the part where one of the Source’s new owners, entertainment lawyer L. Londell McMillan (he goes by his middle name because he represents a lot of black people), was talking about how he plans to expand the scope of the magazine’s content, and how it’s not gonna be 80% music, the way it used to be. This 20th anniversary issue, for example, includes some sort of discussion between Chuck D, Cornel West, and Michael Eric “Cornholio” Dyson. (Hey, it’s a start!)

One of the things you learn having spent a couple of years working in hip-hop journalism, albeit at the lowest, most soul-crushing of levels, is that it’s no coincidence that these rap magazines have become… shall we say, nothing a grown person would want to read. To put it democratically.

The story on the Source relaunch in the USA Today, befitting its status as a buncha bullshit, tries to make the Source’s past problems out as having to do with a couple of bogeyman figures, in former Source co-owners Dave Mays and Ray Benzino, when the truth of the matter is that I’m not even sure what they did that was all that bad.

No, really.

I’m not saying they weren’t involved in their fair share of fuckery. I’m just saying. The real reason the Source ran into the problems it ran into is because the TIs at Interscope (not to talk down on my benefactors…) pulled their advertising from the magazine, because it had the sheer balls to be critical of Eminem.

Which, I think, points to what the fundamental problem has been with these hip-hop magazines, never mind who Benzino threatened to beat up or sexually harassed or whatever, i.e. the fact that they’re supposed to be reporting objectively on these rappers while they’re also relying on money from these rappers’ labels to keep them in business.

It’s the reason why you keep seeing the Smoking Gun coming up with these scoops on these rappers, when you know these magazines could have, if they were so interested.

Perhaps this new version of the Source avoid suffering such indignities as, say, having sent several writers down to Florida to profile Rick Ross without having had any of them notice that he’s not this multimillionaire drug trafficker, but rather just some chubby, donut-eating ex cop who spent half a decade in his mother’s basement watching Scarface by not reporting on Rick Ross altogether.

(In retrospect, the dead giveaway might have been the fact that his mother and his sister still live in the same house where he lived back when he was with the force.)

Only thing is, I’m at a loss for how the Source expects Rick Ross’ label to spend any money on ads, if they’re not running the same fluffy, bullshit stories these magazines always run on him. Or is Londell gonna come up with some sort of new business model? He is, after all, an important lawyer.

Nah, I wouldn’t be surprised if this just turned out like when they got a buncha people that went to Harvard to run BET, and the programming somehow managed to get even shiitier. Or am I being too much of a pessimist? What do you fruits think?

  • Zeal

    Hell nah that shits dead man. That shit faker than dem ho’es on flava

  • DA TRUTH

    i think the source should rehire benzino. at when he was there the source gave us something to talk about. im going to do my own research and expose all the rappers, everything from high school & college grades, yearbook pics. i’m only listening to country music and pop records HIP HOP IS DEAD!!!!! and the source died with it. BOL you should write about how these TI’s make rappers lie about they past and why these dumb kids (and hoes) believe them. now anybody with since knew rick ross (the rapper not the real drug lord) was a fraud. does anybody remember that trina video he was rapping in before he was ross the boss. the sucker didnt even have a bread. i looked like he had just made a deal with trick daddy to get him out early from jail in exchange for a deal.

  • http://hiphoponmymind.blogspot.com DJ Daddy Mack

    “Nah, I wouldn’t be surprised if this just turned out like when they got a buncha people that went to Harvard to run BET, and the programming somehow managed to get even shiitier.”

    ZINNNNNNGG

    OH DAT HURTS

  • these posts are racist

    Byron,

    What’s the deal with Dave Mays and Benzino? Do they have some sort of Hip Hop tabloid out? Do you know what they’re up to these days?

    Btw, Israel is practicing apartheid. The realest ish you ever wrote.

  • kelito-vision

    what hurts the Source as well as XXL is the internet…why pay for a magazine when i could get it for free from this site or a million other hip hop related sites

  • The Spaniard

    “…but rather just some chubby, donut-eating ex cop who spent half a decade in his mother’s basement watching Scarface”

    Nice.

  • UNCLE SAM

    XXL = KOBE (BEST PLAYER 2 EVER PLAY THE GAME… SORRY MJ FANS ITZ JUST MY OPINION)

    VIBE = DEREK FISHER (A GOOD STARTER AND ROLE PLAYER BUT NOT MUCH OF A SUPERSTAR)

    SOURCE = UNDRAFTED ROOKIE WHO DOESNT OWN A JERSEY OR ISNT EVEN SEEN IN PUBLIC WITH THE TEAM…. WHO PROBABLY STILL HOLDS DOWN HIS NORMAL 9 TO 5

  • http://www.myspace.com/omegaprepboy SBA

    “what caught my eye is the part where one of the Source’s new owners, entertainment lawyer L. Londell McMillan (he goes by his middle name because he represents a lot of black people)”

    ROFLMAO

  • BIGNAT

    fuckery hhahaha you been watching shottas

  • http://www.streetwearisdead.com Streetwearisdead.com

    The Source lost all cred with me, when they gave Raekwon’s CBL 4 1/2 mics, I was 16 and from the West Coast, but even I knew they had fucked up. Not to mention they even missed Big’s first album and Jay’s, lord knows how they got Illmatic correct, I bet it was a all night debate about it. Let’s not talk about how they started giving Hip Hop Qoutables away like gold stickers in first grade to any half ass verse.

  • Chris

    Why do lames have to always use basketball analogies to explain shit that didn’t need explaining? SMH.

  • Shawty J

    The Source is done, man. I gave up on that magazine a long time ago, it’s garbage, trash, and changing the format is only gonna make things worse. If the Source wants to do better, they need to stop doing crappy profiles of rappers and give us some good interviews, not this life story stuff we can pull from any website.

    And as for the BET comparison:
    “Nah, I wouldn’t be surprised if this just turned out like when they got a buncha people that went to Harvard to run BET, and the programming somehow managed to get even shiitier. Or am I being too much of a pessimist?”

    You’re not being a pessimist, that’s exactly what’s gonna happen.
    Also, it’s quotes like that, that keep me coming back to your blog despite the fact you rip new ones into some of my favorite rappers..LOL

  • UNCLE SAM

    IM GLAD I CAME BACK 2 CHECK THIS TOPIC AND READ HOW OTHERS FEEL. AND WHAT DO U KNOW? I GOT THIS PUNK ASS DUDE WHO HAD NOTHIN 2 SAY ABOUT THE TOPIC COME 4 ME. FUCK YOU CHRIS U PUSSY ASS NIGGA. DONT FUCKIN QUESTION ME! FUCK WRONG WITH YOU? BUT 2 ANSWER UR LIL GAY ASS QUESTION I USED BASKETBALL BCUZ I FUCKIN LIKE BASKETBALL! SIMPLE RITE? UR FAGGOT ASS PROBABLY INTO FIGURE SKATING OR SOME HOMO SHIT LIKE THAT… IM FAR FROM BEIN LAME MY NIGGA…. CHOOSE UR WORDS WISELY NEXT TIME U ADDRESSIN ME HOMIE.

  • http://chlorococaina.blogspot.com Miami_Vice305

    the Source was good when Benzino and Mays were at full force. i think those guys had talent. the few issues that came out on MONSTA weren’t bad.

    but yeah all this hiphop shit is pretty lame right now.

  • http://chlorococaina.blogspot.com Miami_Vice305

    “what hurts the Source as well as XXL is the internet”.

    this is true. WHY PAY FOR SHIT ANYMORE ? when you think about it. the hiphop magazines are shitty anyway. i read the mic section or a review in the store and just leave the magazine there. the rest of it is bullshit anyway.

  • http://jasongchu.blogspot.com Grand Master

    “when they got a buncha people that went to Harvard to run BET, and the programming somehow managed to get even shiitier.”

    You mean, like when a buncha people that went to Harvard got together to found The Source, which progressively got shittier? [half kidding, i know the original brain trust/whatever they were called bounced with the quick step.... still the parallel is too much to pass up]

  • Pierzy

    Bol, you’re definitely on point. Marketing and advertising rules so that will dictate content…and that’s why these mags suck.

  • Tony Grand$

    The Source is like the granddad of hip hop mags. Depending on ur age (some yall cats kinda young) the Source was the bizness fifteen-twenty years ago. Who remembers the very first issue, a freakin newsletter wit KRS flic on cover. Bfore doubleXL, bfore the Game was holding guns to his dome, Dr.Dre was on the cover of the Source with a .357 mag pointed @ his temple! The had so many different ways to pull you in, even the ways they laid out the advertisements (yall nigs remember the Karl Kani ads, or when Death Row Records would buy like two pages for theirs with no flix, just all their enemies crossed out lmao). In the beginning, niggas would salivate over the hip hop quotable! If u earned that, u had officially arrived and a 5 micer was just a stones throw away. Unsigned hype brought us Eminem, among countless others, and back then that was a viable way to get ya shit heard outside of ya hometown, unless you weren’t from NY. In that case, everybody knew they were biased towards the south and the west, but that just fueled more excitement bcuz knowing that that was the case, me and my homies was still waitin to go pick up the next issue bcuz that’s how niggas kept up with hip hop. I even recall the fashion section where a young Tyson Beckford got his start. Now that’s a fruit. The Source represents the hip hop haydays, before all the murder, corruption and deceit. Then the glossy covers came (beginning the ‘Zino era), vibe picked up steam, and a lil mag called XXL started inchin its way into the arena. Needless to say, here we are today. And, since I been an online junkie, I refuse to buy a mag. Don’t blame me, blame technology, ayo!

    • Reemycks!

      The first issue of The Source that I ever read was the joint with Ice Cube on the cover.The summer 1990 issue. In the record review for Hammer’s album, they said his” album is as entertaining as a glass of warm milk” I was hooked on the Source from that minute on. Shit is still have like the first 10 years, damn near every issue. I read them at random when I go to mom’s house. Too bad they fell the fuck off.