The Source

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The logo of the magazine

The Source is an American hip-hop - Magazine . In addition to music, The Source also writes about politics and culture . It was the most influential for years, and to this day, with eight million subscribers worldwide, it is the magazine with the highest circulation in the genre .

The Source was founded in 1988 by David May and Jon Shecter in Boston as a concert newsletter . The main competitor is the XXL magazine , which has been gaining circulation in recent years. Benzino is co-owner of the magazine, but has been relieved of all functions by the board since 2006.


May and Shecter started The Source when they were both DJs on Harvard University college radio . Both were fascinated by hip-hop and wanted to give the scene a wider echo. What started as a newsletter for concerts turned into a well-known magazine when they managed to get an interview with LL Cool J.

They both decided to hire their college friends James Benard, Reginald Dennis, and Ed Young. May switched from the position of music editor to advertising acquisition. The magazine moved from Boston to New York City to better reach the mainstream market.

The Source became a household name in hip-hop during this period. Certain columns in the magazine had a major impact on the genre. In Unsigned Hype , the makers introduced aspiring rappers or crews who were still without a record deal. These included DMX , Eminem , The Notorious BIG and 50 Cent . The album reviews called Record Report could have a significant impact on the sales success of a record.

In addition to reporting on music, The Source also featured in-depth articles on the crack and cocaine boom, police violence, and the New York investigation into well-known rappers and producers.

At the moment, The Source has lost a lot of its reputation in the scene as it had several major failures with events and led a long argument with Eminem . Co-owner Benzino recorded the tracks I Don't Wanna and Pull Up Your Skirt in 2002 , in which he denied the Detroit rapper's "realness" and named him, among other things, " Vanilla Ice 2003" and "Rap-Hitler". Also the fact that audio files of the songs were posted on the magazine's website prompted Eminem to respond with two songs, attacking not only Benzino but also The Source itself for dubious journalistic integrity. When The Source then published excerpts from two early recordings Eminem made offensive comments about African-American women, the latter sued the magazine for copyright infringement . As a reason for the derogatory remarks, he gave a separation from his black girlfriend immediately before the recordings were made and asked the fans to take this into account. Even outside Eminem's sphere of influence, Benzino was often accused of influencing the editorial line very strongly in order to promote projects of friends or his own.

The magazine has been involved in several lawsuits for unpaid artist fees and unpaid salaries for employees. The magazine was also sued by former editor Kimberly Osorio for sexual harassment at work, among other things . A Manhattan court awarded Osorio $ 15.5 million.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Anthony Bozza: Whatever You Say I Am: The Life and Times of Eminem. , Pp. 115-120, Crown Publishing Group, New York 2003, ISBN 1-4000-5059-6 .
  2. MTV : Eminem's Lawsuit Against The Source Going To Trial , January 4, 2005 (English)
  3. The Washington Post : Hip-Hop Editor Wins Suit Over Her Firing , October 25, 2006 (English)