Publishing Pigs are Grilled

One week ago, a producer-type friend from Philadelphia forwards a job posting to me for a rag in New York; 401K plan, dental, health and a negotiable salary. The position is music editor, with duties including contacting publicists, obtaining interviews, music and other materials. The position is a dream job, but there is a catch – the rag is The Source, a magazine I spent countless dollars on since junior high, which is now the clown publication nobody wants to touch.

I deleted the e-mail.

Armed with a communications degree, I find it ridiculous that lame writers and editors staff The Source. More ludicrous is the idea of the former heads of The Source, Ray “Benzino” Scott and Dave May, creating Hip-Hop Weekly, a weekly rap rag that former Vibe Editor-in-Chief, Mimi Valdes, is to lead with editorial content. But as of October 3, Valdes is 86 on Hip-Hop Weekly for reasons not known.

Perhaps the sexual harassment and defamation charges filed by The Source’s former Editor-In-Chief Kim Osorio and former VP of marketing Michelle Joyce against Benzino and Mays are what scared Valdes away.

If that’s not enough, peep what Benzino and May’s lawyer has to say: “There are images of scantily clad women [in hip hop]. There is obscene language. There is racist language. That is the nature of hip hop. She [Osorio] had many choices and she chose to work in hip hop.” OK, that statement tells me that hip hop is run by Larry Flynt, prison slang and the Ku Klux Klan; I’m sure those nice women from Floetry are vexed about that.

My college journalism instructor, a former senior editor at The Globe and Mail, says reputation and integrity make journalism creditable – I majored in public relations – but Mays and Benzino are the opposite of creditable. They’re deficient of positive character and seem to hate women.

Financially, Mays and Benzino are Uptown pariahs. Forbes Inc. accused The Source of being arrears in rent to the sum of $156,000 for their NY offices on West 23rd Street, but the financial backbreaker is defaulting on a $18 million loan: BAD CREDIT!

In a recent All Hip-Hop interview, when Benzino is asked how Hip Hop Global Media (the holding company that backs Hip-Hop Weekly) is financed, he replies “The financial situation doesn’t really matter.” For a man that’s half responsible for running the “hip-hop bible” into the ground while sexually harassing women by watching lesbian porno and hitting on female employees (rejected each time), “[It] doesn’t really matter” doesn’t really cut it.

A tidbit from SOHH.com indicates that the first issue of Hip-Hop Weekly, scheduled for release on October 16, is “looking real thin.” Not a good sign for a weekly publication expected to be 72 pages.

Basically, a weekly hip-hop magazine could have taken off five years ago when Internet blogs like Nah Right didn’t own hip-hop communication, but now the Spin Magazine-types and my favourite, Hip-Hop Press, are the first to make new news old.

The time has come for Mays and Benzino to stop ruining hip hop and stop hating women. If they stop now, the crumbs of their pride can be swept up and saved for reference of what they once were.

Jordan Chalifoux

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