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The Source controversy

Source becomes an origin of controversy

Every month across America, more than 400,000 people go to newsstands or their mailboxes for copies of a magazine called The Source. What they find in its pages is a lively update on the fast-moving, often combative culture of hip-hop. And lately they are finding something else: Along with the expected rapper profiles, topical essays and album reviews comes coverage of a feud — the one The Source has engaged in with some of the biggest names in the multibillion-dollar rap trade.

So as players and hangers-on gathered in Miami this week for the Source Hip-Hop Music Awards, the ceremony found itself competing with subplots for the attention of hip-hop consumers.

Launched by The Source in 1998, the awards show takes place on Monday at Miami Arena and will be taped for broadcast next month on BET. Whether the candidates for, say, album of the year generate as much buzz as the magazine’s de facto enemies list — the latter led by rap star Eminem — is anybody’s guess.

“From where we sit, it is clear that our culture is being destroyed, and The Source is the only media outlet that will step up and try to save it,” says a letter to readers in the latest issue. It’s written by Source Enterprises CEO David Mays and his second-in-command, Raymond Scott — also known as rapper Benzino. “We aren’t afraid to speak the truth, and expose the fake, plotting, scheming, selfish people in the industry.”

But some observers wonder whether the magazine is not engaged in some diversionary scheming of its own. The baiting of Eminem, a past winner of Source Awards and former recipient of favorable coverage, started shortly before the release of a new album by Scott under his rap alias of Benzino. Scott mocked Eminem as “the rap Hitler, the culture-stealer” in a song called “Die Another Day,” while his magazine weighed in with stories questioning Eminem’s legitimacy in a genre with roots in urban black poverty. Scott and The Source have argued that Eminem’s success and critical acclaim — no rapper has sold more records in the past decade — are due to his skin color.

Critics fear that Benzino is using his position as a journalist to further his rap ambitions — picking a fight in The Source’s pages to generate interest for his album and in the process endangering the magazine’s reputation as a fair, trustworthy voice on hip-hop. Benzino’s “Redemption” reached stores in January and has garnered a Source Award nomination: single of the year by a male solo artist for “Rock the Party.”

Eminem, a male solo artist, received no nominations despite critical raves and box-office success for “8 Mile,” the soundtrack and movie that starred the rapper and spawned the hit single “Lose Yourself.”

The Source flatly denies that its impartiality has been skewed by the magazine’s relationship with Scott. “Benzino and The Source are not interchangeable,” wrote editor Gotti Bonanno in an online editorial. “The Source has always made it a point to keep Benzino’s music career and the magazine business from interfering with each other.”

The Source declined a request to make Mays, Scott or any editorial staffer available for a discussion of these issues. But some observers say the magazine’s behavior over the years contradicts its claim of editorial separation.

In 1994, Mays wrote an article about Scott’s rap band at the time, The Almighty RSO, and ran it over the objections of his colleagues. Eight staffers resigned in protest.

The magazine more than survived that scrape. Its circulation only grew as the parent company expanded into Web publishing, compilation albums, a youth foundation and the awards show.

Benzino and the Source owners have proven to be big racists. How can they accuse Eminem of stealing a culture in which he grew up? Eminem embraced black culture, his roots are hip hop. He grew up in the black hood of Detroit.
He didn’t choose his skin color and he is conscious to be white and to do music owned by black people. Eminem has struggled very hard to be recognised as a white M.C. among a mainly black audience, he’s brilliant in rhyming and doing his music. The fact that he’s so successful causes a lot envy in the world of hip hop.

Marshall Mathers is the first to be conscious about racial discrimnation, he knows that he probably would have sold less records if he was black.He has proven to be a non racist person, his best friends, like Proof from the D12 group are Blacks.

To me, Benzino is a gangsta wannabe who wants to make easy money off Eminem’s back. He is not even famous, he is jealous of his rival’s success.
In my opinion, the Source has lost its credibilty by making racist statements against Mr Mathers.

Critics should focus their interest on the artist’s talent or work, but not on his skin color…

10 thoughts on “The Source controversy”

  1. a song was relized by benzino in which eminem says black females only care about money and that they are hoes. Eminem also states that he would rather date white females becuase they are nice…this song was recorded 10 years ago..eminem after the song was exposed declaired that he wrote this song out of stupidity and anger because he had broken up with his african american girlfriend…eminew was 21 at the time he recorded this song. A 21 year old men should be concious of his use of words and expressions. I as a black women feld highly insulted by eminem’s comments. I believe Benzino, is not the racist man he is painted to be. We should turn our attention to Eminem. His friends may be white but how do we know he is not fronting. Eminem is aware that African Americans dominate rap… Wouldnt he want to appeal to them?

  2. I think that Benzino, at 40 should get a life and not test Eminem’s patience for they might run thin. Benzino is upset that he is a shitty rapper its ok, but as an italian-american… I am darker than Benzino… Benzino your over the hill get-a-life… For the people of the source (DEFINE CULTURE)CREOLIZATION)… a famous sicilian quote dedicated to TUPAC: “fear is better than sex” machievelli: “it is better to be feared than loved” Benzino your not freared! Mr. Mathers is and he will stay on top!

  3. One more thing.. EM doesnt give a shit about this and he wont waste his time unless Benzino persists… Benzino you will be going after an army if you persist and dissapear like Hoffa….

  4. as a young white female in america…i feel that eminems outlandish lyrics and discriminatory feelings toward black women is completely rediculous. This not only makes a bad name for those who are white and live the hip hop lifestyle, it shows the ignorance of a white man in a black industry, and i think its sick. eminem is on top of the rap game, with weak lyrics and a shallow mind. The only reason why hes so famous is because he is a part of dre’s lable, and nobody can flip it like dre. eminem gets alot of credit for things he shouldnt. hes simpleminded and ignorant, and i am glad benzino has brought light to this. i hope this controversy results in his downfall in the rap game, because eminem is an asshole…

  5. You should really think twice before calling Eminem a simpleminded man…
    You’re talking about weak lyrics???
    Do you have his level of skills? I guess the answer is no.
    You have rather shown your own ignorance of Eminem…think twice before you say something stupid…

  6. I’m conflicted about him. I’m a black male labeled as an oreo. I feel like his good but that he’s reach superstardom that black people in hip hop would never reach cause of the color of his skin. But then theirs Michael Jackson and no one would say he made it famous cause of the color of his skin. I’ve been researching this thing for six months. I’ve come to the conclusion, fuck those people who only buy Eminem cause he’s white. Eminem and many other people know that he has made a shit load of his sales because of the color of his skin. If they can’t enjoy hip hop for what it is then that’s their loss. I got to be thankful for the controversy thing, cause it made me pay attention to more important issues of race. Like a white guy with a bachelors degree has a fifty percent chance to be chosen over a black guy with a masters.

  7. This is detailed so apologies in advance. First of all, as far as talent, I feel Eminem is very talented. Regardless of color, he’s got lyrical skill, timing & his stage performance rivals alot of african american rappers today. I grew up with HIP HOP when it meant something. When it had a message of unity & it was a voice of a people.

    Now most of it has been watered down & commercialized or remnants of it still exist but underground or in spoken word. What’s selling is NOT the artform but the negative imagery of ever tiring ruff neck, gangster lifestyle, MC rivals & materialistic prowess have totally rescinded the value of the hip hop culture. Instead of staying true like some artists, the majority go mainstream but they have to buy into what the conglomerates want & of course who really wants to see a positive image of a person of an ethnic background?

    When EM first came on the scene I was like, ‘DAG FINALLY someone with some skill.” White or black. Other than Mos Def, Common, Prodigy (& several others but too many to name- true hip hop artists in my opinion) the rest is kitchen table rap trying to make a fast buck & fame.

    I’m not going to pretend that I approve of the words EMINEM, used to depict his feelings (bruised ego or not) on black women. I don’t care if a sista broke his heart, what she did to him was nothing shy of what his own mother & other white women have done as well. However, I can understand he said that out of anger, using his talent as an outlet to get some things off his chest. Obviously the girl meant something to him for her to be the fuel of any kind of immense emotion or the inspiration of a song. To hate someone is to have loved them or envy them.

    One things for sure regardless of his mindset back then I’m sure he didn’t expect he’d be a international rapstar 10 years later. People change and regardless of who he was 10 years ago that is the past.

    I’m a black woman. And the reason why I’m not as hype or aggravated by Eminem’s lyrics as some other black women is because alot of our own black male artists (especially southern rap artists) have done & said worse to their own black women. They’ve called black women everything from b’s, h’s, chicken heads, publically indicate that black women are gold diggers & their degradation / imagery of black women in their videos do nothing to uplift, support or express affection towards us. They also use the n word repeatedly. True it’s in our culture but give me a break.

    I can see if an MC’s first 2 or 3 CD’s is about the hustle, gang banging if that’s the lifestyle they led before they made it big but after 5 albums & millions of dollars why keep producing negative products? For the MONEY. Selling out the artform to a ‘commercially’ reigned hip hop audience. Focusing on the TOPIC (thug life) versus the art itself.

    Then some people want to get aggravated because a white man who’s helped launched other black artists’ careers did the same thing but 10 years when he didn’t have as much influence.

    So ‘The Source’ is wanting to call Em to the rug they need to call other rappers (black rappers to the carpet. Is it right what EM said, NO! Does it alter my viewpoint of his personality somewhat? YES, but he’s still talented. And frankly if people are going to forgive, OJ, R.Kelly, Kobe & JENNiFer Lopez for saying the N word & getting NATIONAL airplay on that & that wasn’t something she did 10 years ago out of anger. But I’m sure as a hispanic female she shares similar cultural slangs, or…the fact that she denied (reportedly) agreement in regards to influence of black music in her recordings, then forgive EM.

    Did the fact that he’s white help him become a huge success? Tremendously, as it did NSync, Britney & Christina & the list goes on. But hey, black producers are behind those acts as well. Instead of complaining about how he was able to be so successful, get with the program, learn the mechanics of the music industry & do what others have done (business wise) R&B/soul & rap always sell better in a ‘lighter package’ sad to say. Duh it’s no secret. Elvis was a prime example of that.

    Whew. I’m just tired of this subject when as blacks we know the deal in America & if we don’t treat each other with respect & degrade our imagery in the public eye how in the world can we expect another ‘race’s’ negative perception of us to diminish?

  8. I used to like the source. Aside the fact that they always deliver my mag a month behind, but i see them as envious mofo’s. I don’t dig benzino cuz he claims he is hip hop. 1st off hip hop stop being hip hop a while ago. Hip hop was never bout’ 20″ rims or platinum. Hip hop is the voice of the streets, no matter the race we all go thru struggles. How the hell can some 1 like benzino say dumb sh*t about white people if he’s 1/2 white. He’s just another ignor-anus. Just do ur thing and take care of ur own sh*t. Oh! About em’s comments 10yrs ago ain’t got nothing to do with who he is now. Every 1 and they mommas have made a comment about an ex boy or girlfriend some time in their lives. That just proves to me how much of a hater benzino is to find anything possible bout some 1 who’s more succesful than he is. Yo z’no should move on and so should the rest of ya’ll!!!!! Peace

  9. yo eminem was a racist but at the same time benzino a damn phony and he fake. i hate all these fake rappas like chingy, nelly, lil wayne, ect. i hate talk about dees rims and wut u ridin on, fuck im 75 percent puerto rican 25 percent italiano benzino aint italian he half black half pr whats this talk about he half white

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