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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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How Many Mics?
Friday, September 30, 2005
I’m not one to shy away from requests, so this one goes out to The Humanity Critic, who recently asked my opinion on the latest Source scandal. For those who haven’t heard quite a few people in the Hip-Hop world are grumbling because The Source, the former Bible of Hip-Hop that has now turned into more of a running joke, has given their once prestigious five mic rating the Lil’ Kim’s latest effort. Anyone who’s heard the first single, "Lighter’s Up," knows it can’t possibly be a five mic album simply based on the fact that we all already know it has one terrible song on it, and it’s the first single at that! A lot of people are wondering what The Source is thinking, and why it would give itself another black eye after so many self inflicted wounds over the years. The bigger question, however, is does it even matter?

The Source was, undoubtedly, THE place to get Hip-Hop news and reviews when I was growing up, but over the years, with Benzino gaining more and more control, and reviews being bought instead of earned, the once highly regarded five mic rating has become more of a joke. When all of Zino’s groups were picking up four and four and a half mic ratings it became obvious what was going on, if you worked with Zino you got a good review. For me the five mic rating lost a lot of its luster when they gave one to Outkast for Aquemini. The album was dope, but to me it seemed like The Source was openly admitting they dropped the ball on ATLiens, a true Hip-Hop classic that deserved the five mic rating but didn’t get one. The magazine would later give five mics to Jay-Z’s hastily put together The Blueprint, which looked to me as a way of trying to get the masses who already loved Jay-Z to come back to the publication. In the catalogue of Jay-Z’s CDs The Blueprint certainly isn’t his best work, but it came out when he was at his height, so it took little convincing to make his already rabid fans think it was great.

A recent poll on RapDirt.com asked their users "What do you think of The Source?" Out of the nearly 7,600 respondents over 80% (6,113) replied "It's more biased than Fox News." This is The Source’s target audience and they’re saying "we don’t believe you." So what does Lil’ Kim’s five mic rating really mean if no one trusts the publication anymore? Not much. This isn’t Nas’s Illmatic getting a five mic rating. Back then the rating mattered.

When it comes to what was going through The Source’s mind when they dolled out the five mic rating to Kim it’s not that complicated, it actually had nothing to do with that was going through their mind and a lot more to do with what was going through CEO Dave Mays’ pants. The New York Daily News hit the nail on the head when they rhetorically asked:

"Does it have anything to do with the longstanding romantic relationship between Kim's manager, Hillary Weston, and Source founder and CEO Dave Mays?"

Someone needs to place a call to Freedom Williams because that’s a thing that makes you go hmmmm (and someone should just call him to find out if he’s still alive, seriously).
posted by Adam Bernard @ 10:28 AM  
  • At 8:45 PM, Blogger The Humanity Critic said…

    Dope post man, once again. See, not to blow smoke(unless it is that stick-ickey, *cough*) but that is why you are the writer, a good one at that. You summed that up beautifully, in a concise manner. I tried to do a lil kim album review and that sh*t came out longer than "War and Peace"..lol Great stuff Adam. Peace.

  • At 4:28 PM, Blogger AJ WOODSON said…

    great post
    I keep tryna follow the soap opera As The Source Turns
    but its sad to see
    the self proclaimed Bible Of Hip Hop turn into The Drama King

    every week, some one is leaving, someone is suing them, sexual harrassment claims, its crazy

    but back to da matter at hand
    great piece
    keep doin da damn thing

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