Here’s the deal. I used to grab every issue of The Source and Hiphop Connection and have been doing so since around 1989-ish. When Vibe came along I started to get almost every issue of that as well. Rather than binning them like regular people, the Gollum in me decided to hoard them, tucking each issue of each magazine away in stacks of alphabetically-ordered box files each month. Over time, this stack of files grew until it was swamping my room, so they were moved out to my garage where they survived the biting arctic temperatures of winter, and the Sahara-like heat of summer and all the rest of the over-exaggerated weather that comes with the season changes in Northern Ireland.
Eventually I realised that there was really no point in keeping well-ordered stacks of magazines, as I would could see myself moving on to stacking old newspapers beside them, adopting 382 cats, and eventually being found dead, smelling of feline-piss, with a mountain of dislodged yellowing headline-carriers on top of me. And so, around 2003, I mulled the problem over for oh… 6 seconds… and decided to sell them on Ebay (the magazines, not the cats)
I set to work sorting out which issues people might want to buy (covers with dead people on them are a surefire banker) and which issues I couldn’t give away (ones with Chingy or Mos Def or Stezo on the front), and plonked the Ebay-able ones on um… Ebay. And I fucking RAKED it in. God bless the dead, cos several of the 2Pac issues of The Source and Vibe went for over $30 a pop, while the Biggie ones fetched a respectable $20-ish price each time. When I left the UK, to come over to the US, I shipped a few boxes of the magazines that I hadn’t put up yet, but that I still felt had some Ebay value. (I also left behind about 3 boxes of stuff that nobody wants – I might have to return to my sister’s house to pick em up, just to write shitty columns about them… but that’s waaaaaaaaaaaaay in the future.)
As I’m a lazy shite, and haven’t put any of these up for auction yet, I thought it might be interesting to have a quick scan through past issues of these magazines, and see ‘how we used to live’. I’m also biting down hard (no homo) on Tim Boumtje Boumtje’s similar (read: identical) idea on the rmhh newsgroup, but as I’m more handsome than he is, and my articles will come with scans of the mag, I think you’ll agree that I’m the winner here.
And so without further ado, I present to you The Source (cover date February 1997)… (click on the pics to see the bigger version)
First of all – note the cover. Kim looks kinda cute, if a little Fatal Attraction-ish (you know she’s got a knife in her left hand), while Foxy just looks um… like a dude. We’re also promised a Sneaker preview, an interview with Allen Iverson, and – NATE DOGG!
Next I draw your attention to the Flavors Of The Month on page 30. This animal print boxers and robe set would look stunning on the body of any true Hiphop fan. “Designed for Big Willies and Big Willma, this item should keep you warm on those long winter nights.” Keep it real.
Seriously though, if its Hiphop exposure you’re looking for, check out the Microphone Check section, where the Jungle Brothers are asked what’s going to be the “flava” for their new album, B-Legit looks menacing while talking about his “Hemp Museum” album, Tela sheds light on his role in the Suave House family (“I guess its how everybody else roll” and Camp-Lo boast that nobody else is thinking of saying “make me eat the pumpkin pie, sea world” – I wonder why? Best spot in this section though is Snow’s, where the Canadian ‘toaster’ (no homo) talks frankly about the dancehall scene in… Toronto… chuckle.
The Sneaker Preview features some of the ugliest shoes I’ve ever seen in my life, including the Fila Sequel, the Tommy Hilfiger Fly (yeah right), the Adidas Rim Reaper (no homo) and the Reebok RPM. On the other page I couldn’t be arsed to scan you’ll find the Lugz Opus, the Reebok Rebellion (which looks like an explosion in a paint factory), and the Nike Air Nomo Max (soooooooo close… nullus.) Seriously, where are the fucking Air Jordans?
What else did you miss that I didn’t scan? A boring article on Black sports agents and an open letter from Source Editor Selwyn Seyfu Hinds (no Benzino) to C Delores Tucker, giving her a piece of his mind for saying that Hiphop was bringing about “the end of civilisation.” Selwyn darling, the apocalypse is already begun – without Hiphop there would have been no “Soul Plane”. The death-bringers in the black clothes are getting their horses ready right now. Elsewhere I failed to scan the Iverson article (it was shit anyway), a write up on golf rookie (lol) Tiger Woods, a feature on Neo-soul singers that puts Tony Toni Tone in that category (shurely shome mishtake?) and an in-depth Q&A session between Lil Kim and Kendall Gill over chicken fingers and french fries, where Kendall opens up to Kim, explaining that when he’s “into something” he does it “very hard. I love hard. I play hard. I dress hard. By saying that I love hard, that means not just sex. I do the whole gamut. You know what I mean?” Yes Kendall, of course we do. I turned the page hard.
‘So what the hell did you scan, you idiot?’ I hear you scream. (You need to get away from my window before I call the police.) Well, here’s the entire Lil Kim/ Foxy article where Kim explains that “people don’t seem to understand that just because I talk about freaky things, doesn’t mean that I don’t have morals.” Yeah… tell it to the judge. Oh… you did. Meanwhile, Inga isn’t deaf here just yet, and in her interview we find out that it only cost her $10 to get her nails done. Astonishing!
Also for your perusal, is this fascinating interview with Nate Dogg where he tells us absolutely nothing we didn’t already know, while trying to hype up fans for the damp squib that is and was “G Funk Classics”… yawn….
In the reviews section, Redman’s “Muddy Waters” gets 4 mics (true), Tru’s “True 2 Da Game” gets 3 and a half (bollocks), “Politics & Bullshit” by Frankie Cutlass gets a way-too-high 3 and a half mics, as does the Juggaknots self-titled album, and Camp-Lo’s “Uptown Saturday Night” comes in a mic short of what it deserves with 3 mics.
Full page adverts promise upcoming releases from Warren G (“Take A Look Over Your Shoulder”), the Wascals (who?) (“Greatest Hits”), Mayhemm (“Global Mayhem” produced by Ant Banks, MC Eiht, DJ Slip, and Prodeje from SCC – anyone have this?), 3 chicks from the Mo Thugs family, and DJ Muggs (‘Soul Assassins”). When we’re talking about full page ads, we’d be remiss not to mention the customary Pen N Pixel ads. This time around, we have the reserved cover of Crime Boss’ “Conflicts & Confusion” sharing a double page spread with Eightball’s “Lost” which features the big man leaned against a bog standard Chevy car (fuck a Lexus), while a pyramid and a crashed space shuttle sit happily in the background, and 4 evil looking vultures lounge at the front of the picture. Superb.