25 Years Of The Source Magazine
Can you believe that the iconic Source Magazine is twenty-five years old.
Can you believe that the iconic Source Magazine is twenty-five years old. It seems to be have been around forever and is indelibly linked with the hip hop culture it covered in such depth. Can you also believe that The Source was started as a newsletter by two Harvard students, Jon Shecter and David Mays, only moving to Manhattan in 1990, a statement of intent.
As hip hop has continued its worldwide dominance of popular culture, one magazine that is synonymous with that culture and still relevant today is the Source.
It’s always been controversial, has had a lot of ups and downs in its publishing history and has had moments that it and we would love to forget but The Source has never lost its love of the culture it champions. Happy Birthday.
We salute The Source magazine in its silver jubilee year, and two of its most (in)famous products – The Source Awards and The Source’s Five Mics.
Also of unquantifiable significance is the vast archive the magazine boasts online, a first stop for anyone interested in this cultural colossus that is hip hop.
The Source Awards – the stuff of legend, especially since not one has been televised since 2002. It started as it meant to go on…the first show was in 1994 where Tupac ran on stage during ATCQ’s performance, also Onyx managed to shoot off live ammunition during their performance. You can catch this on Onyx’s documentary where the scene was captured by amateur footage.
It didn’t get any less ‘real’ or controversial. The next year (Paramount Theatre in MSG) the show was recorded for broadcast at a later date. This was the one where Suge Knight ignited the whole Death Row/Bad Boy conflagration specifically and the East Coast/West Coast beef in general.
The awards in 2000 actually only partially happened as fighting meant that only five of the 20 awards slated to be given out actually were.
Still seen as the holy grail of any hip hop artist, an award of Five Mics from the Source. Only 45 albums in the last 20 years have been awarded the coveted Five Mics. Here’s some of our favourites:
People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm — A Tribe Called Quest
Let the Rhythm Hit ‘Em — Eric B. & Rakim
AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted — Ice Cube
One for All — Brand Nubian
De La Soul Is Dead — De La Soul
The Low End Theory — A Tribe Called Quest
Illmatic — Nas
Life After Death — The Notorious B.I.G.
Aquemini — Outkast
The Blueprint — Jay-Z
Stillmatic — Nas
The Fix — Scarface
The Naked Truth — Lil’ Kim
Trill OG — Bun B
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy — Kanye West