Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rap Magazine Puts R&B Star on Its Cover

Despite the anticipation of a number of rap albums being released this summer, the so-called "Bible of Hip Hop Music, Culture and Politics" has head-scratchingly awarded the cover of its "Summer Issue" issue to an R&B star, solidifying the notion that Hiphop publications are completely out of touch with its readership.

You might have heard that Jay-Z & Kanye have an album coming out. Well, the same goes for Eminem and Royce Da 5'9 and Pete Rock & Smif N Wessun. Hell, even DJ Khaled and Lil' Wayne. But somehow Bonsu Thompson came to the conclusion that the singer Chris Brown was more deserving of The Source's cover than a number of relevant rap acts.

The Source tries to justify Brown's placement on the cover by referencing "his progression as an artist as he dabbles into rap," but he is still an R&B artist who is known more for his singing and especially dancing than for some hot 16s.

And while I agree that most everybody deserves a chance at redemption, and while I acknowledge that Chris Brown does indeed rap at times on his latest album (which isn't half bad), I definitely do NOT agree that a Hiphop magazine is the appropriate forum for this type of coverage.

I especially do not care that this is, according to The Source, Chris Brown's first magazine interview in over a year. The fact still remains that he is not, nor will be ever be, a rapper, which to me means he simply is not worthy of being on the cover of any of its issues.

The one and ONLY exception to that rule is Mary J Blige, who's nickname -- The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul -- was bestowed to her by Diddy, another member of Hiphop royalty. Blige not only rhymed on her classic debut album (that was chock full of classic breaks and beats that are now standards in both Hiphop and R&B), but was also responsible for introducing the LOX to Diddy. So without Mary, one could make a persuasive argument that the world never would have been exposed to Jadakiss, one of the most consistent and greatest rappers to ever touch a microphone. That alone right there gives Mary (and Brook Lynn) an irrevocable lifetime membership to the Hiphop Nation.

I thought that Benzino's departure would restore The Source's journalistic integrity, but the truth is that under the leadership of Dave Mays the magazine provided a much more comprehensive coverage of Hiphop, regardless of any controversy or allegations of misconduct.

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