Friday, April 29th, 2005

Dave Mays: Allegations Against The Source "A Form Of Racial Profiling"

Dave Mays goes to to lash out at Reginald Dennis’ recent article in HipHopDX and Kim Osorio’s lawsuit. He compares the pressure on the magazine to a COINTELPRO operation, tries to link such pressure to recent cases against Lil’ Kim and Irv Gotti, and implies that it’s all part of a federal government conspiracy:

I don’t know if you guys report on these things but if you read The Source magazine, we report on real issues, serious issues within our community and within our industry. And one of those serious issues if you know if you were to look into it is the issue of the federal governments targeting of the Hip-Hop music industry and the Hip-Hop community. It’s a profiling of Rap artists, it’s a form of racial profiling that’s taking place within our industry, the investigation of Lil’ Kim as supposedly as an organized crime figure. This is again led to things like Irv Gotti being indicted. Irv Gotti is somebody who has done more to help people save lives, bring crime down in communities, empower communities but yet he’s the target of a federal investigation and not the people that are really criminals in the industry, the real criminals. It’s just also you can read about in this month’s Source magazine where we discuss these kinds of issues in depth.

There’s a whole lot more. He reiterates that his 1994 action of inserting an article on Almighty RSO into the magazine, which resulted in the first Source staff walkout–there have now been at least three more similar mass exoduses in the history of the magazine–was entirely justified. “These guys didn’t want to listen even though they were paid a lot of money by me to do a job for my company,” he says.

He then takes new shots at Reginald Dennis, James Bernard, and Kim Osorio. He again makes specific mention of Osorio’s alleged sex life in reference to her sexual harassment lawsuit. He calls Dennis and Bernard “closet weirdos”. Then he refers to himself and Benzino in third person–a lot–and says they are the best of friends. Of his friendship with Benzino, he says, “I mean first of all Benzino is a widely respected figure across the globe. In any city, any country around the world Benzino is widely known and widely respected.”

And he claims in the extended portion of the interview, that the Rev. Al Sharpton “is very happy to have Benzino on as a leader that’s willing to come on board and step out and be a part of promoting non-violence in the Hip-Hop community.”

But interestingly enough, Rev. Sharpton seems to have been distancing himself from Mays and Scott in recent days. He has stated that he has been working with Black Enterprise officials to investigate the claims of sexual harassment at the magazine, while refraining from referring to Mays and Scott.

Mays says the magazine is “not for sale. Ray and Dave own and run The Source along with our partners at Black Enterprise.”

When Benzino resigned from The Source on April 8, he lashed out at executives from Black Enterprise, who invested $17.1 million in the magazine in the spring of 2002. But on April 11, Benzino returned to the magazine, stating that executives from Black Enterprise and the Reverend Sharpton had asked him to return.

Officials from Black Enterprise have not yet spoken to the press.

For longtime watchers of hip-hop journalism, this might be the most interesting part of the interview:

Dave Mays: We’ve criticized a lot of the journalists out there because we feel that they’re not professional. We feel that they don’t know how to separate their personal feelings from their job. We feel that they don’t exercise responsibility. We feel that many of them don’t really respect nor understand the culture and that it makes it very hard to report on the culture when you don’t really respect it and you’re not really a part of it and you don’t understand it. There’s a lot of people that pose and act and pretend like they know these things because they want a job or because they have some other agenda. They’re an artist; they’re a rapper who hasn’t been able to get a deal so they decide to go into writing because they think they might be able to get a record deal that way. I mean these are the types of people that we’ve talked about and that there’s been a lot of these type of people in the Hip-Hop journalist industry or community. And we’ve been critical of those people and we try to keep those type of people out of our company and recruit and develop the type of executives and editors that can sort of follow the, what I said earlier, the guideline and design for how to run a hip hop magazine. Do you think this same argument can be made of Benzino? That he’s in a magazine because he wants to become a rapper?

Dave Mays: Nope. Do you think that’s too closely together though? His music and the magazine? Certainly with the like advertising his albums within The Source?

Dave Mays: Nope. What would be the problem with advertising his albums? I mean we have ad space he has products or we have products, we promote The Source Awards in our magazine; we run ads for that. That’s another product we have that’s not The Source Magazine and we run ads for that. Right.

Dave Mays: That’s what advertisements are for. Right but he gets very prominent ads.

Dave Mays: It’s his magazine. So does The Source Awards get very prominent ads, so does The Source ring tone business and so does The Source hip hop albums get great placement, a lot of placement. Have you noticed that? We’re in the business of tooling. We have advertising pages that are used to promote product. Some are what we are paid for by companies to promote those products on those pages; some of those pages we use to promote our own products. That’s the business. Do you understand how people see it as a conflict of interest?

Dave Mays: I understand that people are confused and people are being misled to have a misperception of things which we talked about earlier about people who want to continue to try and just bring up the same thing over and over again for years as this big thing as the big problem and the big criticism of The Source or Ray and Dave. It’s the same thing. Reggie Dennis and his buddies said these things in 1994 and they keep getting said by everyone from Kim Osorio in 2005 on down. It’s the same thing. And so you don’t see that as a problem? Coming from different people over a different span of time?

Dave Mays: All disgruntled people that have gone on and done nothing. Again I let the people decide, I let the facts speak for themselves on that.

posted by @ 6:03 pm | 8 Comments

8 Responses to “Dave Mays: Allegations Against The Source "A Form Of Racial Profiling"”

  1. Tracey says:

    I’m stunned! Dave Mays is crackers. I thought his appearance on Nightline was out there, but this interview is completely over the top. A conspiracy? Who is he kidding?

    He was so busy tearing down Reginald Dennis, I guess he forgot about Selwyn Seyfu Hinds telling extremely similar and scary tales about The Source in his book, Gunshots in my Cook-up.

    There were so many unpaid and pissed off former Source writers at the Hip Hop and Feminism conference earlier this month, I heard “fuck the source” everytime the magazine was mentioned.

    Jeff, you’re right this shit is brewing and it’s going to boil over.

  2. Hashim says:

    the hilarious part is where Dave is claiming conspiracy and the interviewer goes, “I’m not exactly following…”



  3. ronnie brown says:

    A form of Racial Profiling???…about as likely as Southern slaveholders suing the Dutch East India Company for unpaid dock fees…sigh!

  4. The Humanity Critic says:

    The whole thing is ridiculous, and Dave Mays and Benzino seem to be deplorable human beings to me. Cool blog.

  5. Anonymous says:

    wow. mays has got this combination of ignorance, hypocrisy and arrogance that’s just fuckin beautiful. my favorite part is him calling reggie dennis unprofessional. classic.

  6. julianne says:

    i do believe mr. mays has lost his mind.

  7. EAT MY SHORTS says:

    I love Dave Mays. Leave him alone. Probably put some wack writers in check and now this their payback. a lot of these writers have sucked niggaz dick before he just checkin that ego. Dream Hampton anybody?

  8. Tony Rhome says:

    most of the people hating on the source dont know the real deal.the source made a mistake by hiring a couple wrong dudes i have been close to the source since it first started and have seen the cry babies since day one. much love to the source fuck those cry babies
    Tony Rhome Said it
    let it be known

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