12.06.2008

The Source Magazine's New Look and Content Catches My Attention. Will it Last Long?



Review By Jesse Muhammad

The theme and tone of change set by President-Elect Obama is said to be on time because the country and the world is in such a state of dissatisfaction. I wholeheartedly agree and that's why when I received an email about the new look for the The Source Magazine, I knew that they too understood a change was necessary.

Not just any kind of change. Because all growth is change but all change isn't necessarily growth. I think The Source is aiming for growth.

I read my first edition of The Source back in '93 as a freshman at Forest Brook High in Houston. My basketball teammates and I use to put in a dollar each to buy a few copies every month and shared them with one another. The articles were so good that we would read them in class by placing them inside our Chemistry or Algebra books to make the teacher think we were on task with her. (Sorry Ms. Traylor)

Unsigned Hype was our favorite section because we got acquainted with unknowns who would later become stars. Some of us even sent in demos hoping to get a review one day. Never happened but we kept on reading. To go along with the hot interviews with Hip Hop stars, there were human interest stories about crime, politics, drugs, education, etc. We would be eager to see who would get the most mics in the album reviews. Sometimes we felt a few were robbed of mics and others should have received less.

We were loyal readers. It was a Hip Hop love affair...then something happened.

Soon the content weakened, good information got overshadowed by pointless beef, and we stopped buying it. But it just wasn't The Source. I honestly stopped buying all Hip-Hop magazines for the last several years because all of them lacked true Hip Hop substance or good articles. Many still are lacking. So I went from buying...to skimming through them at a local Fiesta...to just reading online websites.

So, when I checked my inbox a few months ago,that email The Source said "New Era: Bigger. Bolder.Better" and "Under New Ownership", which caught my eye. I opened it and boom there was this classic shot of Obama featured on the November cover. I glanced at the subheadings and they looked interesting.

So I decided to go and buy it.

I was not disappointed at all. There were articles about Hip Hop's involvement in the election, a write-up about Dubai, social networking strategies, Hip Hop in Iraq, life after prison, the ill-effects of fried foods,interviews with youth voters, book reviews, the launching of the I Am C.H.A.N.G.E initiative, and I didn't have to navigate through a sea of half-naked pictures or crazy ads to get to the articles. The website isn't bad either.

The Source has won me and a few of my high school friends back. The $4.99 per month has been put back in the budget.

Let's see what happens.