Conscience Rap

In the wake of the Source trial, hip-hop staffers ponder their contribution to the culture

Now that the trial's outcome overwhelmingly supported Osorio and devastated the "old Source," one can only hope that the "new old" magazine—and other disseminators of the culture—will go beyond analysis to take responsibility for their specific role in shaping hip-hop culture. For example, if MTV challenged Snoop Dogg for leading two women in dominatrix gear down the red carpet on leashes as he did at MTV's 2003 Video Music Awards—instead of using it to advertise the telecast's highlights, and reprising the image in an MTV-aired cartoon this summer—maybe he'd be more likely to save the s/m fantasy for his friends and admirers at the Adult Video Network Awards . And maybe the Fionas and Sonyas in the game wouldn't doubt their power to change it—whether that means speaking up when they feel uncomfortable or launching their own hip-hop ventures. "You don't need to compromise," insists McGregor, now head of Gargamel Music, the label she started with reggae artist Buju Banton.

Michelle Joyce (left) and Kim Osorio filed suit against The Source last year.
photo: Amy Pierce
Michelle Joyce (left) and Kim Osorio filed suit against The Source last year.


Editor's note: The online version of this article was updated on 10.24.06 to reflect the outcome of the Source trial. The print version closed before the verdict came in.

See also:
Are Hip-Hop Staffers Complicit?
An open thread in Power Plays

As for Marcus Logan—who consulted while he sat out his contract with Virgin, and contemplated leaving the biz entirely—ultimately he decided to return, and now works at J Records. "None of us matter as individuals in the grand scheme of things," he concluded. "However, we can affect the status of the product and the thought process that goes behind its creation. If I was not in the industry then it would be much harder to massively affect anything within it."

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