Saturday, April 23, 2005

Reginald C Dennis playing Mother Goose

I was reading the whole article "The Greatest Story Never Told" where Reginald Dennis breaks down the whole story of what happened to him at the Source Magazine. I thought the article was very interesting and he had alot to say(in 3 whole parts!). I found it through the Can't Stop Wont Stop weblog, and it was on Hip Hop DX.What I liked was one reference to the present day corporate driven hip hop scene:

One of many problems, I’m afraid. The industry is all about the hard sell and they make no secret of it. This youth market – the largest ever – will be the name of the game for the foreseeable future and with hip-hop already established as the world’s most effective delivery system, young consumers are about to be taken for a ride the likes of which we have never seen. But it’s not their fault, because until you are old enough to develop some semblance of critical reasoning, you will fall prey to every bright, shiny object that comes along. The industry is in the middle of the perfect storm and they plan to stay awhile. They are no longer compelled to listen to our wishes, and as consumers we don’t do nearly enough to voice our displeasure at the way things are going. So we get what we get.

I'd take into consideration Reginald Dennis's story about Ray Benzino's and David Mays relationship with a grain of salt (How'd "Made Men" get 4.5 stars?) only because he's pretty extreme in describing David Mays as a whiny lil' bytch. However, I know that the Source has been highly critical of Interscope Records, and though his story is pretty funny at the same time I'd have to counter with something I read in the Source about his magazine XXL and their relationship with Interscope records:

"When the Roots planned to go public with their displeasure with MCA records (a now defunct subsidiary of Interscope), it was rumored that the label threatened to pull advertising from the magazine. The interview was eventually published on Citypaper.net. For their compliance, XXL has seemingly been rewarded with non-stop financial support from Geffen/Interscope, whose artists in turn continue to get favorable review and press from the magazine." The Source May 2005 pg 120

Can the strong opinions he has towards his former co-workers at the Source be distinguished from his relationship and financial support he gets from Interscope Records? I don't know if I can trust him at his word.

Another thing about this interview is Reginald Dennis addressing the Source's beef with Eminem. If I remember correctly, XXL had a beef with Eminem 2 years before the Source had beef with him, but he is strangely quiet about it; he talks like "Who could ever possibly imagine beef with Eminem?" But strangely I remember XXL back in like 2000 dissing Eminem so much because he was white and doors were opening for him because of that, and Eminem on one of his songs dissing XXL, saying he brought XXL with a food stamp, so I don't understand:

This whole thing with Eminem, try as I might I really can’t figure out what the beef is. I mean, I know that Ray is going on and on about “the machine” and how it’s racist machinations sustain artists like Eminem at the expense of others, but I really don’t see it that way. If anyone has benefited from “the machine” it is Ray.

I wish I could pull out my old XXL magazines from back in the days when they dissed Eminem so much he wouldn't grant them an interview, and they had to piece together interviews from other sources. Now he wants to play innocent. How interesting.

In conclusion, though this article seems to be an eye opener, it is hardly "The Greatest Story Ever Told". I'll bet that 5 other people in the mix got stories to tell, I'd have to hear them all. As a whole, his interview is interesting, but Reginald C Dennis is lacking credibility in his story-telling in my opinion.

11 comments:

  1. I feel the same way. I took what Reginald said with a grain of salt. Entertaining, yes. Totoally factual? Probably not.

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  2. Anonymous1:49 AM

    1st of all, The Source is McDonalds, and XXL is Burger King. Straight up and down.

    Definitely taking into consideration the history and the fact that Dennis, Shecter, Mays, and others ALL STARTED THIS THING TOGETHER; really for the love; and it became the monstrosity that is today's Source Magazine.

    Still, please take it from me, Mays is most definitely a whiney lil bitch...and that's giving bitches a bad name to call him that.

    The Source is like a really nasty, filthy male prostitute who has AIDS, herpes and syphilis; they've burned so many people and tricked so many. Tricked good, hardworking journalists into giving up their good names, credibility, and integrity in exchange for hardly any money and a whole lot of drama.

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  3. Robert:

    Are you sure that Reggie Dennis hadn't been LONG GONE from XXL when the Roots and Eminem incidents happened?

    Do your research, please.

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  4. Actually, Eminem addressed his issues with XXL in XXL.

    While we may not want to take Reginald at his word, I'll take a majority of my 'friends' at The Source on their word. My one friend who worked in their promotional department - making high 5 figures - had nothing but 'bad things' to say about Ray and Scott and she was there during 'the good days'. I'd trust her opinion over everyone else's.

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  5. Allen S. Gordon11:44 AM

    Robert or Hashim,

    good folks I'm sure you both are, reading is fundamental fellas. Reginald Dennis launched the first two issues of XXL then left over issues of financial equity in the publication. Thats about four years and four editors (Sheena Lester, Scoop Jackson, and Datwon Thomas/Blackspot)before Elliot and Shady mixed it up.

    Your entire aim and perspective in this blog is based on your misinterpretation on the story, or just plain on negligence. And of course, as par for the course, a few bloggers followed suit in aping your perspective of Reginald's credibility.

    There is an dirty old saying I learned in journalsim school, "We don't tell people what to think, only what to think about." That's is, gentlemen, why you must be very meticulous gathering date before you publish your work. Be it, print or electronic.

    Other than that, nice blog site.

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  6. Anonymous12:07 AM

    I'm not in the world of journalism, but it seems to me that even though Reginald Dennis may have embellished certain points out oh his disdain for "Ray and Dave," the jist of his story is most likely based strongly in fact. There is absolutely no reason why Benzino and RSO would have received so much shine alongside rappers with actual talent. It's apparent that Benzino's main motivation for denying his involvement in the Source up until recently was so that everyone would feel like him being in the Source indicated that he was actually noteworthy. On the real though, even before any of this shit came to light publicly, I (and I'm sure many others) would see Benzino/RSO/Made Men in almost every issue and be confused as hell as to what exactly their relevance was. Towards the end f the article Dennis definitely grew more and more bitter, and the hear-say about Dave's blubbering and general cowardice was possibly exaggerated, but who knows? If anything though, those low blows are the main thing provoking scrutiny of his account, as hilarious as they are. As for the Eminem vendetta, it was always painfully obvious to me that this had nothing to do with racism or the purity of hip-hop, but only to with personal grudges, jealousy, and perhaps even in the interest of salvaging some of the Source's previous relevance in the "hood" by exposing a racist. And by the way, to digress, Dave Mays is delusional in thinking and suggesting that Benzino is some kind of ghetto ambassador that can walk through any hood and get love. Mad people didn't even know who he was pre Interscope beef. The best point made by Reginald Dennis was when he pointed out the hypocrisy of criticizing Iovine for attempting a monopoly when that has also been Mays and Benzino's intention (albeit a failed one.) All in all, Mays is a shook pussy who sees no alternative to lying at this point, and Benzino is a tortured failure who has only made any progress by eating off other people's plates. I feel bad for both of them and find it appalling that people can have so little integrity. Nevertheless, Karma (well I don't really believe in Karma, but what goes around often seems to come around.) Forgive the cliche.

    Oh and one more thing off topic: Although I find XXL to be a rapidly improving and knowledgeable publication, when is Elliot going to realize how tasteless it is to devote every editorial to Diddy-like rants concerning "the haters" and generally what an amazing entrepreneur he is? I think he should definitely should tone it down. If anyone is living their "Don" fantasies through hip-hop journalism it's this guy. And if it's still lingering bitterness concerning Source beef, he should be letting their own buffoonery illustrate his point. That's all for now.

    Peace.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete