However, viewers may have forgotten Osorio’s short-lived career as a book author for her expose on the Source Magazine and salacious tell-all, Straight From The Source, where she recounts her nookie chronicles with Nas and 50 Cent.
The book is quite a read, and delves into one of the biggest controversy in hip-hop, i.e., David Mays and Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta cast member Benzino choosing at whim which artists’ careers to destroy or further through the magazine’s five mic album rating system.
When Osorio joined The Source in 2000, it was a powerful cultural institution rotting from the inside out. The magazine was founded by a Jewish Harvard graduate named David Mays, but rumors circulated for years that the real power behind the magazine was Ray Scott, a scowling, creepy, biracial Boston gangsta rapper professionally known as Benzino who’d achieved incredible levels of failure both as a solo artist and as a member of The Almighty RSO and Made Men.
Scott’s involvement with “manager” Mays was the source of tremendous controversy inside and outside of the magazine.
And discusses how Benzino used the glossy to advance his rap career:
In 1994, Mays magically slipped a glowing profile of Almighty RSO into the magazine against the wishes of his editors (and the dictates of ethics, morality, and basic human decency), causing a massive protest walkout among the staff.
Five years later, Made Men’s Classic Limited Edition mysteriously received four and a half out of five mics in a pseudonymously written—David Mays, cough cough—review, a rating the magazine previously gave lesser albums like Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready To Die, Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) and Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx.
Eventually, Mays asserted what everyone already knew: Scott was co-owner of The Source. Scott should have been overjoyed. Though a complete failure as an artist, he was wealthy beyond his wildest dreams, and a major hip-hop power broker. But it wasn’t enough. In Scott’s mind, The Source existed for one reason: to make him and Made Men superstars. Scott was no longer content to lurk furtively behind the scenes. He angrily demanded the spotlight, and was willing to destroy the most powerful magazine in hip-hop history if it meant advancing his non-starting rap career.
And touches point on another controversial moment in hip-hop, i.e., the Source’s all out attempt to destroy Eminem and 50 Cent’s rap careers:
While working on an attack on 50 Cent, Mays told Osorio, “I want you to say how 50 Cent looks like a monkey.” Osorio was able to talk him out of it, but she was less successful in convincing Mays and Scott not to stake the magazine’s future on an ill-thought-out battle between Eminem, the most popular rapper in the world, and Benzino, one of hip-hop’s most high-profile, reviled failures.
In his infinite wisdom, Scott decided to accuse Eminem of being a racist tool of Interscope. This had two easily anticipated results: It destroyed what little was left of the magazine’s editorial integrity, and it resulted in Interscope pulling its ads from the magazine. Since Interscope is one of the main powers in hip-hop, that crippled the magazine financially. It did, however, result in Benzino becoming an incredibly popular rapper, while totally destroying Eminem’s career. You can’t go anywhere without being inundated with the latest Benzino or Made Men mega-smash. That, or it did nothing for him. One of the two.
This anti-Eminem, anti-50 Cent, anti-Interscope vendetta put Osorio in an uncomfortable position, especially since she’d slept with 50. Osorio knew damned well that what she was doing was wrong. But she had become a journalistic pit bull whose life revolved around going after whomever Scott decided represented an enemy of hip-hop (by which I mean “himself”) that week.
The book sheds light on a typical day at the Source magazine for Osorio under Mays & Benzino’s reign:
As the end neared, Scott’s dictates grew increasingly bizarre. It wasn’t enough that Osorio was asked to run hit pieces on former lovers like 50 Cent and Nas. At one point, Scott grew enraged by the writers for competing magazines and ordered Osorio to write a hit piece on staffers for XXL, including one of Osorio’s friends.
This was the poisonous atmosphere Osorio entered, first as a staffer and later as the first female editor-in-chief. In accepting the top slot at The Source, Osorio entered into a Faustian bargain. She’d sold her journalistic soul for $130,000 a year and a glamorous job that allowed her to travel around the country and breathe the rarified air of rap’s biggest, most successful artists and executives. Osorio became addicted to the high life, and adjusted her moral compass accordingly.
After Osorio was fired from her post, she sued for sexual harassment and was awarded a multi-million-dollar settlement.
By Carla St. Louis (SheWrites007)