Her story has become history. Trying to survive in the male-dominated hip-hop industry, Kim Osorio excelled when she became the first ever and only female Editor In Chief of the Source Magazine. Having been with the magazine, dubbed the bible of hip-hop, for just two years before rising to the top editorial spot on the masthead, Kim Osorio had her work cut out for her. But once she climbed the ladder there, she was determined to take the magazine to new heights, and fulfill her passion of writing and editing in a musical culture that she’d grown to love. Kim led the magazine’s editorial vision that resulted in the highest selling issue of the publication’s history, all while dealing with the internal drama that comes along with being a woman in power at a magazine that documented a music that was slowly turning into a misogynistic culture.
Osorio, who holds a Juris Doctorate from New York Law School and a Bachelors of Arts in Fine Arts from Fordham University, has devoted over 15 years to hip-hop publishing, transitioning from print to online media in 2005 when she became the Executive Editor at BET.com and later the Vice President of Content at Russell Simmons’ Globalgrind.com. At BET, she spread her wealth of knowledge of music to the online community and helped establish BET.com as one of the go-to sites for music news. She also brought her reporting skills to the television screen as an on-air correspondent for BET News Briefs and BET’s successful entertainment show, “The Black Carpet.” She also wrote Aaliyah: One In A Million and Notarized: The Top 100 Songs Of 2011 for BET Networks.
Osorio served as an editor-at-large at BET.com for six years, and is an invited speaker at various Universities across the country, sharing both her personal and professional experiences with colleges, organizations, and during industry conferences. Born to a Puerto Rican father and a mother of mixed racial background (African-American and Chinese), Kim understands firsthand what it is to defy the odds.
Osorio has delivered keynote speeches at NYU’s Latin Student Association’s La Herencia Latina and Bronx Borough President’s Adolfo Carrion’s Women’s History Month luncheon. In 2004, she was featured on the cover of the New York Post’s Tempo section, and voted one of the top 25 influential Latinos in New York. The Bronx, New York native also mentors students to help guide them in their own career choices, and also visits and speaks to 8th grade and high school students and at graduation ceremonies. She has been featured as an expert in hip-hop on television shows such as “The O’Reilly Factor,” BET’s “Hip-Hop Vs. America,” and Fox News’ “The Big Story with John Gibson.”
Always one to defend hip-hop in the mainstream, Kim has faced some challenges of her own within the culture. Widely known for filing one of the biggest lawsuits in the history of hip-hop, Kim Osorio sued the Source Magazine in 2006 and was victorious. The jury found that she was unlawfully fired for filing a complaint of gender discrimination, and that the owners at the company had defamed her as well. In September 2008, she released her personal memoir, entitled Straight From The Source: An Expose From The Former Editor In Chief of the Hip Hop Bible, to officially set the record straight.
And if there were ever a scenario to illustrate the term “life comes full circle,” it would be Kim Osorio’s journey. Her early 2012 appointment as Vice President of Content & Editorial of The NorthStar Group (The Source & JonesMagazine) also marks her return, and thus the full circle, as Editor-In-Chief of The Source. In 2013, she was featured as a main cast member on the VH1 reality series, “The Gossip Game.”
After her first stint on a reality show, Kim decided to see what it was like behind the scenes. Adding to her TV credits, she transitioned to script writing for television, most notably as a writer for the popular VH1 “Love and Hip Hop: The Reunion” shows. She continues to lecture at schools around the country, as well as freelance write for a number of media outlets. In January 2015, she plans to launch a website for emerging new talent.