Covering Drake For The Source

Drake, The Source, Power 30

Kim Osorio interviews Drake for the Source cover.

Let me start by saying that it took me at least fifteen minutes to log into this page because I haven’t posted anything in so long (almost 10 months to be exact). I could have been THAT person that ran and blogged about every little thing I did but then, in actuality, I wouldn’t have much time to write (Plus, that’s what twitter is for). In between working at BET, getting married, running the kids back and forth, watching Get Him To The Greek over and over and just living…I didn’t have much time to keep this blog up to date in 2011. But I figured this was something I should record.

This month, The Source features Drake on the cover of its Power 30 issue. It is the first time that Drake has been on the cover and it is the first time I’ve written anything for the magazine in like, well, forever. 2005 to be exact. To put this in context, the last thing I wrote was the cover story with the Jay/Dame Roc-a-fella split. I knew if I was going to write for the magazine, that I wanted it to be something special. Especially since I left on the terms that I did.

The magazine isn’t “officially” out yet, so there isn’t much I can reveal. I will say, however, that it turned out to be one of my favorite stories. It’s my new answer to the question “what’s the best interview you’ve ever done?” Well, now I’ll say, ‘This one.’

Since this cover broke online last week, there have been a few jokes about the image and Drake biting the chain. To me, that’s what the Source did in its heydey. I keep bringing up Redman with the tissue in his nose or Dre with the gun to his head. I feel like this cover is in that same vein. In most of the cover images I’ve seen of Drake, it’s been that “thinker” sort of pose. It’s cool to see him doing something different, and actually, something that seems to be out of character for him.

The interview was conducted in Toronto. I flew up there with the NEW Source owner and prominent entertainment attorney Londell McMillan, Source creative director Don Morris as well as the cover photographer Mark Squires. Actually, we flew to Buffalo and drove to Toronto (even stopped at Niagara Falls and took photos). It reminded me of the lengths I would go through to get a good story. Because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.

Anyway, I hope that you will pick up the issue and tell me  what you think of the story. He talks about his upbringing, hip-hop, his musical sound, the Big Sean one-word punchline debate, looking up to Kanye and more.

Straight From the Source…Another excerpt

I have been asked to publish more excerpts from the book, so here it is… I just put out another release on the wire today so here’s a little taste of a part of the politics that went on behind the scenes. Thanks to everyone who has reached out on myspace and facebook to say how the book has affected them personally. I am currently working on the proposal for the next project which I’m not spilling the beans on just yet.

From pages 172 -173 (the back story to this)


If you ask me, though, we were doing pretty good for a magazine that was blacklisted from the label that controlled most of the genre’s artists. The drama between the Source and Interscope was dying down a little, and we were tapping into the South to help beef up our content. 

I got another call to Dave’s office one night to revisit the conversation that we had left off about the exposes that Ray had instructed us to do. Ray was addicted to them now, and it was probably because they had injected me with so much evil that I was doing a good job of executing Ray’s stories the way he liked. But this time, given the latest victim he wanted to attack, I knew it would be a problem. 

“We’re putting 50 Cent on the cover,” he said as soon as I walked through the door.

“We are?” I was confused because we had been planning a Ludacris cover that month. I knew 50 wasn’t going to grant us an interview, so I automatically figured this was going to be one of Ray’s specialties. But because I was the one who really knew 50, I felt as though anything that was printed in the magazine would be assumed by him as coming from me. Knowing the information that 50 had on me, I didn’t want to keep the war between us going because he had a bigger platform than I did, and I couldn’t risk losing. 

“We need to explain just how fucked-up what he is doing to rap music is.” Ray was huffing and puffing as he talked. He was clearly aggravated with 50’s success, criticizing 50’s influence on hip-hop….He had appeared on the cover of our competitor XXL, and that issue was the first ever to outsell the Source. He had taken a stance against the Source because of his loyalty to Eminem. He was on the other side of the fence, and I was forced to pick sides.

VH1, Hip-Hop…Not So Much At the Door

(boooooo…I missed this…slick rick one of my 5 favs of all time)

Last night, I attempted to bully my way into the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors show, which I have always advocated is one of the best hip-hop shows that we get to see each year. Last year I had extra tickets when I saw Tribe. It was a great show. This year, friends to the blog–Naughty By Nature–were being honored, so I just KNEW I was going to be able to get a ticket and sit down and watch the show. Well, getting in was easy (but that’s only for a slickster like me who knows how to finnagle my way into anything), but staying was a lot harder. Here’s how it went down:

I arrived at the venue super early. Artists were actually asked to be there at 2 (2!!!), so I came at 5:30 and was slipped an artist’s talent pass to sneak my way in first. But when I got in, even that wouldn’t admit me to the mezzanine level where you could sit down, and since I had heels on, I wasn’t about to stand and wait for the show to start, and then stand and wait during the show. Standing is for those who are getting paid to be there. I’m gonna find me a ticket! On my way out, I bumped into Planet Asia, who was there with Cypress Hill, another group getting honored. I think the theme was like the early 90s. Cool, I thought, my favorite time (thinking in my head of a piece I wrote in the 150th issue of the Source on the year 1994 being the second best year in hip-hop).

Okay, so knowing that media credentials were being handed out at the hotel around the corner, I made my way up to the 7th floor (or maybe it was the 4th), and proceeded to the wrong room. But lo and behold, it was meant to be, because I ran into KRS-One who was picking up his tickets. Of course, I stopped to talk to him until his peoples regulated us to stop yapping since he had to leave to perform at Madison Square Garden (I think in my head, Hmm…hip hop honors going down here at the Hammerstein…and KRS and Rakim are performing down the block at MSG…Now, i’m conflicted….i should take KRS up on his offer and go to his show.) But while I’m telling KRS-One that he is mentioned in my book, in walks Simone, not his wife, but Monie Love. She says I’m the only one in the world who says her name the way I do (I pronounced it “cimoney”). We start to show each other pictures of the kids, then she shows me where to go to get media passes. I walk up to the desk as if I was on the media list, knowing I’m not. Luckily, a guy walks in and recognizes me. “Kim Osorio,” he says to the one holding the list. “Her pass is in an envelope.” Cool. Now, I get handed a sticker. “Where does this get me?” I ask. “The media room,” they respond. “Can I see the show?” I ask. “Yes, on the screens,” they reply in chorus. Screens? I’m thinking. I want to sway my arms back and forth in true hip-hop hooray fashion. I can’t watch on the screens. I accept the media sticker though. It is all I have. I leave.

Sav Killz (?) decides to give me a CD. Something I don’t want to hold. But I’ll hold it for the love of hip hop.

Now, I’m back at the venue. Time is moving slowly. I’m bored. I tell Planet Asia to let me take a picture of him. He does. But it’s too dark. My good camera phone went dead so i use the backup. Picture comes out shitty.

I still have much of it to waste. So I call Cimoney (she’s gonna kill me for this LOL). “Where are you?” I say. “Come on to the red carpet,” she responds. We sneak by security. I walk with her and her boo. Ironically, Monie is in the middle. I don’t have a red carpet credential. Security asks, “y’all trying to get to the stars?” Monie responds under her breath: “We are the stars.” I agree, at a hip-hop show as such, we should be. Right?

Wrong. Me no allowed on red carpet. Monie proceeds to get drops. I ran into an old co-worker. We are talking about the book. I need to finish this blog and send her a copy. Shameless plug.

So now, there’s an hour left before the show actually starts, and my feet are hurting. People I know (in hip hop) are emailing me asking if I can get them in. Not likely.

Can’t go this way…can’t go that way…you know where i can go? I think, Home! I walk behind the stage and out the back before it even starts. Scarface is standing by the metal detector. “I need a hug,” he says to me. “Do you remember me?” I respond. “Uh…I know you?” he asks. He doesn’t remember me, I figure. I hug him and say…”You came up to play your album years ago.” He looks bedazzled. Probably thinking, oops, wrong girl to get at. Security is not letting him in. He is waiting outside, but he’s supposed to be PERFORMING. Weird. He hollas at another girl walking by.

Juelz going on while I’m going out. He’s doing the tribute to Naughty. At rehearsals the other day, he was practicing O.P.P. He kept uttering the first line “O.P.P. How can I explain it?” over and over. I was thinking, he may not have learned the verses yet. I know all the words to OPP by heart. I’m a lot older than Juelz.

On the way home, we see DJ Premier getting out his car. KRS needed him to deejay the MSG show at the last minute. Premier is around the corner with no plans to be at hip-hop honors, I think. Interesting. Later on, while I’m watching the debate, comfortably in my pajamas, with a glass of chardonnay in hand. I get wind of the fact that Kool Herc is not allowed inside. I overhear a phone conversation right next to me, “Wow, Kool Herc can’t get in. If it weren’t for Kool Herc, we might all be working freestyle music right now.” I laugh. Shame. I’ll catch it on TV. Then comes the question, “Isn’t your book on VH-1 Books?” Precisely.

Still, a bit disappointed I missed Naughty.

(yes, that’s an outtie)

Separated At Birth: Gargamel & Benzino

here comes the bad guy…

From that moment on, I likened Ray and Dave to Gargamel and Azriel of the Smurfs cartoon. When Gargamel was around the Smurfs would run for cover and try to avoid him at all costs to save themselves from being swallowed whole. Azriel was Gargamel’s pet cat, who performed some of Gargamel’s evil duties. When Azriel disobeyed Gargamel though, he was punished. Ray was a real-life version of Gargamel and we were the Smurfs. Dave was now viewed as the lowest man on the totem pole. He was Azriel. At least the Smurfs could be happy when they were at home with no sight of Gargamel, but Azriel was always with Gargamel. That was his home.

From Straight From The Source… p. 153