I’ve always been a magazine head. It started upon my entry into middle school when I discovered The Source magazine. Prior to this I would see old copies of my sister Dale’s Time and my oldest sister Gina’s Rolling Stone. I would try to grab the mags to say – Yes Y’all. They tried to take it and say I’m too small, so I would wait until the seventh grade to start picking up my own choice of magazines and for me The Source was the end all be all of magazines.
So from then out I’ve purchased various magazines like The Source and XXL that dealt with hip-hop because I listened to way to much rap music but there’s no need for useless hind sight here. After I got older my tastes in periodicals changed for various reasons. These reasons ranged from me getting tired of reading about rappers that I didn’t give a damn about like 50 Cent or me just realizing that hip hop journalism is as about as balanced as Fox and Friends.
So today as a 31 year-old man of hearty southern-American negro (When are black men going to get our Essence? The few mags directed at us blow.) stock I’ve have a few choice magazines that I have subscriptions too either via mail or online. Sure Men’s Health, GQ, Esquire, and American Knife Fighter Monthly (There was a great article on Arkansas Tooth Picks last month that I loved.) are usually great reads month to month but every now and then I still check out the hip hop monthly’s just to see what’s up in the corners of the hip hop universe that I don’t usually pay attention too.
So the other day I went to Best Buy to finally pick up the latest Root’s CD “How I Got Over” and after I was done I went next door to Books-A-Million and began to peruse this month’s magazines. For the life of me, I don’t know why, but I picked up Ozone Magazine. I’ve never read Ozone before but I did know it focuses mainly on southern hip hop. I always assumed Ozone as a slightly more intellectual version of Murder Dog (I have actually read a few copies of Murder Dog before. There would always be a few laying around the barber shop.) which is another lower tier hip hop monthly. (Don’t judge me. American Knife-Fighter Monthly is a much higher-brow magazine than Murder Dog.) So I started reading the particular issue of Ozone with Lil Wayne on the cover (I’m not sure about Weezy F Baby being on the cover but it is a hip hop magazine and there’s only like four rappers now so it had to be Weezy.) and I was not impressed as I sat in the book store making the Josey Wales face for about 30 minutes. After weeding my way through the muck I came to these conclusions about Ozone magazines. ***Many of these realizations were confirmations also.***
- Most rappers seem to actually believe the bullsh*ta** attitudes that they rap about. For realz, in interview after interview rappers like Rick Ross, Plies, and a bunch of cats I’ve never heard of all seem to live in some jacked-up fantasy world that seems to be created by some a black, sleazier version of Robert Rodriguez. During the bulk of the interviews that I read O.J. Da Juiceman’s “I’m Getting Money” was playing in my head.
- Southern rappers just ain’t what they used to be. Never in my life would I think that I would have uttered the words “Damn, I miss Fiend and Tela.” But alas I did. (Don’t act like y’all didn’t like “Sho Nuff” and “Tired of Ballin’”.) There seriously, needs to be more variety in hip hop below the Mason-Dixon. Sure people like the Dungeon Family, Pooh and Phonte, B.o.B, Bobby Creekwater, and Status Quo are all floating around out there but we need more variety. Once upon a time the Geto Boys existed in a world that also contained Arrested Development, the Poison Clan, and Jam Pony Express. I’m just saying. Where’s Pimp C when you need him?
- Wale is one interesting cat or either he portrays one in Ozone Magazine interviews. Just so you know I like Wale as an emcee so this could be slanted. Wale managed to give the one interview in the whole issue that didn’t make me want to slap several parents and grade school teachers in various southern locales. Like most of the other interviews the subjects were asked some the same questions: What are you listening too? How do you feel about groupies? Rihanna or Beyonce? For the most part he answered the questions with some sense.
- The notion that I had of me out growing hip hop and becoming an old man was confirmed. I shouldn’t have to expound on this but I just don’t understand a lot of things like: What the hell is a “Dougie” (More on that later this week.) . Is Roscoe Dash or Travis Porter down south’s version of Tanya Morgan? So many questions to things I don’t understand.
- Gucci Mane may be the hardest working rapper in the world. Love Radric Davis or hate him, He who has the blackest lips puts work in like slave. This guys music is pure sh*t in my opinion but the boy is trying so I can’t knock him for it. Yes, I can. I just wish he would go try it in Bangladesh. #ImbiginDacca
- I’m never reading Ozone magazine again. This sh*t made me dumber than my job, the VMA’s and Monday Night Raw combined.
Thoughts? Comments? Concerns?
Vaya con Dios.