| April 4, 2010 | 0 Comments



A couple of weeks ago, I received a call from a well known Industry Executive wanting to know whether or not I was familiar with a guy claiming to be with the nationally popular magazine Hip Hop Weekly. 

This Industry Executive was aware that I have been a Senior Contributing Writer with Hip Hop Weekly for some time now and wanted some insight on this guy.  The individual wanted to conduct an “interview” with said executive; however, this individual apparently gave the Industry Executive a bad vibe so he did what any well connected person would do and that was to reach out to someone affiliated with the magazine.


Based on the conversation the executive and I had, it was apparent that the guy didn’t have any direct affiliation with the publication and I advised him not to conduct the interview.  Because this executive is connected to one of the biggest artist in hip hop today, I did not believe it would have been advisable to share any information with someone who could have harmed the artist and/or his label through deceptive practices.

This past Thursday while having lunch with a friend, I received another call from a different executive from a label from the East Coast asking me whether or not I was aware of an individual by the name “Star” who was authorized to collect monies for advertisement for Hip Hop Weekly, specifically to be placed in the “Indy Grind” section in the popular magazine.  Since I knew of no individual by that name and since I am in direct communication with the editors and owners of the publication, I suspected something was afoul  or like I joke with my colleagues…”my spider senses were tingling”. I knew I had to deploy special tactics to get to the bottom of this.  I requested for the second executive to forward me Star’s contact information so I could look into the matter further.

My rouse was to let this individual believe that I, too, wanted a spot in the magazine and wanted to know what the cost would be. This individual was a little reluctant at first to talk to me before knowing how did I obtain his information so obviously I had to share with him who my referral was; plus, I knew already that the executive had no intention on dealing with this individual anyway. So after “Star” was convinced that my call was legitimate, he began telling me how popular the magazine was and how my artist could benefit from having placement in it. Unbeknownst to him, I was fully aware of how popular Hip Hop Weekly was because I was one of their Senior Writers and help contribute to their success.  However, I couldn’t let him know how familiar I was with the brand.

Based on our conversation, I realized that this guy had probably duped other individuals in believing that they were going to get into the magazine with the investment of a small fee.  I was not aware how elaborate his scheme was until I did some more research.

I eagerly agreed to make a payment to him but only via check since cash could not be traced easily.  In order for me to do that, I had to know who to make the check out to.

When I inquired as to whom should I make the check out to, he replied “Make the check payable to Clarence J. Thomas, Jr.”  My first thoughts was could this “Star” character be related to United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas? Was he also a member of the Tea Party Movement or was this just a scheme to defraud independent artists across the country out of their hard earned money? Whatever this guy’s motive was, I was determined to get to the bottom of it.

I convinced “Star” that I was hooked on the idea to pay him to get my artist in Hip Hop Weekly magazine but we needed to meet to conduct the transaction. At first he suggested that I meet him in the College Park section of Georgia on Old National Highway and even though that used to be one of my favorite stomping grounds, I didn’t think that would be a good idea after rap star Waka Flocka Flame was robbed there, recently. I thought Lenox Mall would  be an even better location to meet because only a fool would attempt to rob someone in broad day light at one of the most popular malls in Georgia.

I reached out to a few of the homies and had them stake out various locations around Macy’s parking lot while I met “Star” who was anxiously awaiting my arrival.

I met with him and another individual, who I won’t disclose his name just yet. Both of the gentlemen were trying to convince me how beneficial it would be for my artist to be in the magazine. After Star boasted about breaking one of the biggest stories in the magazine (which happened to be a story I wrote), I decided to let both of these characters know that their scheme was exposed and that they should not show their face around Atlanta or any other place trying to con people out of their money. I was especially upset at the fact that not only were they hurting a popular brand by their actions but that they were basically putting the livelihoods of the people who were employed by Hip Hop Weekly in jeopardy.  In addition, they were bringing unnecessary drama to the brand. If you are an artist or record label looking to get in the magazine, reach out to Cavario H.(Senior Editor), Cynthia Horner (Editor-at-Large), or Jeff2x (Music Editor). The music better be hot or you are wasting your time.

or you can follow me on twitter @hiphopenqmag


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Hip Hop Historian and accomplished photo journalist

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