Who is Dave Mays? Is the Harvard graduate the reserved
magazine magnate he appears to be in public? Or
behind closed doors, is Mays more like the bullied kid
former Source staffer Reginald Dennis claimed he is in a recent interview on hiphopdx.com?
Only Mays knows for sure, and he’s never been one to talk.
Facing an onslaught of rumors about his magazine, Mays
lays it on the line and discusses Dennis, his
friendship with Benzino, and the financial status of
The Source. You be the judge.
AllHipHop.com: All right. So I assume youve read the Reginald Dennis
Dave Mays: I read the Reginald Dennis fiction chronicles.
AllHipHop.com: Fiction chronicles. Well I guess going right into it why do you say fiction?
Dave Mays: I mean because you know its creative writing at its best. I mean come on; this is a guy who hasnt been around for about 11 years. Like he left The Source in 94; were in 2005. Like who has obviously been obsessed with the fact that hes no longer a part of The Source for I guess 11 years this has continued to bother him to the point he, even in his own articles, he says hes been behind different schemes to try and mess up The Source and you know create problems for us. What could be more obvious than a guy who was basically forced out of The Source because he wasnt performing. It was time for a change. The magazine actually flourished in his and the others absence, I mean the 90s [staff is] acting like The Source hadnt been the biggest thing in Hip-Hop since 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 2000, 2001, 2002; I mean The Source exploded and grew to incredible heights since he left. So obviously you werent that important to what The Source is about. Its pretty obvious that youre a bitter, closet kind of weirdo. I mean thats what this guy was. I mean the reality he was a weirdo; he was a loner; he was a guy who was by himself all the time who lived like in his parents basement or something. And like I said, he made some contributions, but this guy was a weirdo. Nobody knows this guy. Its not likeI mean what are you doing now – like I dont see your name anywhere. Youre not running some Hip-Hop media company or anything. You havent done anything in 11 years so who cares. Who cares?
AllHipHop.com: Certainly since you acknowledged him having a hand in start XXL as being a major pulse
Dave Mays: [Mimicking Reginald Dennis] Oh, well I started XXL so basically everything that XXL has been doing the last five or ten years or how ever long its been, is what Ive been doing. No. You were fired from XXL two months later. So because of the same reasons they figured out that you were a weirdo and a clown. You were fired just like you were fired from The Source. I mean XXL was started by Harris Publications, okay. Stanley Harris put up money and decided that he wanted to try and start a Hip-Hop magazine because he saw what The Source was doing. They copy peoples ideas and try to eat off the scraps left by the other people in their categories and thats fine. But what does that have to do with Reggie Dennis? Nothing.
AllHipHop.com: So would you think its fair to say that he had more than just a little bit of a contribution to your magazine?
Dave Mays: No, I dont. No, I dont. He wrote a column and he was a Music Editor. He was one of a large group of people that all worked very hard and contributed to helping build The Source in the early 90s. But guess who the one who was there before all of them? [The Source] comes from Dave Mays and Ray Benzino. The same people that was there before there was a Reggie Dennis; the same people thats there 12 years after Reggie Dennis; the same people thats gonna be there for the next 12 years running The Source and guiding the way that it goes. So you tell me who makes a big contribution.
AllHipHop.com: And you mentioned earlier that the things that hes done to attempt to hurt your business, would you say did you have any decisions that youve made, business decisions have hurt your business yourself?
Dave Mays: Of course. Anybody running a business would have to say that or else theyre a fool. I make a lot of mistakes. Im an entrepreneur. I make many mistakes in running my business. I have no problem saying it.
AllHipHop.com: What about today how do you feel about over the incident where you inserted the profile on Benzinos group causing another disagreement between you and the staff. Has your perspective on that changed any today as it did maybe last year or when the incident initially occurred?
Dave Mays: No.
AllHipHop.com: And just for people who may not have been following it from the beginning can you clear up what your position was.
Dave Mays: My position was that I had a bunch of people who worked for me that were paid a lot of money by me and my company to do a job and they were doingno only were they not doing a very good job but they were doing their job in such a way to harm the business. I, being in charge of the business, my job is to correct it. These guys didnt want to listen even though they were paid a lot of money by me to do a job for my company. Okay. So it became a difficult, unfortunate situation when they didnt want to make the proper adjustments to the company and to the way they ran their respective areas of the business and it began to interfere with business. And as far as the [Benzino] article goes, which is just again like a smoke screen distraction point to everything that I just said had nothing to do with anything other than yes that was a kind of like the final thing that set everything off to bring it out into public I guess. But it had been going on for quite awhile. These peopleagain Reggie Dennis was and is a pussy. Okay Reggie Dennis was scared for his life from Iced-T and other people that were pissed off with him about personal bulls**t that he would write in the magazine about people. Dave Mays was the guy who had to deal with these people and help calm these people down and manage the relationship while Reggie Dennis would hide in his office, okay.
So in any event, the article – Almighty RSO was signed to RCA Records and in Reggie Dennis’ own [version] he talks about how great Artiso was, and how much he loved One In The Chamber, and different members of the group that he loved, what a great group that it was. Okay, the group deserved to get a story in the magazine like any other artist would have gotten a story because these guys were being insubordinate and were not acting in the best interest of the company, they refused to do it. So I raised to do the article. And subsequently they were fired from the company. End of story, see you later.
AllHipHop.com: Dont you hire your staff you know based on the positions you put them in to cover Hip-Hop as they see fit?
Dave Mays: No. No I dont hire somebody to come in and cover things as they see fit. No. Its not their magazine. They cover the things that we see fit to cover things. This is what we do. This is what The Source does. Were a responsible media outlet in Hip-Hop; were the leader and the only responsible media outlet that Ive seen out there in Hip-Hop. And thats because of the leadership and guidance of Dave and Ray.
AllHipHop.com: And would you say that Reginald Dennis is the only one thats making allegations against
Dave Mays: By the way, I need to say this about Reginald Dennis when you mentioned that, I mean the other thing it looks pretty obvious from what hes writing, that hes a paid informant for the government and the police. I mean because thats whatwhen someone would sit there and make up a series of lies that are designed to create a perception that theres some kind of criminal activity taking place thats what informants do. Thats how police operate in our country in case you havent noticed. Like how law enforcement works and how they go about trying to convict people and the use of paid informants. If you understand the criminal justice system you might know a little bit about how that works. And if you do then you would [see] Reginald Denniss letters there and you would think that he fits the bill of a paid informant when you look at all the lies he made up along those lines.
AllHipHop.com: Im not exactly following
Dave Mays: Its not really a big stretch when you understand again the federal governmentagain I dont know if you guys report on these things but if you read The Source magazine, we report on real issues, serious issues within our community and within our industry. And one of those serious issues if you know if you were to look into it is the issue of the federal governments targeting of the Hip-Hop music industry and the Hip-Hop community. Its a profiling of Rap artists, its a form a racial profiling thats taking place within our industry, the investigation of Lil Kim as supposedly as an organized crime figure. This is again led to things like Irv Gotti being indicted. Irv Gotti is somebody who has done more to help people save lives, bring crime down in communities, empower communities but yet hes the target of a federal investigation and not the people that are really criminals in the industry, the real criminals. Its just also you can read about in this months Source magazine where we discuss these kinds of issues in depth. So when Reginald Dennis goes specifically goes out of his way to make up a whole series of lies alleging criminal, various types of criminal activity then to me it seems like he fits the bill of that type of person considering all of the other factors involved and considering all those statements are complete falsehoods. Click here for Part 2.
For a longer version of this interview, click here.