Joshua “Fahiym” Ratcliffe resigned his position as Editor-in-Chief of “Hip-Hop Bible” The Source Magazine today (Aug. 16). According to Ratcliffe, the reason for his abrupt departure is a difference of opinion between himself, Chief Brand Executive Raymond “Benzino” Scott and CEO Dave Mays.
Ratcliffe said Little Brother’s album,The Minstrel Show, was to receive a rating of 4 and 1/2 mics in the magazine’s October 2005 issue, but Mays and Scott disagreed.
“It’s a situation were I believed in Little Brother and the rating we attempted to give them,” Ratcliffe told AllHipHop.com via phone. “After speaking to Ray and making sure that was okay, I moved forward with that. Then it was decided that they wanted to change [the rating]. I told [Little Brother] that this is what they’re getting and for me to go back on that is a challenge to my own personal integrity. Whether they deserve 4 and half mics or not is debatable; though I believe in it, though most of the staff believes it deserves 4 and half mics, as well as the writer. For me to tell someone this is what you’re getting and to go back on it after I got confirmation, I just could not stomach that at all.”
According to Ratcliffe, despite the magazine closing the issue last week, today Mays and Scott expressed their intention on reducing the The Minstrel Show’s rating down to 4 mics (the same rating their debut, The Listening, received in The Source’s May 2003 issue).
“The Source of the past was always about breaking groups. Little Brother got accolades from MTV2 and other outlets based on the 4 mic review [they received] for an independent album. We felt like they and their crew The Justus League, their movement was something similar to what was going on with Native Tongues in the early 90’s. Just with the whole creative monotony and rut that Hip-Hop is in right now, they really brought a breath of fresh air.”
Before landing at the top of the magazine’s masthead in the June 2005 issue, Ratcliffe served most recently as its Deputy Editor after joining the magazine as its Culture Editor in February 2003.
Despite the abrupt split, Ratcliffe said he harbored no anger towards his former employers.
“I still think The Source is a top-notch Hip-Hop publication,” says Ratcliffe. “I would say to anybody-be it journalist, rapper or whatever profession-there are certain things you have to stand up for, whether it’s popular or not. It was not popular with my employers and that’s why I’m not with this company today. It’s no personal malice towards Dave Mays or Raymond Scott. I thank God that they gave me the opportunity to be the Editor-in-Chief for my tenure there. I enjoyed it, I learned a lot. Now I’m moving on.”
Ratcliffe plans to pursue freelance opportunities as well as continue working on a book about character development aimed at high school and college students. “It’s something that Hip-Hop is missing, character.”
Inquiries to The Source for comment were not returned at press time.