The Source Magazine, a.k.a. The Hip Hop Bible, got its start as a couple page long Boston newsletter back in August of ’88. However, the now famous Unsigned Hype segment didn’t debut straight away, if you look back, that section is noticeably absent. It actually wasn’t until almost two years later, in May of ’90 (as far as we know), that demo tapes and black and white photos were suddenly being requested by the now New York City based organization.
Looking back it becomes the opposite of a “Where Are They Now?” feature, showcasing where people were then, quickly giving the public an exclusive first look at future names, staples and sometimes even icons, such as J Rock, DMX, DJ Shadow, Mobb Depp, Common, Biggie, Saafir, Agallah, Extra Prolific, Artifacts, Skillz, CNN, J-Live, David Banner, Last Emperor, Rawcotiks, Thirstin Howl III, A.L., Eminem, and Neek the Exotic… among many others. Whether you were just tryin’ to keep with what was current at the time or are into the hindsight of it all, these pages were and are not to be missed. Plus new talent is still put on display in the publication to this day, with them recently championing Action Bronson a few years back (and people like Joell Ortiz and Jay Electronica ten years ago now).
So naturally we went through every issue from Unsigned Hype’s inception up until the end of ’98, providing you with over eighty scans from the first decade of The Source’s existence, as well as a few updates, recaps and retrospectives along the way as an added bonus.