During the heyday of hip-hop magazines, in the 1990s and early 2000s, The Source was recognized as “The Bible”, but XXL was launched… and the magazine wars started.
During a recent sit down with Vlad TV, co-founder Benzino addresses those days, brushing off rumors of a beef, but does say XXL blatantly ripped off The Source.
“It’s not a beef. They copied us. [XXL] basically copied [The Source],” he said. “I guess hip-hop was so big, you figured… hey, it’s just like Coke and Pepsi. Coke was such a big thing that Pepsi say, ‘Hey, come on…’ Whoever was first, said, ‘Hey, there’s enough money for everybody.’ I understood it. It wasn’t necessarily a beef.”
“Harris Publications was putting out hunting magazines, they didn’t know nothing about hip-hop,” Zino added. “They just knew we was making money, so we gonna copy them, let’s go. That’s how XXL was born.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Benzino recalls the infamous 1995 Source Awards, where Suge Knight dissed Puff Daddy on stage; and how he feels today, with The Source nowhere near the level it was at its peak.