It's a Mixtape Shook-Up World

How three street-smart guys with no publishing experience, no money and no distribution launched a high-gloss magazine that's actually making it.

By Kate Kilpatrick
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 25 | Posted Jul. 16, 2008

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For Malo, a lifelong rap fan from upstate New York who moved to Philadelphia "on a whim" 10 years ago, the realities of the proposition were blinding.

"My original position in the company was staff hater," he jokes. "None of us had ever worked for a magazine before. We didn't know a single DJ, artist, manager, publicist or label. We had no type of industry connections. And we had no money."

To prove to Malo they could do it, Mack emailed DJ Vlad, whose The Notorious B.I.G.: Rap Phenomenon mixtape Malo had been listening to. He told DJ Vlad about the magazine startup, offered his phone number and asked him to get in touch. Ten minutes later the phone rang.

Mack went back to Malo and told him the magazine's first interview would be DJ Vlad.

"I was like, 'Wait, you talked to him?'" remembers Malo, saying that was when he started to take the notion of publishing a magazine seriously. "Not that I thought all access would be that easy, but I thought, 'Maybe we've got something.'"

A year and a half later the DJ Vlad interview actually took place.


If Malo is the heart of the magazine and Mack the cojones, Haney is the brains.

Calm, quiet and reticent by nature, Haney defies the boastful hip-hop stereotype. He jumps into whatever role he's given--including photography and graphic design, which he taught himself practically overnight.

At the time of the magazine's inception, Haney was working for an extermination company doing home inspections for termite damage. It was about then that he enrolled in the School of Communications at Temple to study sound engineering and philosophy.

"I've been into music my whole life--all different kinds," he says. "My mom worked in a music school so I played lots of instruments. When we started the magazine I was playing banjo in a band. I knew I wanted to work in music in some capacity. The magazine has been the perfect avenue for that."

Although he used to favor conscious "backpack" rappers like Common and Talib Kweli, Haney's come to fully embrace the hardcore "gatpacker" rap scene.

"Now you can catch him singing Jadakiss lines, or Papoose," says Mack.

In January 2005 Malo, Mack and Haney began lugging their books and laptops to Cos� at Second and Lombard to hatch their plan.

But as with all of Mack's other gimmicks, Haney expected it was only a matter of time before the project would dissolve and they'd go back to their regular lives.

"I didn't take it seriously--I just showed up to humor him," Haney confesses. "But we made some progress, figured out printing and costs, and then it got scary--seeing the amount of work involved and not knowing anything about it."

Fourteen months after their weekly Cos� sessions began, the first issue of Foundation magazine was at the printer. Thanks to some early advertising checks written by Kool cigarettes, the three partners didn't have to borrow money. They'd also been hitting up industry movers and shakers to build a buzz.

With a few phone calls, the trio got on the list for the 10th Annual Justo Mixtape Awards preparty in New York City.

"We'd never been to an industry event," says Haney. "We printed out business cards and had them overnighted."

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 25 of 25
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1. Foundation Magazines #1 Fan said... on Jul 15, 2008 at 07:26PM

“Real spiffy group of guys . . . . . . . . .Behind everyman is a spectacular woman ;-) ”

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2. Big Mama said... on Jul 15, 2008 at 08:18PM

“And Mother!”

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3. D.Quin said... on Jul 16, 2008 at 06:45AM

“FINALLY! Hard work and dedication plus motivation equals success. B. Mack is as genuine as they come. He is Foundation Magazine. Good work Brian. As I have told you before, I support your insanity. Love, The FAM ”

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4. Jizzy said... on Jul 16, 2008 at 07:19AM

“First and foremost, I would like to congratulate the founders of Foundation Magazine for their hard work and success. As an aspiring Hip Hop artist on the Philly Hip Hop scene, I am glad to hear news about someone making it on the strength of their commitment and hard work. Secondly, I would like to express interest in being featured in the magazine. I have been doing shows in Philly for a few years now. I have a lot of great music that I can't wait to release. I am hoping to network with people just like those who founded this magazine in order to continuously expand my market presence. So... Look me up! @ www.stricklybizz.com Please be sure to sign up for the email listing and leave me some feedback on the message board. My myspace page is www.myspace.com/thegiftsb Chris, Brian, and Rob, hit me up! I got some good music for yall!!! Thanks for your time, TheGift”

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5. TheGift said... on Jul 16, 2008 at 08:19AM

“First and foremost, I would like to congratulate the founders of Foundation Magazine for their hard work and success. As an aspiring Hip Hop artist on the Philly Hip Hop scene, I am glad to hear news about someone making it on the strength of their commitment and hard work. Secondly, I would like to express interest in being featured in the magazine. I have been doing shows in Philly for a few years now. I have a lot of great music that I can't wait to release. I am hoping to network with people just like those who founded this magazine in order to continuously expand my market presence. So... Look me up! @ www.stricklybizz.com Please be sure to sign up for the email listing and leave me some feedback on the message board. My myspace page is www.myspace.com/thegiftsb Chris, Brian, and Rob, hit me up! I got some good music for yall!!! Thanks for your time, TheGift ”

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6. Cj said... on Jul 16, 2008 at 11:57AM

“thats papoose, not pat boose”

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7. confused real nigga said... on Jul 16, 2008 at 03:44PM

“3 white kids running rap huh?????”

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8. getit said... on Jul 16, 2008 at 04:25PM

“yeah yu are confused”

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9. Cj said... on Jul 18, 2008 at 09:13AM

“First and foremost these guys aren't the first Mixtape Magazine is actually the first, and then you also have Blow magazine that is also dedicated to a street element, and also its a magazine in Philly that has great quality ( in terms of style & design) called PhillyMixTape.Com”

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10. Maino said... on Jul 18, 2008 at 10:13AM

“First and foremost these guys aren't the first Mixtape Magazine is actually the first, and then you also have Blow magazine that is also dedicated to a street element, and also its a magazine in Philly that has great quality ( in terms of style & design) called PhillyMixTape.Com”

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11. 8th and norris said... on Jul 18, 2008 at 11:09AM

“The first and only FULL SIZED mixtape magazine is how these guys describe themselves. and Foundation came out at the same time mixtape mag came out, and they no longer exist so pay attention. Not surprised that there is hate here, this is Philly and people always tear eachother down. Congrats Foundation, yall are all over the country right now!!!!!”

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12. 8th and norris said... on Jul 19, 2008 at 02:19AM

“Interesting article. I haven't seen the magazine yet though. Is there a Foundation website yet? Vincent http://thimk.wordpress.com/”

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13. Vincent said... on Jul 19, 2008 at 03:19AM

“Interesting article. I haven't seen the magazine yet though. Is there a Foundation website yet? Vincent http://thimk.wordpress.com/”

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14. PB said... on Jul 19, 2008 at 10:56AM

“www.foundationmag.com”

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15. NormanStocktonHuxley said... on Jul 23, 2008 at 08:09AM

“To print or not to print? that is the question. Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings an arrows of outrageous publication or to take arms against a sea of blogs and by opposing, be read.”

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16. UNK D said... on Jul 28, 2008 at 11:46AM

“HEY FROM TAMPA BAY FLORIDA,I BOUGHT YOUR MAG AT THE MUSIC STORE AT THE MALL.I PAGED THROUGH IT .LET ME TELL YOU YOU GUYS "GOT IT",EXCELLENT WORK. I HAD TO BUY ANOTHER BECAUSE A VENDOR IN THE MALL LIKED IT SO MUCH I GAVE IT TO HIM.THE NAME IS PERFECT, YOU'VE GOT THE "FOUNDATION"....ENJOY BUILDING.”

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17. Jizzy said... on Aug 17, 2008 at 02:35PM

“Great story! These guys show it's hope left in Philly 4 Hip-Hop. I'm working w/ a few unsigned hip-hop artists & hip-hop producers in need of some shine. How can i get a in contact w/ these guys?”

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