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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"That whole Lil Wayne thing introduced us to a lot more people. It helped speed things," says Mack.

With their name suddenly ringing bells throughout the industry, they quickly secured T.I. for their next cover.


"We like being in Philly," Mack says when asked if it would be easier to run the operation from New York, where the hip-hop industry lives. "Philly is an objective view of New York. New York is the mecca of hip-hop, so they have a lot of ego about themselves."

He says Foundation tries to support the local mixtape scene, featuring a Philly artist/DJ in each issue--including Tone Trump, DJ Omega, DJ No Frills, Diamond Kuts, Gillie the Kid, Peedi Crakk and--next issue--DJ Amir.

But they're also sensitive to the risk of getting pigeonholed as a Philadelphia-only publication.

"The problem with Philly is there's no record labels here--no majors--no real PR reps repping big names," says Mack. "And the radio ... the hip-hop on Power 99 and the Beat is horrible. There isn't one DJ who's connected to the streets in Philadelphia who has a radio spot."

According to Mack, Foundation is the unofficial bridge to New York for Philly artists and DJs who are willing to put in the work.

"It's the city's responsibility to make the 90-minute trip up north instead of hanging here just trying to get on Cosmic Kev's radio show," he says.

Malo says that there's a lack of professionalism in Philly hip-hop, and the work ethic is often lagging: "New York, L.A. and Down South guys realize it's important to branch out and grow. It almost seems like Philly cats get stuck in Philly. We've attempted at times to bridge that gap, but for whatever reason they're not willing to explore that route."

Still, they agree the local scene has serious talent.

"In 2001 Jay-Z came here and snatched up like 10 rappers," says Mack. "There are guys in this city right now in the same position, but there's no Jay-Z to come snatch them."


It's near closing time at Club Plush on Eighth and Callowhill.

The crowd is sparse and it's uncertain whether the featured guest--West Philly rapper Sandman--will still perform.

Mack is waiting out the night. He'd hoped to hand out copies of the new issue, but was hassled at the door.

The poorly attended rap event appears to be a bust.

"We'll just show our face and wear the T-shirt," Mack says, unfazed and unwavering in his commitment to promote the magazine whenever and wherever possible.

The improvements in the magazine--from early issues to the current G Unit cover--are unmistakable. There's a higher page count, more circulation, better paper quality, cleaner design, more professional writing and a higher caliber of artists showcased.

In recent months the magazine has even begun paying freelance writers, and the business partners have begun carving out modest salaries for themselves.

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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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