The Social Media Show presents a new Hip Hop music interview with Hip Hop pioneer and founder of the The Source Magazine with Jonathan Shecter aka “Shecky Green.” Shecter sits down with host Sam Dever for the final segment of a three part series of interviews.
The first interview consisted of Shecter talking about life in Las Vegas, his late friend DJ AM and the future of the Las Vegas DJ scene tied with his role as director of programming with the Wynn nightclubs. In Part 2, the two geared the conversation toward Social Media. In the third and final segment Shecter and Dever talk about arguably one of Shecky’s greatest accomplishments, founding The Source Magazine, also known to the Hip Hop world as “The Bible of Hip Hop.”
Shecky begins the interview taking us back in time to 1988 where Hip Hop was reaching a prime in it’s creativity. He expressed the culture was lacking a journal that addressed Hip Hop music as a real art form along with everything that came with it. While attending Harvard, he was involved in a radio show dedicated to rap music. They started collecting listeners home addresses, which became the core of a mailing list that turned into people who would get their newsletter. This was originally designed simply to promote their radio show to talk industry news and get access to new records before anyone else. As time went on, Shecter and his team realized their wasn’t a true magazine solely dedicating it’s self to Hip Hop culture. Being college students at the time and having to balance their studies as well, they gradually evolved The Source each month from four pages to eight pages to better pictures, etc.
After graduating from Harvard in 1990, Shecky and The Source team moved operations to New York City establishing themselves as a legitimate business. They were in the heart of Hip Hop culture surrounding themselves with popular record labels Def Jam, Tommy Boy and Jive. The Source not only covered Hip Hop music but also gave press to politics, fashion, TV Shows and movies within the musical culture. Jonathan said him and his team were “in the right place, at the right time, with the right point of view” to take the ball and run with it. His tenure at The Source lasted until about 1996 serving as Editor and Chief of the magazine for eight years. Shecky credits this time as a great experience having what he likes to call “Golden Era” Hip Hop burned into his DNA.
The conversation continues as Dever and Shecter talk about the state of Hip Hop today and the direction it’s heading. Shecter says he slightly lost interest in the genre around 2000 due to the fact he felt the music was getting “dumbed down” and wasn’t about the intelligent creative lyrics anymore. However, the two bring up current artists such as Kendrick Lamar who seem to be bringing the essence of the craft back. Shecky understands that the artists of today may not sound like Rakim or KRS-One but he emphasizes it is important to pay homage to legendary artists such as these who were the true architects of building Hip Hop.Bringing the topic back to The Source magazine, Dever asked Shecter if there were a particular issue that was his favorite. He replied there were two issues in particular that stuck out in his mind.
The first the issue they released in January of 1990 called “The Rap Music Decade.” Shecter described this issue as his “Senior Thesis” because it was a huge amount of content crammed into one issue. This was done again for his other top pick which was the 50th Anniversary issue where they take a look on the entire history or the Hip Hop art form.
The two moved past Hip Hop and directed the discussion into some of Shecky’s other projects. One of which was Screen Werks which is a collective of video DJ’s and video artists who are experts at manipulating video content to create something new. They will take brands, TV networks or anyone who wants to repurpose their content by remixing it. In other cases the artists will do it on their own. For example, Screen Werks video artist Jordan Laws remixed a series of “Inside The Actors Studio” clips
The interview concludes with Shecter talking more in-depth about his role as Director of Programming for the Wynn Las Vegas Nightclubs. He mentions his role involves creating a lot of content such as videos, material for Sirius Radio and even live video broadcasts. The Ultra Music Festival in Miami and Coachella are two great examples mentioned that demonstrate the power of live broadcasting and where the live music industry is headed. Shecky thinks one of the biggest growth areas for night clubs is “People sitting in their underwear at home, watching other people party.” Some may find humor in this idea but the truth of the matter is people are fascinated by simply seeing others enjoy the Las Vegas Nightclub experience.
Shecter says he feels luck to be at The Wynn where he is positioned at “The center of dance culture music in America.” This is due to the fact the Wynn has numerous venues and over forty resident DJ’s. He gets to interact and work with some of the music industries best including Avicii, David Guetta and Diplo who according to Shecky is a really great guy.
The Social Media Show would like to thank Jonathan Shecter for taking the time to do not one, not two but three segments with us. By far one of the most intelligent, informative and interesting interviews we have conducted to date. We are excited to see where Shecky takes his media career next!
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