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Critical Fatwa

Week of August 3, 2005


All hail Lester Bangs! Bow down to the chosen critical few who light our way through the caverns of music. For there is an upstart we have let slide for far too long, whom we will indulge no longer. Source, here is your critical fatwa!

Source, you have been called "the Bible of hip-hop." While there was plenty of sex and violence in the Bible, your recent antics would put even Sodom and Gomorrah to shame. Did we fatwa you when your founder Benzino was dropping shitty records? We did not, and forever will our cheeks burn with shame. Did we condemn you for writing dubiously fawning profiles of undeserving artists? Nay, for in today's rock journalism that hardly sets you apart. When the sexual harassment lawsuits began -- documents claiming you tormented every woman who stepped through your door -- did we not give you one more chance?

Now we have learned what happens when we are lenient, for two of your employees, Alvin Childs and Leroy Peeples, have been charged with attempted murder for a late-night gunfight near the Source office! Police reports say the argument started over the music selections of the club. We can see that, but gunplay is a little extreme.

We blame ourselves, Source. Perhaps if we had punished you with the appropriate fatwa when Benzino was making an ass of himself, this never would have happened. But now it is too late. Fatwa! May your lives become as boring as your magazine!