|Editor||Jonathan Shecter/Adario Strange/Selwyn Seyfu Hinds/Kim Osorio|
|Frequency||1–2 per year|
|Company||The NorthStar Group|
|Based in||New York City, New York, U.S.|
The Source is an American hip hop and entertainment website, and a magazine that publishes annually or semiannually. It is the world's longest-running rap periodical, being founded as a newsletter in 1988.
The Source's Five-Mic albums
The Record Report is a section in the publication in which the magazine's staff rates hip-hop albums. Ratings range from one to five mics, paralleling a typical five-star rating scale. An album that is rated at four-and-a-half or five mics is considered by The Source to be a superior hip hop album. Over the first ten years or so, the heralded five-mic rating only applied to albums that were universally lauded hip hop albums. A total of 45 albums have been awarded five mics; a complete, chronological list is below.
Albums that originally received five mics:
- People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm – A Tribe Called Quest
- AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted – Ice Cube
- Let the Rhythm Hit 'Em – Eric B. & Rakim
- One for All – Brand Nubian
- De La Soul Is Dead – De La Soul
- The Low End Theory – A Tribe Called Quest
- Illmatic – Nas
- Life After Death – The Notorious B.I.G.
- Aquemini – Outkast
- The Blueprint – Jay-Z
- Stillmatic – Nas
- The Fix – Scarface
- The Naked Truth – Lil' Kim
- Trill OG – Bun B
- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West
Albums that were not rated upon their releases, but were later rated five mics in 2002:
- Run-D.M.C. – Run-D.M.C.
- Radio – LL Cool J
- Licensed to Ill – Beastie Boys
- Raising Hell – Run-D.M.C.
- Criminal Minded – Boogie Down Productions
- Paid in Full – Eric B. & Rakim
- By All Means Necessary – Boogie Down Productions
- It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back – Public Enemy
- Long Live the Kane – Big Daddy Kane
- Critical Beatdown – Ultramagnetic MCs
- Straight Out the Jungle – Jungle Brothers
- Strictly Business – EPMD
- The Great Adventures of Slick Rick – Slick Rick
- Straight Outta Compton – N.W.A
- No One Can Do It Better – The D.O.C.
- All Eyez on Me – 2Pac
Albums that originally received 4.5 mics, and were later re-rated to five:
- Breaking Atoms – Main Source
- Death Certificate – Ice Cube
- The Chronic – Dr. Dre
- Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) – Wu-Tang Clan
- Ready to Die – The Notorious B.I.G.
- The Infamous – Mobb Deep
- Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... – Raekwon
- 2001 – Dr. Dre
Albums that originally received four mics, and were later re-rated to five:
- Grip It! On That Other Level – Geto Boys
- Doggystyle – Snoop Doggy Dogg
- The Diary – Scarface
- Me Against the World – 2Pac
- The Score – The Fugees
- Reasonable Doubt – Jay-Z
The Source released a compilation album of hip-hop hits.
|1997||The Source Presents: Hip Hop Hits||38||25|
|1998||The Source Presents: Hip Hop Hits, Vol. 2||46||29|
|1999||The Source Hip Hop Music Awards 1999||45||53|
|1999||The Source Presents: Hip Hop Hits, Vol. 3||45||29|
|2000||The Source Hip Hop Music Awards 2000||17||16|
|2000||The Source Presents: Hip Hop Hits, Vol. 4||43||35|
|2001||The Source Hip Hop Music Awards 2001||28||34|
|2001||The Source Presents: Hip Hop Hits, Vol. 5||47||38|
|2002||The Source Presents: Hip Hop Hits, Vol. 6||35||31|
|2003||The Source Presents: Hip Hop Hits, Vol. 7||89||46|
|2004||The Source Presents: Hip Hop Hits, Vol. 8||45||43|
|2004||The Source Presents: Hip Hop Hits, Vol. 9||75||36|
|2005||The Source Presents: Hip Hop Hits, Vol. 10||60||47|
- Ogunnaike, Lola (January 29, 2003). "War of the Words at Hip-Hop Magazines". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
- "Got Five on It". The Source (150). March 2002.
- Osorio, Kim (May 14, 2012). "5 Mics: Who Got Next?". The Source. Retrieved May 1, 2019.
- "Kanye West Earns 5 Mics In The Source". The Source. Archived from the original on December 3, 2010.