Controversial “Groupie” Stories In Ozone Mag
OZONE Magazine’s 2004 year-end issue marked the “Second Annual Sex Issue” featuring Southern powerhouse artists T.I. and Chingy on dual covers. While there has been no question of the popularity of OZONE in the South over the past two-plus years, an article featured in the 2004 year-end issue has sparked a wave of publicity that has pushed OZONE to the forefront of newspapers, websites, and radio shows across the country…
The article, entitled “Groupie Confessions”, offers two pages of delicious scandal from anonymous “groupies” talking about their sexual exploits with some of the biggest stars in Hip Hop and sports. The detailed accounts of bedroom romps with the likes of Jay-Z, Allen Iverson, Method Man, Jadakiss and the Source Magazine’s enigmatic Benzino are giving a nation of curious fans more than a mouthful to talk about.
Florida Radio stations including Tampa’s WBTP 95.7 The Beat, Orlando’s Real Radio 104.1, Miami’s WPOW Power 96 and WEDR 99 Jamz, Ft. Myers’ WBTT The Beat, and Jacksonville’s WJBT sparked conversations about the article, and word spread like wildfire. On the first week of January 2005, Wendy Williams talked up “Groupie Confessions” on WBLS in New York, Doug Banks popular syndicated morning show on the ABC Radio Network couldn’t get enough, and Matty In The Morning on WXKS “KISS” 108 in Boston got in a few words with OZONE’s publisher Julia Beverly about her decision to write the article. The New York Post and The Philadelphia Daily News also ran stories specifically about the graphic stories told by the women featured in the article.
Over the course of her work developing the OZONE audience, Julia has learned that magazine publishing is the same as any other form of entertainment – you can put together great articles, great interviews, and quality writing, but people won’t really start paying attention until something scandalous, shocking or sexual is put in the mix. “I had the idea to do a “groupie confessions” article last year when we did the ‘First Annual Sex Issue’, but I couldn’t find anyone who was willing to speak for the article,” explains Julia. “Being in the music industry, you always hear stories about girls who have slept with rappers or celebrities, but it’s something that’s never really talked about openly. Mainstream magazines put out “sex issues”, but since OZONE is an independent publication we have more freedom to publish unedited, uncut, raw interviews.”
Women were able to call Julia directly from blocked numbers and give anonymous interviews. After scrutinizing the information she received, the article was put together with the most credible – and what turned out to be the most intriguing – stories of the bunch. Even with the freedom of expression at her discretion, Julia put a little more thought into approaching the “groupie” storyline. “Although a lot of people might think these are just scandalous sex tales, I was more interested in getting to the psychology involved,” she says. “From the outside looking in, you might see a girl getting in a limo or tour bus and just label her as a ‘groupie’ or a ‘whore’. The thing is, none of the people we interviewed would describe themselves as a ‘groupie’. For a lot of people, sex is power. Sex is a huge part of Hip Hop, but since it’s such a male-dominated field you are rarely hearing both sides of the story. I wanted to get the women’s perspective and find out, ‘What’s in it for them?”
When Julia Beverly started Orlando-based OZONE Magazine in May 2002, she created a solid outlet for urban artists in the greater Florida area to showcase their talent. Going on three years and 30 issues later, OZONE has rightfully earned its place as “The Southern Voice of Hip-Hop Music”. The attractive, glossy publication is provided at no charge to consumers throughout all of the Southeast region, reaching over 200,000 readers in print and on the internet.
The “Second Annual Sex Issue” can be viewed in full at www.ozonemag.com. Subscriptions to the print magazine are available for $11 for 11 issues annually, and all payment information is available on the website.
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