In Depth: Jerry Doby Editor In Chief of TheHypeMagazine
from a talk on the Blab platform 12/26/2015
BlackCaesar: I want to welcome you, this Jerry Doby, the real Jerry Doby just saying that this is his twitter name. Jerry Doby the chief editor or the should I say to get it correctly editor in chief of the Hype Magazine. For those that don’t know if you know anything about music you know about the Hype Magazine or you learned it from the Hype Magazine one of the oldest magazines in existence that’s really telling the real deal story of music. Jerry how are you man, Merry Christmas.
Jerry Doby: Hey I’m good, how are you, thanks for having me, appreciate The Black Caesar Stone Soup, yeah.
BlackCaesar: Well let me give you the quick story of Stone Soup while Celdom Seen is a getting ready to come back in he’s agreed kind of as an artist, not that I’m not a musician myself but he’s gonna kinda co host this portion of the show. But Stone Soup it’s an old fairy tale where there is a kid who has nothing to eat and just to make the long story short all he’s got is a stone. So he goes out by the side of the house with a pot and boiling water and sticks the stone in it on a string and people are coming by and like what the heck are you doing when all you got is a stone in the soup? The kid is like hey, that’s all I’ve got to eat. So one guy says hey I’ve got a little broccoli at home let me go and get it, he drops that off and puts that in the pot, another guy comes by woman comes by hey I’ve got a little bit of beef another one a little bit, and each person contributes to the pot at the end of it he’s got a whole pot of soup that he could feed the whole village. That’s what this show does. You just heard from Steve Hart of Relevansa now we’re going to connect you to the music portion, ahhh and bring that in so Jerry your the editor-in-chief can you give us the backstory on the Hype Magazine? How did it start, with you know.
Jerry Doby: Oh sure. The Hype Magazine began in 2002, in Muncie Indiana as a one page newsletter. It was really about local events and artists and things and our publisher, CEO Jamilla Wilkerson was a student at Ball State University which is in Muncie. And the show started going, I don’t know they started going door to door with the newsletters stuffing it in peoples uhhh. I mean it was real guerrilla marketing, real street team work. So that was 2002 and by 2004 we captured the digital space and have become the number one digital magazines in the world. In two years. The grind is real. Some people grind for money we grind for the sake of the grind. You know what I mean? Yeah 2 years we captured the number 1 digital magazine title and for 13, 14 years we’re still holding that title but we also went to print in 2013. We weren’t looking to go digital we were recruited by a publishing house we won’t say the name. We were recruited, big social media shout out to Relevanza ( reference to social media company on the show prior to Jerry Doby) We were recruited by social media to go to newsstands. We did that in December of 2013, sold out our first issue in two weeks. That was our debut issue, it was K Michelle and Nick Cannon on the cover great exclusive interviews.
BlackCaesar: So now this was in 2002 and you’re on board in the beginning or how did you come on board as the Editor?
Jerry Doby: Well actually I was transitioning out of the military, I had been in Afghanistan for a couple of years prior, and I came back and I knew that I was going to be retired, medically retired from the Army. I’ve been a military brat my whole life so other kids got drum sets and trumpets and etcetera, etcetera. I requested books, because books with permanent and they never left, unless I threw them away. And so yeah, I was coming out, I met a cat named big Jig, who in 2006 was like Free Style Friday Night on 106 and Park. We connected on twitter, he said hello, I said shout out you know salute. I did a little piece on him and he said “Hey my home girl, Holmes is on Hype Magazine” have you ever heard of Hype Magazine? I’ve never heard of The Hype Magazine I’ve been in military since I was 17, so I said no. But I had just begun writing for Yahoo and Examiner and CNN and I was looking…
BlackCaesar: What kind of writing were you doing cuz that’s where I was going to go with this on how you and I talked a little before on your in journalism so what kind of writing where you doing for Yahoo and the other ones, in which genre.
Jerry Doby: I’m an A & E writer, for everyone that I write for so…
BC: Ok so you’ve always been into arts and entertainment? That’s, that’s your thing.
JD: Yeah its was crazy what happened during a break in service in the 90’s I came out went to work for a law firm decided I was going to try to do something else, so I came became and so don’t judge me ha hahaha…
BC: I’m not, I’m trying to figure out how this is getting into the music and its a long uh and the military hahaha?
JD: I’m going to tell you what happened and it is in the law firm I became a senior civil litigation paralegal and an assistant to one of the senior attorneys. We were in house council for a company who wrote liability insurance. I was the only black in the office. We started, they underwrote the liability policy for a film called “Welcome To Deathrow” which is a documentary film on DeathRow records. Them needing a person from the company to sit on the set. I was assigned as the Black guy to go in my shirt and tie and sit on the set in for Welcome To DeathRow. It just so happened that I’m from a, you know I used to be from a different life, and so I played basketball in the studio with Snoop, I hung out with Nate Dogg and you know and drank his favorite drink with him Hennessy. I hung out with you know the people that they were trying to reach out to. And uhhh…
BC: Let me interrupt you for 1 minute here, because somebody made a great comment here, there’s a chat on the side for people watching it on the replay and nailed it. “The journey is the amazing part”. Now listening to the journey this is the whole part, this is better than the story with the Hype magazine, is hearing your journey into this, playing ball with Snoop Dogg.
JD: and yeah I used to shoot dice with Ezy E, way back when you know Santa Fe Gardens, shout out Compton, you know what I mean. I used to hang out in the Santa Fe mafia hood at night, play dominoes and all that good stuff. And we hung out. When he was still Eric, you feel me. So the bottom line is I knew these guys I sat on the set. Eventually because it was a Jewish production company, they were completely unfamiliar with the lingo and how to talk to people and then you know you know cats from the street since the BS and therefore I was the name who kicked up a little dust in LA, and I had a good reputation, and it just so happened I said, look I can talk to them and I can get you you want so you know it was Alonzo Williams from The World Class Wreckin Crew you want him I got you. You want Greg I got you. And so I just called and made the phone calls. The documentary ended up coming out real, real swell. So um that was my entree into the music business, strangely enough, was as a person who was sitting there covering the backs of an insurance company. I became the talent of coordinator and I got chance to meet George “Dad” Pryce who as was at the time the Director of Communications for Death Row and also another guy who was a PR guy for Cosmo and stuff like that. They said you would make a really good publicist and they talked me into it and I’ve got an internship with George “Dad” Pryce. And I gave the Law Firm 60 days notice.
BC: So now this is before you’re at the Hype you haven’t got there yet.
JD: I hadn’t even gotten close. Yeah this is like 98, this is crazy, I had just taken a break from the service to do some civilian work. You know what I mean because one of the problems with the military, you know when we come out our skill sets don’t translate to well being the world and people look at us as if we don’t have any job training because we’ve only been in the military which is not the case. I would responsible for millions of dollars worth of equipment and you know of I have a security clearance that I could walk in the front door of the White House.
BC: Now you know it is funny that you mention that because I found it exactly the opposite at a few different times. My uncle was a career man in the air force when he came out try to get some jobs around Wall Street New York, they said his computer training in FORTRAN and this and that, nobody was using it they didn’t want to talk to him. Then when I went into the telecommunications industry with AT&T and the satellite industry and DirecTV, everybody around me was military and they were all making fun of me, Ohh you were never in the military had a lucky lottery number go get us some coffee. Then they were actively seeking out military because I guess in the communications area that’s you know primo for you’ve got the training and expertise there.
JD: Well uhh communications… actually I was a gunner my entire career. I’m a .50 Cal specialist. So my skill set doesn’t translate into anything short of you know I did some EV stuff but I’m from the streets so I can never be a cop, or I could never do anything to use my skill set in that vein.
BC: There’s a lady here on Blab who’s got some pictures, you know Do you have any pictures of you holding the .50 cal ha hahaha?
JD: I do actually I have some pictures with me with terrorists.
BC: She showed them to a couple of the guys here on blab, they were like they couldn’t believe you know they were like that’s the gun that you used?
JD: I probably do said I’m not familiar on how to add up pictures. But I’ve got video and some interesting sights from Afghanistan, my last tour. So anyway, just to answer your question that’s how I got started. I started out as a street team worker and doing PR, I did some things for the NBA and the USO. My first client was Lazy Bones, I also worked a little bit with Big Chan from Doggies Angels when they were still with TBT before that disbanded. Then of course the music business took a crash I went back into the military. And here I am 6 combat tours in and I’m coming over here to work in a magazine.
BC: So now getting back into The Hype now and the magazine; your writing articles in the in the beginning as the editor or a writer?
JD: Actually I came on board on board as an executive editor and the reason I already have the background, I had already done several exclusives for Yahoo a couple of pieces for CNN and Examiner and things like that.
BC: That’s about the time that I met you because you were talking a lot about writing articles for Yahoo at the time.
JD: Yeah right shout out to my publicist friend, Edna Sims. Actually I was doing an assignment, the editors from Yahoo sent me a test assignment. I was up the three days writing that piece and I had Edna Sims from ESPR, she was up from LA late and three o’clock in the morning we we’re doing the final edit on my test piece and sent it over to Yahoo they said I nailed it, I got paid and welcome to the team. It was great.
BC: Oh yeah I remember those days I can’t remember the platform we were talking on maybe Skype or Google Hangouts or…
JD: Probably Google Hangouts because initially when I first discovered you and what you were doing in South Carolina (I’m actually in North Carolina haha) I am still in Afghanistan actually so and I was already preparing my transition.
BC: That’s a funny story in itself that maybe you can share a piece of that, that we went over the other day because I thought, I thought you were next door and you know, you said, “I’m coming home soon that you know I’ll talk to you when I get back over the other side”. I had no clue that you were in the middle of a tour in Afghanistan. You know I’m talking to you on Hang Outs out whatever I thought you were in the Indiana or Georgia
JD: Naw I was in Bab Sharan South West Asia Afghanistan (didn’t really understand the city). What happened was I’d be out on mission for a month or two, you know humping those mountains, I lived in those mountains pretty much the entire time and we have some downtime so I looked on eBay strangely enough and I bought a satellite dish my wife used to send me bottles of liquor to Afghanistan, which was completely illegal I could have been in prison for that. But yeah it’s like I got on eBay, I bought a satellite dish and the service, and then there were civilian contractors out there doing communications work and satellite work. I paid a technician, one of those contractors. I paid him a bottle of Jack Daniels to come. So they came they installed my satellite dish on top of the Hooch. They connected us with the satellite and pretty soon I had internet Skype and the whole nine yards cost me one bottle of Jack Daniels.
BC: So some people might say that’s where up my alter ego black Caesar gets his story of broadcasting from a pirate submarine because you know what we actually use a nuclear class USS SSN 777 the North Carolina. That’s where we’re broadcasting from off of Kill Devil Hills, as our broadcast facility but at any rate you were definitely with the real deal there. Going more into the Hype Magazine now because that that’s what I really looked at that, that is quite an accomplishment there. What kind of reach do you guys have with the Hype Magazine?
JD: Currently we’re distributing in print here in The United States, Europe and Asia with Canada coming in February. Print circulation is a quarter million, digital we have 390,000 subscribers issues. We print quarterly and we’ve gone to a digital issue monthly.
BC: Now what about for amybe those people like me, or maybe those people never heard of The Hype Magazine. Maybe you could you know, you you can give the story what is the The Hype Magazine?
JD: The Hype stands for How You Perceive Everything and The Hype Magazine is a platform for you as the artist of personality to tell your story we’re the platform. It’s not my job as an editor to tell your story for you, its my job to converse with you and make you feel comfortable with sharing your own story. I guide you through the conversation there are some standard, you know questions that we ask but for the most part. I’ll give you an example you know, b.o.b and I talk we talked for almost like 2 hours in that interview and some of the things that I asked him led him back to telling me about coming up homeless being evicted, in his home and then homesteading in unfinished home that only had plastic walls. So I asked something to say, yo so how do you relax now that your big star and you’re moving into leases, and he said, “strangely enough I can go back two things I hate it when I was a kid hunting fishing going back to nature all those things I couldn’t stand”. You know and it was great. So that’s what we do is have a conversation. My style is definitely more conversational. One of my heroes is Tavis Smiley, whom I had the opportunity to interview as well and I learned from him that if you have a conversation with someone they will give you more. We wanted to talk about what’s important to them not whats important to me we don’t cover beef, we don’t cover gossip, we believe in journalistic integrity and therefore when I do, like I do an audio interview what I do is I record the interview I send it over to a transcriptionist, the transcript comes back to me in a word document. And all I need to do is edit the grammar and format. So what you see in the magazine is exactly what transpired during the conversation it is nothing that I’ve taken editorial life with, none of my writers do either. We just believe in telling the truth nobody can ever go back and say that the Hype Magazine misconstrued anything that was said or twisted.
BC: Right that’s almost like the court system that uses a stenographer that’s just typing what was actually said.
JD: That’s precisely the service that we use is a court stenographer. We send out the audio, the mp3, they transcribe it line for the line and send it right back, and all I’ll have to do is edit the word count if that’s how your cover story six page spreads so 1500 to 2000 words instead we have better than 10,000 words in the conversation so we really have a great opportunity to get your story out the way to that it’s meant to be with your feeling your voice, your emotions, your passions. And that’s what it is right there.
BC: I’m going to look to see if we can get out Celdom Seen to jump in here cuz I’m looking the time is flying by here and we got about 10 minutes. Let me just introduce Celdom Seen real quick. Celdom Seen is an MC and a Rapper out of Grand Rapids Michigan, he’s a big part of and formed a group called The Fist Coalition. Real hot group music wise out of the Detroit Michigan area.
Celdom Seen: I got to get you to introduce me sometimes man. Them introducers don’t be doing me right. But you put a lot of hot sauce and mustard on it.
BC: My old music days with the band and coming on stage. Old habits die hard.
CS: You know brother I’m hearing your story and I salute you sound like you in the game for real and that’s what’s up.
JD: Thank you so much, I appreciate it I’m honored, and I really believe, first of all you know I knew hip hop before it hit the radio, you know what I mean. You know when Big L was on the street corner doing his thing before Biggie, before all these cats. I believe that we grew up in a coalition where people helped one another and communicated with one another. That’s my whole thing is to tell the stories, cover the people that often close “mainstream media” won’t cover and to give an opportunity, because I’m sick of all the dark America stores and that not being black or white that being the under the underbelly of our country. You know people being shot and killed. You know people are into the black lives matter and I’m going to raise the b******* flag on that because all lives matter. And by only saying Black Lives matter, we separate ourselves from the rest of the world. We’ve been fighting for so long for inclusion. I’m not asking that anyone internalize the Western mindset or anything like that. But I am saying that if we don’t have a platform that is honest and open to everyone then you know, we segregate ourselves. And we are to join in doing the politicians job for them.
CS: Yeah yeah I feel you on that one. We got to do something man and whatever tool that God gives us you gotta put it out there and work with it man and try to educate as much as possible man so I’m glad you out there doing that. Those are the kind of people I’m trying to connect with you.
JD: I would love to connect with you. If you want to reach out to The Hype Magazine it’s really simple, say hi, they will take a look and say hi back You talk, we talk. You may not making it to print magazine, most certainly we have a platform for everyone and it doesn’t matter if your hip hop, country rock whatever. Did you have a specific question?Sorry I’ll take over sometime.
CS: You said you in a war you was actually in combat.
JD: Yes 6 combat tours. I was with the same fire team for quite a few years I’ve been in combat.
CS: What lessons did you learn, because that’s trials and tribulation. So to go through that right there what did you learn from that, that you’re now using to boost up your magazine and take it to the next level.
JD: Discipline, sticktuitiveness, teamwork, understanding that the person on your left, and the person on your right are depending on you to fire in the same direction and cover your sector. Where we had a small team, we use small team tactics which means that we can execute in a rapid fashion, and basically be in their tail before you even know that were there. That’s whats so great about the Hype magazine. Our talk to do ratio is at 0. Meaning that we’re not talking about it, we’re mostly doing it and your seeing it. Then you have to ask us questions, like how did you do that. That’s my biggest lesson is we have a mission we have to execute that mission. To coin a military term and I apologize everybody but our term is, violence of action. Meaning that we move rapidly decisively and with determination to end it. We shut them down. So the Hype magazine is not here to take a seat at the table, we’re taking our place at the head of the table. To create a resurgence of urban media, whereas the networks may not deal with my comrades and colleagues like XXL because they say it’s too Hip Hop. Well just because we’re black and urban based media doesn’t mean there our writers and our minds are not qualified to speak on other subjects and topics like politics in law and rock and country. Nelly is not the only person who’s black who likes country, Charlie pride is not the only black country person you know what I mean. I’m a Waylon Jennings fan bro. You know Waylon Jennings my pot dope smoking partner. You know the Four Horsemen those cats were great musicians.
BC: Does that mean that Jerry you and Celdom, won’t mind if I tell any of my old stories about sitting in the front seat at Woodstock back in the day.
CS: So did you see Jimi Hendrix when he was actually playing?
BC: OH Yeah that’s the whole deal right there and here comes Yolanda Barns that may have some questions.
Yolanda Barnes: How are y’all doing this evening
CS: It’s a little dark over there, we could hardly see you at all. Lol
BC: You beauty Yolanda is lit by the computer screen.
YB: My question for you would be, I know you seen a lot of changes
Originally published at www.iko.haus on December 31, 2015.