BE’N ORIGINAL is not your average entrepreneur. With the continued growth of his online media outlet Urban Magazine and recent accomplishments of his marketing company UMA Marketing & Advertising; one can argue he is a mogul in the making.
After his return from the Persian Gulf War and receiving an honorable discharge from US Army, BE’N ORIGINAL dedicated his life to pursuing his deferred dreams within the entertainment industry.
“My father was from the south and was raised at a time when many consider a career in the music business improbable for people of color. It just was not realistic in his eyes.”
Having always been considered by many, a gifted writer and businessman, in the late 90’s, he began publishing an online newsletter entitled New York Underground while interning at Stress Magazine. Six months later, the opportunity of a lifetime would fall into his lap. One phone call led to a successful career in journalism that spanned nearly over a decade. An editor for The Source Magazine needed someone who could get on the phone with Ludacris and complete the assignment.
“Having followed my work at Stress, she gave me the chance. Funny thing is I had faxed my resume to The Source every day for six months prior.”
However, even with all the clout and privileges writing offered, he was not satisfied. Having studied the music industry since his teenage years, he was far from content. As The Source Magazine started its downward spiral, he became a contributor to rival hip-hop magazine XXL, the newly launched King Magazine, and several online portals including Allhiphop.com and Yahoo Music!.
In 2001, BE’N ORIGINAL launched his online media outlet, Urban Magazine.
“I am grateful that the editors allowed me to launch my magazine independently. Despite the inherent conflict of interest, I was able to continue to provide for my family through the work they assigned me at nearly a dollar a word. In a way, you can say Vibe, XXL, King, and The Source gave me my start-up money.”
Launching the magazine online was relatively easy with the relationships he had developed. Competing against stronger brands for a share of the marketplace was hard. Though originally launched as an additional revenue source, through UMA Marketing and Advertising, he landed lucrative licensing and developmental deals with various major brands including American Greeting Interactive, and Def Jam. He also has led and/or contributed to several freelance projects for a wide variety of brands including The Lyricist Lounge, Rawkus Records, Warner Home Video, EA Sports, Necole Bitche, The Jamaican Consulate, DJ Vlad, DJ Sickamore, and Think Big PR while successful launching the careers of critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Levina Lye and Best-Selling Author and Publisher Michele Fletcher.
After successfully launching his book publishing company, BE’N ORIGINAL has now relaunched Urban Magazine in digital format.
“The publishing game has changed dramatically since the last issue. The readers want something new with broad appeal. I am a firm believer in giving people what they want, at a fair price of course.”