Back in the days, you couldn’t wait to get the new issue of magazines filled with hip-hop induced news. While printed magazines have died out more or less the latest hip-hop news has to come out somewhere. Rappers used to fight over which magazine cover they’re going to be on.
New York was the mecca of the rap news outlets like magazines, while LA was considered the “wild wild west” and a culture-oriented place where fads were created. Magazines like Vibe, The Source, or XXl were born in NY and are still prevalent in the rap game. Covering a wide range of topics but managing to maintain the hype. All and all a newsfeeds worthy for every hip-hop, R&B, and battle rapper out there
Beginning with the OG in the magazine world “The Source”
Dating back to 1988 and first issued in Massachusetts and moved to New York to reach a more mainstream market. It found great success there even managing to take its endeavors overseas and finding great success
The publishing company also has a column named “Unsigned Hype” which discovers promising rappers that do not have record deals. Many famous artists were featured on the column-like Biggie, Eminem, DMX, Mobb Deep, and more.
In recent years, it has featured Kid Cudi, Macklemore and Flatbush Zombies to name a few.
Founded in 1993 by Quincy Jones in New York a hip-hop oriented publishing company once featuring the likes of Janet Jackson.
Content is usually music driven with columns regarding Caribbean and reggae music. During the early 2000s, editors were focused on fashion in the music industry putting on covers Sean John jeans and Nelly’s Apple bottom jeans to bring fame to the fashion industry in hip hop.
As a part of expanding the brand, Vibe started lashing out into writing and publishing books on hip hop culture as a whole. Different segments were later added to push ethnicity related content. In recent years, its focus is on digital extensions like Vibe Viva which is Latino culture, Vibe online, and Vibe on demand.
Probably one of the most notorious publishing agencies in the segment. XXL was founded in 1997 making it one of the youngest yet well know hip-hop story driven magazines.
Gaining worldwide fame over the years XXL grew exponentially. After rappers like Jay-Z and Eminem were placed on the covers, and even dropping special releases in the mid-2000s in collaboration with Shade 45 and Eminem.
A huge reason why XXL is popular today is the “Cypher” or as it is called the Annual Freshman Class. It began in 2007 and since then it has been a platform for many up-and-coming artist to show their talents and possibly giving performers a taste of fame for the first time.
Hip Hop magazines started as just a piece of paper, carrying news about upcoming artists in the genre. Over the years steadily showing potential and becoming a culture of writing. For many, it became a starting point in their careers and for others, it was just a step, a pedestal for uncredited talents that faded away after. No matter what, these brands that were concentrated on sharing their views and words managed to lay the groundwork for platforms nowadays.
History has been written now it’s time to make your own…