VIBE Magazine December 2009 Edition: The Great Print Comeback?

VIBE_ChrisBrown_Preview

VIBE Dec 2009 Preview

Following the VIBE shutdown and subsequent resurrection this summer, many questions arose regarding the ability of the magazine to make any real impact or even stay afloat during a time when even the most established publications are struggling to survive.

When InterMedia purchased the assets of VIBE, they announced that the publication would only be appearing quarterly in a slightly oversized print format and would have a reduced cirulation of only 300,000, which is half of the print circulation at shutdown. The return edition is due to hit shelves on December 8th 2009 and is expected to contain over 40 pages of advertising.

Jermaine Hall, the new editor in chief of VIBE, stated that the focus would be Vibe.com, although he was looking to also make drastic changes to the print version of the publication. ‘It’s always been a very broad book that’s covered the culture of hip-hop, not just hip-hop music,’ Mr. Hall explained. ‘It needs to get back to that.’

Yesterday it was announced that the so-called ‘re-launch’ issue would have two cover choices, featuring either rap’s golden boy Drake and or the more controversial choice Chris Brown. It must be said that whilst the Brown cover is likely to provide more of a talking point, both artists could be considered ‘hot topics’ and are therefore wise choices.

Known for their controversial and indepth cover interviews, VIBE’s print interview with Brown would perhaps have a far greater impact than a feature on Vibe.com alone. Print media is generally more likely to endure and remain relevant; VIBE’s classic 1994 TLC cover interview is a classic example.

tlc-fire-cover

VIBE's Classic 'TLC Fires It Up' Cover

A shining example of high-quality music journalism, the memorable piece perfectly captured the personality of Left-Eye and couldn’t help but evoke sympathy for her plight during a time when many were quick to condemn her following the arson incident.

Hopefully by providing the broader focus and a more comprehensive end product, VIBE can revisit its glory days and restore its status as a pionnering and quality urban music magazine. Being oversaturated with ads and with a much reduced circulation, however, sadly it seems unlikely that it will ever achieve the impact it once had.

BET Hip Hop Awards 2009: Congratulations Allhiphop!

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Congratulations to Allhiphop.com on winning the Best Hip Hop website at the 2009 BET Hip Hop Awards! I am so proud to be a part of the AHH team. So without further ado, here is a full list of the BET Hip Hop Award Winners:

People’s Award – Fabolous ft. The Dream (Throw It In The Bag)

Best Collabo – TI ft. Rihanna (Live Your Life)

Best Live Performer – Jay-Z

Lyricist of the Year – Jay-Z

Video Director – Hype Williams

Best Producer – Kanye West

Best Track – Young Money (Every Girl)

CD of the Year – TI (Paper Trail)

Rookie of the Year – Drake

Best Video – TI ft. Rihanna (Live Your Life)

MVP – Jay-Z

DJ of the Year – DJ AM

Hustler of the Year – Jay-Z

Made-You-Look Award – Kanye West

Best Site – Allhiphop.com

Allhiphop.com

Jay-Z reacts to MTV’s Hottest MCs 2009 List

Image: Roc Nation/MTV News

Image: Roc Nation/MTV News

Shortly after earning the top spot on MTV’s ‘Hottest MCs In The Game’ list, New York Hip Hop giant Sean ‘Jay-Z’ Carter shared his thoughts on the list, both thanking MTV but also questioning their choice.

Artists like Kanye West, 50 Cent, Lil Wayne and relative newcomer Drake were also featured but failed to top Jigga. Whilst appreciative for the recognition, in a recent statement Jay also openly questioned why Detroit rapper Eminem had been overlooked from the list.

The MTV 2009 ‘Hottest MCs’ List panned out as follows:

1. Jay-Z
2. Lil Wayne
3. Drake
4. Kanye West
5. Rick Ross
6. Gucci Mane
7. Young Jeezy
8. Fabolous
9. 50 Cent
10. Raekwon

In his statement Jay wrote: ‘MTV, Thanks for this nod of appreciation. Although I don’t strive to be ‘hot’ for any particular year, I thank you for the acknowledgment. My whole goal is to be recognized as the best ever. I created the term ‘best rapper alive’ as a sign of respect to my fallen comrades (Biggie and Tupac). I believe I’ve allowed a significant grace period, and I believe I would not be respecting myself if being the absolute best was not my goal, and that’s why I continue to push myself until exhaustion … salute.’

He then continued by joking, ‘Sidebar: Kanye moment if I may … Eminem?!?! I think you do the credibility of this list a disservice if you don’t thoroughly explain his omission. As of this second he has the highest selling rap album of the year and a scene stealing verse on the best ‘posse’ cut of the year . (*Hands mic back to Taylor Swift … and nobody was harmed, I apologize in advance.)’

Jay has done his best to make light of the Kanye VMAs situation since the surprise outburst and in typical Jigga fashion attempted to maintain a devil’s advocate approach, displaying a level of maturity that many of his peers are lacking.

MTV then responded to Jay’s comments, explaining that unlike than the other artists who made the list, Eminem has spent the entire season working on his forthcoming Relapse 2 project rather than ‘generat[ing] week-to-week heat with mixtapes, guest appearances, performances and Web activity.’ They also maintained that the list was finalised prior to the release of Drake’s noteworthy Forever that featured Em, Kanye and Lil Wayne.

In related news, according to Soundscan Jay-Z’s latest offering Blueprint 3 finished last week only a couple of thousand units shy of platinum and should certainly be on track for platinum status this week.

Drake Injures Knee (AGAIN) Onstage

I had to comment on this one right before I go in for foot surgery myself. Hip Hop’s rising star Drake has once again injured his knee after falling onstage at a concert in New Jersey. The Toronto rapper has had previous problems with his leg, since reportedly tearing his ACL earlier this year; as a result he had to be seated during his performance at the 2009 BET Awards.

Lil Wayne, who was onstage with Drake at the time of the mishap, joked with the audience, ‘I’ma have to get some extra insurance for this n*gga, man!’ After being carried off stage, it’s safe to say interest in Drake is unlikely to fall (no pun intended). I would like to wish him well, as I for one know that ligament injuries can really hinder a career in this industry!

Ooooooooops!

 

Video: Drake Video Vault

Jamie Who? Drake & Kanye West Take Over ‘Digital Girl’

‘Digital Girl’ is the fouth single from Jamie Foxx’s ‘Intuition’ album. It is not Foxx, however, that makes this track stand out to the hip hop community, rather the features by Drake and Kanye West.

Drake fever seems to have really set in leading up to the fourth quarter of 2009. Having inked a deal with Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment, the Canadian rapper is set to release his first studio album ‘Thank Me Later’ this winter. Drake mixtape ‘So Far Gone,’ which spawned several singles, has only increased the buzz surrounding his highly-anticipated debut album. Whilst it could be argued that his performance on this track wasn’t exactly outstanding, especially when compared with West, it demonstrates the young rapper’s industry presence and gives an insight into where the industry is heading.

Kanye West, on the other hand, provides the highlight to this single. Infamously unpredictable when it comes to musical styles, West seems to be enjoying his return to rapping. Although this single is hardly ‘Ye at his best, I would consider it a warm up. With several high profile collaborations and a number of other projects, the next chapter of the Kanye West story is unlikely to disappoint.

 

Video: OfficialNewHipHop

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