It Takes More Than a Magazine To Kill My VIBE
I never got to write for VIBE. Real talk. And what’s funny is that my friends who don’t work in the music industry always seem to think I’ve worked there at one time or another. That’s probably because of how much I loved that magazine in the ’90s and early ’00s. That was the Rolling Stone with soul to me. It was where I read my journalistic crush (Kevin Powell) and my journalistic hero turned mentor (dream hampton). When I interviewed Quincy Jones a few years back, I was excited because it was Quincy Jones, but also because he built that house. Now it’s gone.
I’m mad, actually. In an environment like this, huge companies should’ve been more prepared for the future. Easier said than done, right? But it brings to light something that many have said for years, but we’ve only continued to half-believe as of recently. Print is really over. I’m going to say temporarily, because the tangibility of one’s work is still something that thrills me. How is it though that print publications can’t be comparable to art in viability? Why can’t a copy of the Source be like a Warhol painting? Don’t come shooting my kneecaps for that question, because there was a time when the words on pages of every urban publication that hit the streets were filled with cultural commentary and meaningful assessments of rap music. Nowadays it’s like regurgitating some half-assed blog post with some additional fancy rhetoric. VIBE used to be the difference. The works in that publication were unreal at times. We’re talking about a magazine that some blame for the fall of two of Hip-Hop’s most influential beings (Big and Pac). It’s sad to think back to when it all mattered, and I still feel bad. I really wanted to write for VIBE. It was the house that Q built, Mimi rented, and Danyel sold. I dreamt of being the one to vaccuum it, or maintain the plants. Now I’ll never get to. But for those that came before me, who made it the publication that it once was, I salute you. You’re probably the reason why I’m still writing today.