It seems so. After 16 years of reporting on hip-hop, R&B and fashion, Vibe magazine has ended its publication run. The magazine has succumbed to the recession, declining readership and even more declining music and fashion industry. It's so sad. We have lost our (urban America) voice in the publishing world.
I'm not going to front -- magazines like the Source and Vibe magazine inspired me to write about hip-hop and R&B music. I have always dreamed that one-day I would joined the staff of Vibe. I even sent my resume and clips to their offices (circa 1998-1999) with the hopes of getting some freelance work. No dice.
Nevertheless, what I will remember fondly about Vibe is their eye-popping covers. I still have -- in mint condition -- Vibe's first-issued newsstand copy, which is the one with Treach (from Naughty by Nature) on the cover with his arms folded. And I have other cover stars: Rosie Perez, an Afro-ed Ice Cube, Aaliyah tribute, Biggie tribute, Tupac Shakur (but the cover is ripped up -Ugh!) and a slew of others.
And of course, Vibe magazine also will be remembered for its journalism. Their controversial coverage of the East Coast/West Coast hip-hop rivalry had me running to the newsstands monthly without fail. And their "Revolutions" album reviews section was always on-point. I loved reading what cultural critic/author Scott Poulson-Bryant had to say about a particular album.
And much like Michael Jackson is/was the King of Pop, Vibe magazine is/was the King of Urban Magazine. The publication's influence and journalistic impact on the hip-hop and R&B industry is forever etched in popular culture.
Unfortunately, Vibe magazine shuttered its doors just as they were assigning and editing a Michael Jackson tribute issue. And so, there won't be a MJ Tribute from Vibe. Damn.
From the Web:
Quincy Jones is in the process of buying back Vibe magazine and turn it into an online magazine. "You better believe it, I'mma take it online because print and all that stuff is over," he told Ebonyjet.com. (Source)
RapRadar Makes It Official: R.I.P. Vibe Magazine (press release from former Vibe Media Group Content Officer Danyel Smith)