Background Details:‘Vibe’ which launched in 1993 by Time, Inc. In partnership with super-producer QuincyJones, changed hands a number of times over the years before its last owners, the WicksGroup which bought the publication and its Web site for a reported $35 million in 2006experienced a 40% decline in ad pages.Vibe is a music magazine founded and produced by Quincy Jones. The publicationpredominantly features R&B and hip-hop artists. The magazines target demographic ispredominantly young, urban followers of hip-hop culture.The magazine owned its success to featuring a broader range of interests than its closestcompetitors The Source and XXL which focuses narrowly on rap music.‘Vibe’ magazine was known for the creative direction of their covers, R&B singer MaryJ.Blige repeatedly made the cover of ‘Vibe’ and TLC also featured in their magazinesThe colours are dark and dim and reflect the time the magazine was first released in 1993. Itfeatures Tupac who is an old school artist and relates to rap. The layout is very different tocurrent times as nowadays Vibe appeals to a young, urban audience. The main image relatesto gangs, violence and being in prison.Contents:
Featured segments including the back page list 20 questions, the Boom shots column about reggaeand Caribbean music by Ron Kenner, Revolutions music reviews and Vibe Confidential , a celebritygossip column. Next profiled up –and –coming artists. The magazine also devoted several pages tophoto spreads displaying high-end designer clothing as well as sportswear by urban labels such asRockawear and Fubu.Vibe made a consistent effort to feature models of ethnicities in these pages. Former editors, EmilWilbikin was frequently credited with styling those ages and keeping fashion in the forefront of thosemusic of the magazines identity during the early 2000’s. Many clothing brands created or linked tohip-hop celebrities, such as Sean Combs ‘ Sean Jones Nelly’s Apple Bottoms and G-unit by 50 centfound plenty of exposure in Vibes pages.In the September 2003 issue, commemorating ten years of publication, the magazine created differentcovers using black and what portraits of its most popular cover subjects. It also contained the ‘TheVibe 100: The Juiciest People, Places and Things of the Year’.Many successful writers and editors contributed to the publication including Alan Light, Jeff Chang,Dream Hampton, and many more.Target Audience:Youthful, urban and fun audience’s of 18-25 and those who are interested in hip-hop. Passionateabout music and artists. Also, sees Vibe as the ideal hip-hop magazine. 70% male and 30% female.Fans of Rap and Hip-Hop and dedicators of music.Interested in fashion and enjoy listening to rap and wear clothes related to rap e.g. low baggy jeansand a hooded jumper.Inside ‘Vibe’:
It is typical to find two images of the same artist in a double page spread. The layout is normally neatand presentable. Quote words are used as well. It is unusual to find groups in a rap mag.‘Vibe’ Today:‘Vibe magazine costs £3.50 and sells monthly. It consists of 70-100 A4 pages. It follows a clearlayout where the image is the main attraction along with other artist’s names below.‘Vibe has its own website as well which allows the audience to go on to the website to find out more.
Style:‘Vibe’ contains iconography related to rap for example guns, tattoos and lots of jewellery. The styleof the magazine is urban and quite colourful but sophisticated.The magazine features a lot of uppercase writing reflecting the style of the magazine and who themagazine is aimed at.Black, white and red are the main features within the magazine although the magazines are usuallybright. Black reflects masculinity and power which suggests who ‘Vibe’ magazine is aimed at.
Black represents power and masculinity whilst black connotes ‘blood’ and ‘love’ and also stands outas it is bright. The use of black and white reflects a traditional, sophisticated look.The contents are related to rap which reflect the style of the magazine.Mode of address:The mode of address is mainly informal which reflects youthfulness. Quite casual and friendly withthe audience engaging them into the magazine and suggests that the magazine also has a friendlynature. The phrases relate to the personality of the audience and may be what the audience use in theireveryday life.The language is effective as the audience can relate to the audience and reflects their personality. Thelanguage suggests that they understand rap and that it is an important thing of their life.Examples of mode of address are: ‘AIN’T NO SUCH THING AS A SECRET SNITCH’. This reflectsthe type of audience and the style of the magazine, along with the genre.
Ownership:Quincy Jones launched ‘Vibe’ in 1993 in partnership with Time Inc. After shutting down Inter MediaPartners LP bought ‘Vibe’ magazine.Keith Glen Media, the company behind Black Book, a fashion and culture Bi-Monthly targeted to thegeneral market. It is good that Vibe is owned by Keith Glen Media as it is successful and independent and has helped‘Vibe’ relaunch.