Research into a similar magazine and Indepth study into my specific genre
Task 5 Research into similar music magazines on which you could base your magazine. Map out possible ideas for your music magazine including names, possible musical genres and ideas for articles. Task 6 Choose a musical genre/genres to feature in your magazine. List the names of bands/artists that are part of this genre, a brief history of the genre and the type of imagery associated with it.
Hip-Hop Magazines Most of my example magazine covers are from ‘VIBE’ magazine- which is a magazine suited for hip-hop/R&B artists who are mainly of Afro-Caribbean decent, although there is no criteria. My music genre will be ‘ Underground hip-hop’ which is not in the mainstream and therefore my artists do not appear on these magazine covers. Therefore, I have used the nearest genre to it, and got covers of mainstream rappers/artists in the hip-hop scene to use as bases for my magazine ideas.
Female Portrayal in mainstream hip-hop magazines: The images shown on the left display the way in which I would like females in my magazine to be portrayed. Although these 4 images are all from ‘VIBE’ magazine; through my research, I have come across many ways that women have been presented in magazines and have therefore concluded that if I were to use female images in my magazine, I would prefer to adopt the style from the left instead of the right. The images portrayed on the right are very sexualised and play on the mainstream hip-hop stereotype of women being ‘sex objects’ and possessions of gangsters (men). I don’t like that portrayal as it belittles women. Whereas the picture of Aaliyah on the left, is an example of a different presentation of women in hip-hop, where a very talented young singer is displayed as being very classy; therefore this is the portrayal I am likely to adopt as it is much preferable to my genre.
‘ Vibe’ Magazine Research <ul><li>Vibe is a music and entertainment magazine founded by producer Quincy Jones . The publication features two main genres: ‘R&B’ AND ‘Hip Hop’. Therefore the readers of Vibe Magazine expect R&B and Hip Hop artists along with other entertainers to be featured in each issue. Therefore, their basic target audience is predominantly young, urban followers of hip-hop culture . </li></ul><ul><li>On June 30, 2009, it was announced that Vibe was shutting its doors and ceasing publication immediately, despite the fact that Quincy Jones had stated he would like to keep it alive online. </li></ul><ul><li>After shutting down production in Summer 2009, Vibe was purchased by the private equity investment fund InterMedia Partners and is now issued quarterly with double covers, with a larger online presence, aided by the Vibe LifeStyle Network (a group of entertainment/music websites under the Vibe brand) </li></ul><ul><li>The magazine owed its success to featuring a broader range of interests than its closest competitors The Source and XXL which focus more narrowly on rap music. As of 2007, Vibe had a circulation of approximately 800,000. </li></ul>
Other editions of Vibe Magazine.. <ul><li>‘ VIBE Vixen’ was initially released in the autumn of 2004 and sales were considered successful enough for the magazine to be issued on a quarterly basis. </li></ul><ul><li>As part of my research into vibe, I came across ‘ Vibe Vixen’ which was a branch of vibe which specialised in gearing towards the female readers of Vibe Magazine that covered fashion, beauty, dating, entertainment, and societal issues for "urban minded females". </li></ul><ul><li>HOWEVER, my genre of hip-hop is based around political and global issues; and although it does include a female audience, they do not seek interest in issues like beauty and dating when associated with the underground hip hop scene- As this branch of rap does not favour these issues. (Unlike VIBE Vixen) Therefore, thankfully, there isnt a real split between the female and male readers that I will be catering for, they all share similar interests in regards to the underground hip hop scene. </li></ul>
Vibe Covers <ul><li>Vibe Magazine was known for the creative direction of their covers. Trio TLC were photographed for the cover in firefighters' gear, referencing the fact that member ‘Left Eye’ burned down the house of ex boyfriend ‘Andre Rison’ . </li></ul><ul><li>The first non-photograph cover of Vibe was an illustration of late singer ‘ Aaliyah’ by well known artist/illustrator Alvaro; this was Aaliyah 's very first appearance on the cover as well. </li></ul><ul><li>Other famous cover subjects are Brandy, Snoop Dogg, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Amerie, Jennifer Lopexz, Keyshia Cole, Janet Jackson, Lil Wayne, The Fugees, Eminem, T.I, R.Kelly, Micheal Jackson. </li></ul><ul><li>MOST IMPORTATNLY, rap legend Tupac Shakur ’s famous cover story in which he reveals important details about his non-fatal 1994 NYC shooting (two years before his death in Las Vegas, Nevada). </li></ul>
Vibe contents which I can use and adapt to suit my genre <ul><li>Other books published under the Vibe banner cover the history of hip-hop , the women of hip-hop , and rappers Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G [ All these issues mentioned above are respected topics and artists in the underground hip hop movement which focuses more on intellectual aspects of hip hop (not like the materialistic life that mainstream hip hop promotes to the youth)] </li></ul><ul><li>Featured segments included the back page list 20 Questions , the Boomshots column about reggae and Caribbean music, Revolutions music reviews and Vibe Confidential , a celebrity gossip column. </li></ul><ul><li>Next profiled up-and-coming artists . The magazine also devoted several pages to photo spreads displaying new sportswear by urban labels such as ‘Rocawear’ and ‘Fubu’ . Vibe made a consistent effort to feature models of all ethnicities in these pages. (It is important that my research source makes an attempt to include and cater for all kinds of ethic groups as my genre of hip hop isn’t limited to certain ethnic group, it caters for all on a wide level ‘W hite, Asian, Black..etc’ also, it consists mainly of new comers to the underground scene who depend on self promotion so a magazine introducing them would be helpful) </li></ul>
About Underground Hip Hop <ul><li>At the moment Underground Hip-Hop has many followers, but is still advancing and promoting itself to the masses. It upholds different morals compared to mainstream rappers who promote a hedonistic, materialistic immoral way of life (through angles such as gun/gang crime, imprisonment, illegal money, illegal substances/drugs, disrespecting women..etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Underground rap is very rarely played on national radio stations due to its very different message (not including money, sex, love.. Etc) An example of an underground song is: http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =57U7qG_Nc1Y </li></ul><ul><li>The large majority of underground rappers are UK BASED ARTISTS (except for Immortal Technique who is one of the leading underground artists from America) who made it up to their status through the use of the internet, street performances and gigs held around London where they slowly got to promote themselves refusing to sign up to any record labels. </li></ul><ul><li>Furthermore, the beauty of Underground Hip-Hop is that it is so culturally diverse, unlike the mainstream which is mostly Afro-American dominated (excluding Eminem) Examples: Latin American (Immortal Technique), White/Arab (Lowkey), Asian (Mic Righteous), White/Black (Ms Dynamite & Akala), African (Logic), Arab (Shadia Mansour) </li></ul>
Examples of Mainstream rappers and Underground rappers Ms Dynamite Lowkey Shadia Logic Akala Immortal Technique T.I Lil Wayne Rick Ross
Differences between the two sectors of Hip-Hop <ul><li>Underground: Sometimes distribute mix tapes without charging (Immortal Technique's- Martyr album)- the artists are not in it for the money. They regularly mix in with the people, attend marches, rallies, community meetings and talks etc so they are ‘by the people for the people’. They ALWAYS make their own lyrics and some even make their own beats. Most importantly, both parties promote very different messages to hip-hop fans.. </li></ul><ul><li>Mainstream: Whilst the underground are there to empower and enlighten the youth, the mainstream rappers tend to corrupt youth by promoting a very materialistic life where all that matters is money. They often give a negative portrayal of women, explicitly expose people of different ages to constant sex (whether it is through lyrics or videos), drugs and illegal crimes. Once signed to a record label, their songs are regularly played over TV shows like ‘MTV’ and major radio stations. This results in mainstream rappers being EXTREMELEY well off, (eg. Lil Wayne’ has a net worth of $95 Million. </li></ul>
Similarities <ul><li>However, Mainstream and Underground rappers do share a lot other than the same genre of music.. </li></ul><ul><li>Most hip-hop beats are very much similar, the only difference is the slow soundtracks and upbeat soundtracks. Alongside similar rhythms and individuality when it comes to writing lyrics (different unique flows, methods of rhyming etc) This is the beauty of hip-hop- the ability to be creative. </li></ul><ul><li>On a whole, most of the rappers from both parties all have a special respect for late ground shaking hip-hop legends Tupac and Biggie who passed away in the late 20 th century. </li></ul><ul><li>Although mainstream rappers rap about the thug/street life, they no longer live that life anymore, whereas underground rappers still do. And the love for their hometowns is always evident. </li></ul>
Political roles Akala Lowkey Underground Rappers are often very pro-active against war, corruption (eg. Rich over poor) and are sometimes seen criticising the government for certain policies etc Many of these rappers are extremely intelligent individuals and hence fight to reserve the image and purpose of hip-hop (it is not the language of fools): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Kx1EyBTobo ‘ Three incredible minds gather at the British Library to discuss the current state of hip-hop and it's misguided use by the youth of today. They underline the various struggles in making music as an independent artist and deliver great wisdom for the new movement’
<ul><li>In my article I can discuss the process and rise to fame that it took for a new and recent underground artist to have ‘’reached the underground’’. (From my interview results, many of the participants expected to get exclusive news on big underground rappers who are still recent and new to the scene) </li></ul><ul><li>I want my magazine to include many top artists from a range of different styles. Furthermore, I would like it to include a variety of different angles and celebrate the range of different ethnicities that the underground rap world is well known for. </li></ul>Ideas/plans for my articles