Number #1 With A Bullet…

For my flight back up top from Atlanta I copped the latest issue of XXL with your boy Lil’ Wang on the cover. I also bought the latest from the Source and VIBE. As a print publication dealing with Hip-Hop, XXL has no peers but there are still some things that the paper version could do better in my eyes. First would be to to mail me an effing copy monthly. Every time I buy an XXL or King I am spending my Dutch Master money. You would think that I could get a gratis copy of those mags for the simple fact that grind for the evil empire.

VIBE is a lifestyle magazine, so they don’t really count in the discussion of Hip-Hop publications since VIBE has that crossover R&B access that XXL doesn’t have. Even though rap music has become as watered down and vapid as R&B it still isn’t really R&B, no matter how much Lil’ Wang gets on the auto-tune and sings with a guitar(?). I did like VIBE’s style this month though as they attempted to become edgier and less of a starfucker rag. At the end of the day though VIBE isn’t throwing anyone under the bus that isn’t already there. They’re still cracking jokes on Whitney Houston. Is she still alive?

The Source is XXL’s legitimate competition although it’s looking really unfair now like a Celtics versus Hornets game. The Source being the Hornets, of course. It’s not even a matter of how far the Source has fallen, but the fact that they don’t have any credibility anymore. They can establish their street cred again with some great writing and I see the Source has some good writers submitting features like the one on graf artist KET, but then they shoot themselves in the foot with graphics that are illegible or just plain ridiculous. Who wants to read that shit? I think for too long magazines that have targeted describing the urban lifestyle take our savvy for style and design for granted. You won’t need retahded fonts when your writing is good.

I have been accused at times of being a Harris Publications dickrider and I would expect that level of criticism to come from the da-dunn da-dunts that type in all capital letters. The truth is that XXL runs the rap publishing shit, but could still step up their game for describing the Hip-Hop culture’s lifestyle impact. Here’s the question… What comes first, the chicken or the egg? Can Harris Publications afford to be a trailblazer and add features to their magazine that discuss economics and social-political stories? Would XXL be willing to go in with a monthly feature on the 2008 presidential election? What about the real life story of how many rappers are two steps from filing for bankruptcy?

Real life politics and real life economics usually take a back seat to the virtual world of consumption without a conscience. I wouldn’t want XXL to turn into some Black Enterprise/Robb Report/The Nation type periodical if it meant that all the readers that normally came here would leave for the nearest lowest common denominator magazine. Do you think Hip-Hop still has the ability to take itself seriously as a culture, or are we just clowning around from here on in?

  • http://www.theunderwriters.blogspot.com THE UNDERWRITER

    I agree totally.

    The one thing that The Source attempted that I always liked was the political features. It’s good to see that people within your culture want you to know about real life shit, even if it’s fake.

    08 is a huge year for politics. XXL should take part in all of this. Use that media power to steer the Cadillac before the liberalconservative media ghostrides the whip into another international disaster (another R.I.P.ublican president).

    Of course that’s just my opinion; I could be wrong. Fuck Dennis Miller.

    Whudddup BXS

  • http://xxlmag.com Billy X. Sunday

    Underwriter,
    What the smell homey?

    I breezed in and out of the ‘A’ too quick to link with the kid. I will get up with you in the new year [ll].

    Yo fam, don’t fuxk with that spot WISH on Moreland down in 5 Points. Wacksauce deluxe.

    • N.O. 4 life

      check the hornets record my brother….and i second that WISH wasnt what i thought it would be…im tryna go to every streetwear store in america before i die and that one was a waste of effort and gas

  • blacker cracker

    you a harris publications dickrider? try a quixotic sycophant.
    why can’t you just accept that hip hop is about getting fucked up, getting fucked, and fucking shit up?

  • Autumn

    yeah i noticed the source had some half way decent writers this month. xxl is the leader. i agree they should take a look into politics and business more because it would educate some of the readers more than what “rapper A,B and C” likes to drink in saturday nights. the source is getting some different things in their mags, i dont think they are any real competition to xxl but xxl has to grow like everyone else and look for more stuff to put in the mag.

  • http://www.theunderwriters.blogspot.com THE UNDERWRITER

    Yeah, I try to avoid that area like an itchy vagine these days.

    It’s all good on the visit; I’m riding out to Alabama tomorrow to chill with the Moms. Probably going to relax up there until Wed at least.

    Need sleep; I stayed up and checked YN’s 24 all damn night. That shit was a crusade.

    Merry XMas/Kwanzaa/Hannukah to the fam.

  • white widow maker

    they should talk about how fucked up wyclef looks without hair. dude looks like jermain dupri’s alien cousin

  • Decatur-Black

    The Source magazine recently put Nas on the cover of their latest issue & I feel that they are really sending a message to the real hip hop heads to start reading their magazine again. I was in the Kroger supermarket in Atlanta & I picked up this copy of The Source with Nas on the cover & initially I was gonna pick up XXL. However when I saw XXL had Lil Wayne on the cover of this month’s issue I passed on it & just bought the “Men’s Journal” magazine with Jack Nicholson on the cover. XXL has to get back to representing that realness & stop putting dudes on the cover that don’t deserve it. In the meantime I’ll just read your magazine in the supermarket aisles because I’m too embarrassed to walk around with your wack cover subjects.

  • http://xxlmag.com Billy X. Sunday

    A quixotic sycophant? Eff you. I demand more from the artistic movement that I partake in beccause I am smart enough to demand more from artists.

    It’s easy for you cowards to sit back and say that Hip-Hop is only entertainment and that we shouldn’t expect our entertainers to represent truth and morality, but what does that say for your own truths?

    I don’t expect Hip-Hop artists or the periodicals that describe them in detail to be guides for living life and at the same time I don’t accept that an artist lifestyle should be 180 degrees from mine in the sense that their art is not representative of creating more artists.

    Here’s to looking for a better, brighter future from artists and fans alike who represent the truth for man, woman and child.

    • PURPLE HULK

      YOU CAN TALK THAT BULLSHIT ALL YOU WANT, BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, LOOK AT THE ARTISTS YOU LISTEN TO, SEAN PRICE, HOW EXACTLY DOES HE REPRESENT “MORALITY”, YOU ONLY THINK HE DOES BECAUSE YOU LIKE HIS MUSIC, HIS LYRICS CAN BE JUST AS IMMORAL AS ANYONE ELSE OUT.

  • http://www.myspace.com/sinistahmoneybagz Sinistah aka Atom-Ra aka The Anti-Dumb

    Peace To Man, Woman, and Child……

    i agree there should be more of a socio/political and even economics that doesn’t regard advertising favors and teaches/informs the readers on how to efficiently spend and stack for rainy day, instead of showing them $500+ outfits with semi-homo ass niggaz in tight clothes smilling like me on a broke day in a piff cipher….

    in all honesty, until we mentally awaken from the caves of darkness, celeb and common-folk alike, we will never see progress socially, economically, or politically no matter how much information is provided……

    Peace!

  • The Kanadian

    I think The Egg came before the Chioken There Billy Boy, Luv ya but run a spell check big homey!!

    • PURPLE HULK

      YOU LOVE ANOTHER MAN, THAT YOU MET ON THE INTERNET?

      YOUVE PROVEN MY THEORY THAT YOUR A FAG

  • http://wmdeez.wordpress.com nation

    >> and I would expect that level of criticism to come from the da-dunn da-dunts that type in all capital letters.

    MERRY FAKE FUCKING HOLIDAY WILLIAM H SUNDAY… IM GOING OVER TO DP.COM/BLOG TO HOLLER AT MY FRIEND DALLAS. TAKE IT EASY HOMIE FUCKKK

    lol, my bad… had to

  • eighce

    Who give a fuck about the presidential election. The Source is crap now, sad to say, since they were the shit back in the day. XXL is aiite…if you only got hamburger on the menu, no sense in wishing for steak. Merry muthufucken Christmas bitches.

  • that guy

    i disagree. XXL is rap magazine that foucses soley on rap music. if you want to read about politics and other dumb shit, pick up the got damn New York Times

  • http://xxlmag.com Billy X. Sunday

    Kanadian,
    Thanks for getting my back.

  • Danny

    XXL could work on putting out cd Reviews the month the CD’s are actually new instead of a month later when they are old(American Gangster, Curtis). What the hell is the online review section even for!!!

  • http://www.alumnah.com green eyes

    i think these are great suggestions- certainly additions that would be of interest to us older (25+) hip hop fans. Big question, however, is are we the demographic? Why spend time & money on additions to attempt to cultivate a new group of buyers, if they’re lazy fucks who wont actually buy anything anyway?

  • http://www.yorapper.com YoRapper

    hip hop on a lower level is where it’s at. lowest common denominator will always win out in hip hop. yorapper.com

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  • PURPLE HULK

    AND I THINK HAVING A POLITICS SECTION WOULD KINDA EFFECT THE REST OF THE MAGAZINE, SOON THEY’D ADD A MOVIE SECTION, TV SECTION, VIDEO GAME SECTION, ITS JUST A SLIPPERY SLOPE, AND BEFORE YOU KNOW IT XXL IS EVERYTHING BUT A HIP HOP MAGAZINE. MAYBE IF YOUR REALLY INTERESTED, YOU SHOULD TRY TO START A MAGAZINE DEVOTED TO POLITICS, EVER THOUGHT OF THAT?

  • http://xxlmag.com Billy X. Sunday

    PurpleHulk,
    Some people have said that Hip-Hop is a culture.

    How could you explain a culture that cares nothing for politics or socio-economic issues? I’s say that culture was dead.

    Oh yeah, that was said already.

    • PURPLE HULK

      SOCIETY IN GENERAL SHOULD CARE FOR POLITICS, NOT JUST A CERTAIN CULTURE, AND EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THE “HIP HOP” CULTURE ALREADY HAVE ANOTHER CULTURE ALSO, IM JUST SAYING, THE PEOPLE THAT DO ACTUALLY GIVE A FUCK ABOUT POLITICS THAT DO READ XXL, ARE ALREADY READING ABOUT POLITICS THROUGH OTHER MEANS, AND THE ONES THAT DONT GIVE A FUCK ARE NOT READING OR LEARNING ANYTHING ABOUT POLITICS, AND PUTTING POLITICAL ARTICLES IN YALLS MAGAZINE PROBABLY ISNT GOING TO MAKE MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE.

  • Whateva

    XXL MAGAZINE is about rap music. not politics. not race. not economics. it is about the actual rap music.
    watch the news if u want politics.

  • dj ashy fingerz

    As a lil nucca those 2 measly pages of politcal coverage in the Sauce schooled me on things happenening in the world that I had no idea about that ultimately affected me- and OUR generation.
    I’d rather see 2 pages to some political shit than to an ad for that wack ass Rice Krispies jacket (from the “Kellogg’s collection”)in the new issue

  • rashaan

    Could have billy x gotten YN fired? he talked bout how xxl could change up its format to include more real life issues that deal with hip hop and then it is said that xxl wanted to go in a different direction? something to think bout?