Vibe’s finally dead? Bonus!

I haven’t awaited a death this eagerly since that time the Pope died.

It was way the fuck back in 1995 when I first copped an issue of Vibe magazine. I was on vacation with my parents in Minnesota, and of course I was as bored as motherfucker. I was either at a mall or a convenience store, or maybe I was at a convenience store in a mall, and I saw a copy of that month’s issue of Vibe, with the Wu-Tang Clan on the cover.

I had never copped an issue of Vibe, at that point. I’d seen it on newsstands, going back to its earliest issues, with guys like 2Pac and Snoop Dogg on the cover, but that was never really my thing. I’ve been a hater from jump, and before there was beta male rap to denigrate, there was West Coast rap. But of course I had to cop this new issue. The Wu was my favorite group at the time (natch), and here was Vibe magazine giving them the pub they deserved.

A 14 year-old Bol was too young to understand that Vibe could probably give a rat’s ass about the Wu, and the only reason they were on the cover was because they were having the best year any rap group ever had evar. If only I’d read that Russell Simmons book, about how he was one of the original founders of Vibe, but then he had to quit, because they were hiring too many teh ghey guys. But that didn’t come out until a few years later. No pun intended.

I’ve already told this story both here and on my own site, so I’ll spare you the long version: I got home, copped a subscription, then come to find out every other issue about motherfucking Brandy or somebody. I let the subscription run out, but then my old man got canned from his job and ended up forcing me to reup for two more years, just to get them to stop calling the house. My financial situation has yet to completely recover, to this day.

Fast forward to about 10 years later. I heard a rumor that Vibe magazine had run out of money. The only people they could convince to run an ad were Luster’s Pink Oil Moisturizer, and, of course, the US Army. There was a rumor that there wasn’t gonna be another issue. Then, a few days later, it was announced that they passed a hat around the office – everyone agreed to massive pay cuts and Fridays off, and they’d only print as many issues as they could afford with the money they got from the afro sheen and the baby killers.

I knew, from that point on, that it was only a matter of time before Vibe went out of business. Bonus!

I know – er, I’ve been informed, via Twitter – that we’re supposed to feel sad for Vibe, but the truth of the matter is that Vibe never did anything for me other than take my $20, at a time when I could have used it on the King of Beers. So, why should I be sad to see them go out of business? As Malcolm X once said, chickens coming home to roost never made me sad, it only made me glad. Years later, when I started writing about rap music for a living, so to speak, I never worked for Vibe; Sean Fennessey, the stan who built an online shrine to Kanye West then gave Late Registration a rave review in Pitchfork, worked for Vibe.

Sometimes bad things happen to bad magazines, and this is one of those times. So this afternoon, when you see all of these po-faced tributes to Vibe on Twitter and what have you, think about all of the times when they could have run a feature on someone you actually like, and instead they ran a feature on El Debarge, 25 years after the fact; or that Real Rap issue, with motherfucking Young Jeezy on the cover; or the time they let Elliott Wilson write the top 50 blogs list; or the time they actually sunk so low as to rip off Hip Hop Weekly. And those are just examples from the last year or so. Let’s just be glad there won’t be any more of them.

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  • Pierzy

    Vibe deserves the award for worst covers ever. That Usher cover in the water? Or the LL cover with his family?

    There’s a reason you’re dying. If you want to be successful, make (and market) a better product! Period.

    • Curtis75Black

      You know what Pierzy, you might be right on those covers, either one will do !! But on another note,worrying about Covers of magazines is on some Elle, Vogue and Essence type ish !! That’s cosmetic and unfortunately, that’s what Hip Hop as become. We need to worry about what they are writing about and not. The questions asked in interviews and not asked !! Leave the politics out of it because at the end of the day, Jay-z is just another picture in front of a wack issue.

      • BIGNAT

        when you doing a magazine you are selling visual product. when you looking at a mag which one you going pick up first. the one with a skinny white chick on the cover. or the one with a thick brazilian chick on the cover. shit thats how i tricked into getting king magazine. that mag was ome good pics and one good article the rest was some bullshit.

  • Pierzy

    And Sean Fennessey is a herb. Last year he supposedly reviewed every single Jay-Z song (which he definitely did not, there were many missing) and from his reviews it was clear he had no idea what he was talking about. What a nerd.

    • Incilin

      What Jay songs was missing?

      And don’t forget, Vibe also has the GOAT mag cover with the Death Row issue.

  • Pierzy

    Uhhh, Mr. Crawford, did you read the New York Times story about Vibe? This paragraph was included:

    “Vibe’s closure leaves just one large-circulation magazine, The Source, focusing on hip-hop and R&B.”

    • itouch pods

      damn. ethered by the times.

  • Jhon da Analyst

    Never been a fan of Vibe. They could’ve fucked off and died a long time ago as far as I’m concerned. Fuck ‘em!

  • HNIC

    I thought that Quincy Jones & his family owned Vibe Magazine.

  • geico lizard

    I knew you would do a victory lap when I heard about this Bol. I like Quincy Jones but the writing was on the wall along time ago for Vibe. YN’s Rapgaydar has to rep for their fallen homies now.

  • Mike Game

    I remember in like 00-01 when every other cover of Vibe was a cartoon of some rapper or singer. Like they couldnt get so and so on the cover (Im sure they called Ludacris for the interview, he gave it, then when they asked to schedule for a shoot, he asked who it was, they said Vibe, and then he hung up the phone). So they went to the mall, paid the drawer guy 10 bucks and handed him a pic of whoever and that would be the cover. So I gave up a while ago, Id cop issues here and there for something to read, in the humvee on my way up to Ft. Riley, but naw Vibe was always terrible and Ive wish them harm from the beginning. Then they raised the price, so fuck them.

    “Dont look at Quincy Jones, Quincy Jones aint gon save you” – Huey Freeman


    who care!!!

  • Sleeze $

    Tough luck, nigga. There’s always Fubu.

    • Mike Game

      Thats if Fubu didnt get shut down as well

  • chitchat

    Even before the bloggers relegated the magazines to obsolescence, Vibe was more of an R&B type mag. Been that way for years. They had some great writers working there but for some reason, they never did anything creative, insightful, or groundbreaking. Maybe I was expecting too much. I mean, it isn’t TIME or anything.

    Anyhow, good riddance. (They owe me some bread too)

  • Jamal7Mile

    Hey Pierzy!!

    I left a comment (or two) on that New York Times article ( Go to that site and type Vibe magazine in the search box.

    Bol and Vanessa, y’all should check it out too. I think I’m commenter #13 or something.

  • Federal Ranga

    COMMISSION!!! Screw typing… Federal Ranga’s gone viral on that ass… peep my comment video for today’s blog on youtube.


  • Tony Grand$

    I used to fux with Vibe. But, then I grew up.

    Once they changed the format, it was a wrap. They made it bigger [||], whatever that was supposed to do, & stopped giving credible journalists (Kevin Powell, anyone?) opportunities for the sake of doing whatever they had to do to sell issues.

    Obviously, No Dice on the copies sold. Adios, el Vibo.

    • RonTucker

      They actually made it smaller…

      • Tony Grand$

        Actually, before they made it smaller, they made it bigger. About 5-6 years after it came out, they upgraded the size & paper quality.

        Then due to economic reasons, some years back, they down-sized it. Trust me, I have a closet full, right next to The Source & Rappages.

        • RonTucker

          Word? I’ll take your word for it.

  • Federal Ranga

    Why is it that the links I post up in this bitch never come up fast enough… for my take on the Death of Vibe. Chuuuch. COMMISSION!!!

  • shone jones

    Joe Budden’s temper tantrum killed Vibe.

  • RonTucker

    Maybe Rap Radar is next….

    *crosses fingers*

  • $ykotic

    On the really real, I never f*cked with Vibe.

    But they way they were putting out those “best” listings lately you had to know they were leaving.

  • oskamadison

    The best part of Vibe was the “20 Questions”. If decided to make a magazine, that would be what’s up.

  • RonTucker
  • DJ Postman

    It’s too bad that XXL Magazine seems to be going down the same path as The Source and Vibe. Soulja Boy and OJ Da Juiceman on the latest cover? What?

  • sealsaa

    “Bye Nigga!”

    -Dave Chappelle

  • Peter Gibbons

    Now what am I gonna do with my 40 subscriptions to Vibe?

  • vhingrhamesonyo’momma

    I’ve never seen thei nside of a vibe magazine much like bol has never seen the inside of a vagina. true story.

  • styles11

    ROLF just went to confirm what Pierzy said abt Vibe magazine having the worst covers. Damm they nasty, cldnt stop laughing when i googled the covers. Its like looking at that soulja boy, gucci and OJ cover and thinking shld i buy it?

  • L.A.$trange

    I think the only Vibe mag I’ve read wuz the one where Ciara was ass naked on the cover annnnnnd, uuuuummmm, yea Ciara looked good.

  • the STATUS!

    Bol, coulda swore you were drinking Natty Light at that time

  • t-dot

    me thinks bol wanted to work for vibe but was denied, hell hath no fury like a women scorned…