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Music genre research. By Sylvia Rogo. My chosen genre for my music magazine. Mostly R&B with a mixture of Hip-hop/Urban. About. Vibe magazine:

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Music genre research
Music genre research

By Sylvia Rogo


Vibe magazine:

Vibe is a magazine, launched 1993 by founder Quincy Jones and funded by Time Inc. The publication predominantly features R&B and hip-hop music artists, actors and other entertainers. Issued monthly, the magazine's target audience is predominantly young, urban followers of hip-hop culture.

The magazine owes its success to having a broader range of interests than its closest competitors The Source and XXL which focus more narrowly on rap music or the rock & pop-centric Rolling Stone and Spin. It also differs from the more staid Essence, Ebony or Jet publications by attracting younger readers of many ethnicities. As of 2007 update, Vibe has a circulation of approximately 800,000. Advertisers run the gamut from record labels to Dolce & Gabbana to Cognac brands.

The source magazine:

The Source is a United States-based, monthly full-color magazine covering hip-hop music, politics, and culture, founded in 1988. It is the world's second longest running rap periodical, behind United Kingdom-based publication Hip Hop Connection. The Source was founded as a newsletter in 1988 by college students David Mays and Jon Shecter distributed from their dorm room. The current president of the publication is Jeremy Miller. From humble beginnings, the Source had grown into one of the largest and most influential hip-hop publications in the United States. It had even grown to the point of being called "The Bible of Hip-Hop.

Billboard magazine:

Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry. It maintains several internationally recognized music charts that track the most popular songs and albums in various categories on a weekly basis. Among the two most important charts, the Billboard Hot 100, ranks the top 100 songs regardless of genre and is frequently used as the standard measure for ranking songs in the United States, while the Billboard 200 survey is the corresponding chart for album sales.

Rap-up magazine:

Rap-Up is a magazine launched in 2001 by founder Devin Lazerine. The publication was originally a website devoted to hip hop, until Lazerine decided to pitch the possibility of a magazine to several publishers. The magazine is focused on the hip hop and R&B aspect of the music industry, and predominantly features interviews with artists, actors and other entertainers. Issued quarterly, the magazine's target audience was the 14 to 28 demographic, although the demographic has become older over time.

The magazine's first two issues were one time deals, although Lazerine and his brother Cameron received attention for their age and white background. The magazine restarted publication in 2005, when it managed to sell enough copies to ensure future releases. The magazine is sold in more than 20 countries, and a separate handbook has been released, chronicling the history of hip hop. The magazine has been nominated for two awards, and is often referenced by other magazines.

History of genres
History of genres

The source magazine:

The Source was started originally by David Mays and Jon Shecter while they both attended Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The two were once radio disc jockeys and hosted Street Beat on Harvard's student-run radio station WHRB. Mays and Shecter, both white men, were influenced by hip-hop and wanted to give praise by devoting coverage to the rising music genre. The Source originally started as a concert newsletter, but its popularity grew after it scored an interview with LL Cool J. The Source was now growing from a small newsletter to a mainstream magazine.

Billboard magazine:

When founded in Cincinnati in 1894, Billboard Advertising magazine was a trade paper for the bill posting industry, hence the magazine's name. Within a few years of its founding, it began to carry news of outdoor amusements, a major consumer of billboard space. Eventually Billboard became the paper of record for circuses, carnivals, amusement parks, fairs, vaudeville, minstrels, whale shows and other live entertainment. The magazine began coverage of motion pictures in 1909 and of radio in the 1920s.

It was the development of the juke box industry during the 1930s which led Billboard to begin publishing the music charts for which it ultimately became famous. This also began the process which would lead the magazine to gradually cede coverage of other parts of the entertainment industry to such publications as Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. It continued to carry news of fairs, carnivals, theme parks and other outdoor entertainments until 1961 when these departments were transferred to a new weekly magazine called Amusement Business.

Key artist
Key Artist


The conventional key artist featured on for example the front covers of R&B/Hip-hop/Urban music magazines are well known(big) by the target audience. For example Chris brown, Usher, Jayz, Keyshia Cole, Ne-yo, Lil Wayne, Mary J Blige, Ciara etc.

By the use of a highly recognised artist on the front cover rather than an artist who is not really known attracts the audience to buy the music magazine because of they are well known/big artist that the target audience will want to find out more about and through purchasing the magazine they can do so. In addition to this it is said that magazines are used by the audience as entertainment.

Also the majority key artist used on the front cover of my chosen music genres are of black African American heritage which may be because of the fact that these types of musical genres originated from this ethnicity in which it is said that first started from black slaves singing freedom/hope songs which have developed since then to bring a new generation of black music. However this genre of music is not only for a black ethnic background audience.

Hip-hop magazines key artists tend to be predominantly male Hip-hop artist than female as I have noticed on Hip-hop music magazines such as ‘The Source’.


Music magazines of my chosen genre feature content of mainly music, politics, and culture. Also other content such as photo spreads of displaying high-end designer clothing as well as sportswear by urban labels such as Rocawear and Fubu (Vibe magazine).

However during the epidemics of the new president of the United States being elected the acceptation of a non music artist (Barrack Obama) was featured on the front cover of R&B/Hip-hop/Urban music magazines as it was/is a moment in history for this ethnic background that many years ago they thought they will never see.

Cross media
Cross media

  • TV:

  • Music channels such as MTV base, Flava, Kiss

  • BET-shows such as 106&park-lattest R&B & Hip-hop music.

  • Radio:

  • Choice FM- “Number one station for Hip-hop and R&B”

  • Kiss 100

  • BBC 1Xtra-Soul/R&B

  • Internet:

  • Music magazine websites.

Record labels
Record labels

  • Konvict Muzik

  • founded by Melvin Brown and R&B singer Akon.

  • Bad Boy Records

  • By producer/rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs in 1993, dealing largely in Hip-Hop/R&B music.

  • Def Jam Recordings

  • Owned by Universal Music Group, In the UK, the label takes on the name Def Jam UK and is operated through Mercury Music Group. Founder of Def Jam recordings is Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin. This record label deals with R&B, Hip-hop and rap music.