Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I'll Miss The Vibe.

In a week marked by a heartbreaking loss in Pop Culture, here I am, mourning another staple. Vibe Magazine is no more. Founded by Quincy Jones in 1993, Vibe was the reference for the Hip, the Hop, the Rock, the Roll and the very cool. And, for a kid who could never get her Hip Hop fix on neither Montreal radio nor television, Vibe Magazine was a lifeline.

The mag was politics, it was social issues and it was fashion. But most of all, it was Music. Today, Hip Hop is mainstream and even my mom knows of Kanyé West. But for a long time, it wasn’t and Vibe Magazine was our ear to the ground. This Bible of what’s hot was a badge of honour for all those who graced its cover. The covers’ catalogue is like a history course in Hip Hop and R n’ B. Way before Mary J. sang with Elton John at the Grammys, she was on the cover of Vibe. Way, way, waaaaay before Kanyé had a sneaker line with Louis Vuitton, Vibe was telling us to rush out and grab his “College Dropout” album. And, a decade before he was gracing the cover of Cigar Aficionado, Jay-Z was preaching the Rock-a-fella gospel in the pages of Vibe.

Vibe was an important soap box for a generation that felt marginalized, misrepresented and in many ways, ahead of its time. It’s unfortunate the magazine couldn’t adapt to the realities of new media and those of its diverse readership. It’s a bitch-of-a-time for the publishing world and I’m sorry to see Vibe Magazine be a victim but it has never failed its mandate to be the voice of the Hip Hop generation and we should never forget that.

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