VIBE's Biggie and Faith Evans cover
TLC's "Fire It Up" VIBE cover
Complex's Clipse x KAWS cover
VIBE's mafiosa-inspired Death Row cover
Rap Pages' iconic Notorious B.I.G. cover
Rolling Stone's Ice-T cover
Jay Z's very first magazine cover with Stress
Mass Appeal's Ghostface Killah & MF Doom cover
Kanye West's controversial Jesus Christ Rolling Stone cover
Rap Pages' Lauryn Hill cover
Lil Wayne covers Blaze with his daughter
Mass Appeals' Clipse cover
One of the first-ever hip-hop mags, Rap Sheet, with Eazy-E on the cover
Rap Pages' now-infamous shot of Ol' Dirty Bastard
Mass Appeals' Nas and Large Professor cover
SPIN's Run-DMC cover
Eminem's "Clockwork Orange"-inspired cover for Stress magazine, later re-used by SPIN in 2001
VIBE's "Is Tupac Crazy" straight-jacket cover
VIBE's Biggie x Puffy "Juice" cover
DJ Quik getting his hair curled on the cover of Rap Pages
Dr. Dre holds a gun to his head on The Source's cover
XXL's Cash Money cover
Ego Trip's first cover with Nas
We take a look at some iconic magazine covers.
There are plenty of rap magazines that have gone and went through out hip-hop's 40 years, but there are also several mainstays in the culture. Magazines like Rap Sheet and The Source were some of the first to ever do it, starting out as simple newsletters and developing into something much more. While the former has been defunct, The Source (which launched in 1988) is still kickin'.
Since they paved the way, we've seen plenty of other hip-hop centric magazines through out the years, from the graffiti-oriented Mass Appeal which was recently revived (not to mention invested in by Nas), and the pioneer of lists Ego Trip which thrived from 1994-1998. These zines spread the word of hip-hop prior to the internet's take-over, and offered knowledgeable insight into the music for thirsty fans.
Today we've rounded up some of the dopest hip-hop covers that circulated in past years, from XXL, to VIBE, to Stress and more (in absolutely no specific order).
Let us know what your favorite hip-hop magazine is!