April 06, 2009
All of the rap magazines are going out of business
According to Last Week's Poll
I never got around to it at the time, but after I did that post here a few weeks ago about how URB magazine was going out of business, the guy who owns it sent me this email saying they definitely weren't going out of business and running down his list of accomplishments over the years.
I think he wanted me to post it here, but I never got around to it. It ended up getting lost in the daily deluge of emails from bum-ass rappers and what have you, and I didn't care enough to search for it. Also, as I recall, there wasn't anything in it to suggest that URB's financial situation is such that it's immune from going out of business.
I suppose there's the fact that only like two people work there. I don't know very much at all about the economics of the magazine business, but I can't imagine it would be too difficult to pay two people. Even if you're like Vibe magazine, and you only manage to sell two ads for an entire month, that's still one ad per employee.
Which I'm sure would be plenty. I happen to know, because I've read it on a number of occasions, that ads in magazines cost way more than the ads here on the Internets. That's because the fact that they cost $4 ensures that only the smartest people are still reading magazines at this point. Whereas the Internets are filled with brothers such as myself.
Last week's poll had to do with which rap magazine will be the next to go out of business. Check the results.
Which will be next to go out of business?
- URB (41.8%)
- The Source (29.1%)
- Complex (11.2%)
- Vibe (10.5%)
- XXL (7.3%)
Total Votes: 409
I can't help but think that the results of this poll have been skewed by the fact that a) I already did a post here on the fact that URB might go out of business; and b) The Source has been dealing with quality issues for, well, pretty much my entire adult life at this point. If I had to rank these magazines in order of which is most likely to go out of business, it wouldn't have resembled the results of this poll.
As I was telling a guy the other day, The Source might be in the best position of any of these magazines, since it's basically a vanity operation at this point. A lot of these plutocrats like to cop magazines and newspapers just to use them as a talking point with women. At one point, a Mexican was even about to buy the New York Times. He must have settled for a yacht with woman painted on the side of it.
Magazines like Vibe and XXL, on the other hand, are owned by groups of TIs, who of course are gonna insist on making a profit. You saw what happened with Vibe. One bad month, and now everyone who works there had to take a substantial pay cut just so they could afford to print the magazine. The TIs who own XXL, meanwhile, decided to just get rid of King magazine altogether. None of that Fridays off bullshit.
Complex might be in the worst position of any of these magazines. It would fall into the first category, i.e. essentially a vanity operation, except for the fact that I read on Gawker recently that the guy who runs it is having some serious money problems. He's got the kind of debt problem you can only get when you're white and/or not Bol.
One time, a few years ago, my my computer busted and I didn't have any money, so I figured I'd buy a new one on credit from Best Buy. I found one that was about $700 and went to check out, but come to find out, I wasn't "worthy." So I ended up just having to semi-retire for a few weeks. And that was back during the height of the economy. I shudder to think what my worthiness must be at this point.
Byron Crawford a/k/a Bol is the celebrated author of several books, most recently NaS Lost: A Tribute to the Little Homey.
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Posted by Bol at 10:43 AM | Permalink
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