XXL Magazine Goes All Digital

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Credit: XXL Magazine Cover (2014)

The New York Post reports that The Hip Hop magazine XXL is to go all digital and this month’s issue ( October-November 2014 ) will be their last newsstand edition.

This week Ben Harris, President of Harris Publication announced that TownSquare, a media company based in Greenwich Connecticut, has acquired XXL as well as KING, and Antenna Magazines from Harris Publications. TownSquare announced that XXL’s new format will now be ALL digital.

Although the publishers say they will stop production on physical copies, they’ve also suggested that “Special Issues” may be printed in the future. Harris released a statement about the the bold  business move stating,

“We incubated something digitally, but the TownSquare people can take it to the next level with their digital expertise”

XXL was established back in 1997 and has since been one of the most reputable Hip Hop publications until this day. Outlasting its competition over the past 17 years, XXLa rose to become somewhat of the New York Times of rap culture. Past editors include Reginald C.Dennis from The Source and Elliot Wilson of Rap Radar.

Celebrating their 150th issue back in August 2013,  (featuring Drake on its cover), the longstanding magazine is now gearing up to further secure its foothold on Hip Hop for the digital era.

In August 1997, Harris Publication released the first issue of XXL. It featured rappers Jay Z and Master P on a double cover and since then dozens, if not hundreds, of rappers have graced the front pages of the Hip Hop mag.

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XXL Magazine (1997)

Most notable editions of the magazine is its Freshman cover, where 10-12 up and coming rappers are selected. The issue features the picks of whom to watch out for, and showcases new rappers that aren’t well known, but are considered to be on the rise.

Almost all up and coming rappers dream of landing a spot on the cover of XXL’s coveted front page and with good reason. XXL is credited for giving many artists their first taste of fame.

Rappers who have since graced the cover of the magazines include J.Cole, Wale, Mac Miller, Ace Hood, Troy Ave, Kendrick Lamar, Joey Badass, Lupe Fiasco, Joel Ortiz  and Hip Hop My Way’s own Saigon just to name a few.


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