Is It Me, or is Print Magazine Losing it's Winning Touch?
     Before this turns into a rant about "hating", I'd like to go on record by saying XXL has been one of my favorite media sources for decades now. I love digging into the articles to see which recent albums are hot on the shelves, What cities are blowing up on the map, and what new indie competitors to look out for.
     It's been quite a few months since I've had time to look through one being that I'm busy trying to be discovered myself. But once I saw this years Freshman list I knew I had to grab a magazine! I'm a huge supporter of over half the dirty dozen. As I stood impatiently in line at Books-A-Million I quickly skimmed the editorial section to see what was to be said about this year Top12 XXL Freshman pick. Familiar names like Chance the Rapper, Rich Homie Quan, August Alsina, and Ty Dolla $ign stood out as I reached the front of the line eager to get home and catch up on my readings.

     Once the evening reached I finally found some quiet time to park my chair on the front porch to enjoy the cool breeze after the rain and sip some sweet tea while I caught up on what we call news.
     Before I made it to the cover story I noticed the usual amount of irritating advertisements from New era fitted's, several eye catching liquors, discount rims and over priced Camos.
Nothing new. After seeing what the XXL Freshman pick was up to and reviewing their upcoming projects I was pretty satisfied. I continued through to find out more of whats Hot in Hip Hop and to my surprise...that seemed to be it.
     The rest of the issue was filled with more endless advertisements. More liquors, Rolex bargains, and what you should be wearing this Summer. Other than the Nas Q&A and interview on Lil Boosie's jail sentence there weren't any good reads at all.
     Not to mention the Year End Report on last years Freshman pick was more disappointing than the class itself. Over half of them never released albums, the few that did flopped, and one was locked up and couldn't even make the photoshoot!
This brought me to the idea that maybe the top pick was merely a "Here's who's Hot Now" fluke, rather than a "Artist on the Rise" watch.
     Another disappointing discover was that the rest of the pages were crammed with messy paragraphs on unknown artist who had nothing much to offer other than twitter names, Which kinda took away from the Fresman class who was being honored on the cover.
Not only that but the typos throughout the articles were pretty annoying.
Seems like some interns were in a rush.
     Days later I went through the pages again in hopes of finding some material I missed. No luck. Just more advertising and under the rug Mcees never heard of.
Was this months issue just a thrown together rush, or has digital media overpowered the press?
     More and more Indie artist are discovering how to market their brands via social media which could mean bad new for the news stands OR good news for the undiscovered talent that doesn't have the budget to buy hundred dollars worth of page space.
Either way I'll be keeping my ears and eyes open while waiting on next months retaliation.


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