There’s always been something about VIBE.
If you’re an old head like me, you remember the first time you saw a copy. (I was at my boyfriend’s sister’s house. It was the issue with En Vogue on the cover, with a pregnant Cindy Herron showing off her belly).
It’s hard to understand what it was like to see a magazine like Vibe in the early ‘90s. In high school, I flipped through the occasional issue of The Source, thumbed through my mother’s copies of Essence and looked at the pictures in Ebony and Jet. But nothing was really written for me: a girl who lived for New Jack Swing and R&B.
When I saw En Vogue on the cover of this beautiful, oversized magazine, I couldn’t understand it. I kept turning it over, thinking it was a promotional poster. I turned the pages very carefully, afraid of creasing the pages. My mouth was gaping. There was a magazine with young Black people in it? With first class photography and glossy pages?
I just couldn’t fathom its existence. Seriously.
I’ve always known I wanted to be a writer but seeing a magazine like Vibe crystallized it. It gave me a place to fantasize about.
Fast-forward a few years and I was out of college and after teaching for a few years, I was working as an editorial assistant at Billboard magazine.
I subscribed to Vibe and poured over each issue every month. How on earth would I get a chance to write for this magazine? Was it possible? It honestly seemed like a pipe dream.