April 05, 2017

Jay-Z "Next" Feature In Vibe Magazine (August, 1996)

Jay-Z Next People On The Verge Vibe Magazine August 1996

I always dug Vibe's 'Next' series - they didn't hit the mark with every prediction, but if you go back through past issues, they were on point quite often. In August of 1996, Jay-Z was one of their 'Next' featured artists, which suggested he was on the verge of blowing up. Ironically, also in August of 1996, Fat Beats had moved to their final home at 406 6th Ave, which was just a stone's throw from the Pizzeria Uno mentioned in the article. I remember the grand opening party that August, but since this interview was probably done in July, I can only assume Fat Beats wasn't open just yet or I'd be curious if they walked across the street, lol. Anyhow, back to Jay-Z, who released his debut album, 'Reasonable Doubt' in 1996 - Looking back, it feels like a safe play to say he was on the verge after releasing 'Reasonable Doubt,' but keep in mind, it didn't go platinum until February 2002. Similar to Nas' classic, 'Illmatic,' it didn't sell huge numbers out the gate and only went platinum after more commercial records crossed over into the mainstream. That said, it's a classic today and Jay-Z is on top of the game as an artist and music mogul. Props to Chairman Mao. Listen below...