THE New York Times reports that hip-hop culture, the...

salmagundi

September 23, 1992

THE New York Times reports that hip-hop culture, the colorful amalgam of rap music, fashion and life style originally created by inner-city youngsters, is going mainstream.

Last week saw the appearance on newsstands of Vibe magazine, a slick publication bankrolled by Time Inc. deftly aimed at the crossover market.

The same week, the Times reported, Donna Karan and Calvin Klein "dressed models at the New York shows in Timberland boots and baggy, drop-crotched jeans; some models at Klein even wore their Calvins backward, a direct swipe of the style popularized less than a year ago by the junior high school rappers Kris Kross. Donna Karan even threw in a few hip-hop attired kids for good measure.

"At its most basic," the Times opined, "hip-hop is a highly inventive, black-inspired, urban youth aesthetic that grew out of but now transcends rap music . . . At its core, hip-hop is a brightly colored yet edgy challenge to the status quo."

Vibe magazine's founder, millionaire jazz musician Quincy Jones, says he wants his new venture to be a "Rolling Stone for the hip-hop generation."

And if the magazine's ultimate effect is to forever meld hip-hop's counter-culture energy to the mainstream, then so be it, Mr. Jones said.

"It's going to happen anyway," he said without a note of dismay.

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