XXL Magazine

XXL Magazine: The Beginning

  • xxl-first-issue
  • The 1st issue of XXL Magazine was released in the August in 1997
  • The magazine was originally published by Harris Publications
  • Was and still sold in newspaper stands, bookstores, and other retail outlets
  • Rapper’s Jay-Z and Master P were first to appear on the cover
  • Originally sold for $3.50

Hip Hop


  • Gives you vital information on the latest news in hip hop
  • Current trends music, fashion, sports and society that pertains to hip hop culture
  • In-depth interviews with hip hop artists and those who greatly impact the culture
  • Notable issue “XXL Presents Shade 45” August, 2005
    • Introduces the release of the satellite radio station “Shade 45”
    • One of the first uncensored rap radio stations
    • Launched under the XXL brand along with “Eye Candy” and “Hip Hop Soul”

Album Reviews


  • The staff, editors, and writers conduct the album reviews.
  • The albums are reviewed on the basis of Lyrical Content, Beats (Production), and Originality
  • Notable Albums that had a perfect rating: Kendrick Lamar “good kid, m.A.A.d. city” (2012), Kanye West “The College Dropout” (2004), Mobb Deep “The Infamous” (1995), Lauryn Hill “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” (1998), Dr. Dre “The Chronic” (1992)
  • Graded on a “S” to “XXL” scale
    • S = 1 star
    • M = 2 stars
    • L = 3 stars
    • XL = 4 stars
    • XXL = 5 stars (classic)

XXL Freshman Issues


  • Since 2008, XXL started the “XXL Freshman” covers
  • This consisted of the 10 newest rappers to what for and who are on the rise in the current year
  • Gives the new artist exposure and creates a buzz for their brand
  • Notable Freshman: Big Sean, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi, Wiz Khalifa, Wale, Curren$y, Schoolboy Q, Meek Mill, Chance The Rapper

XXL and Digital Media

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  • “XXL Mobile” is the mobile version of their standard magazine website
    • This app allows you to record your own freestyles and submit them to XXL
    • You are also able to listen and download music from this application
  • The “XXL Magazine” application allows subscribers to look at their magazines through their smartphone and/or tablet.
    • $5.99 for a single issue, or you can sign up for an online subscription
    • All applications are free of charge


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