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ON THE TIP: The Source, rap’s premiere...

ON THE TIP: The Source, rap’s premiere rag, finally has some real competition--RapPages. Its slogan: The Magazine With a Badd Attitude. The two fanzines have lots in common, starting with a slammin’ hip-hop attitude and an obsession with Ice Cube (he’s on both current covers, though only the Source actually has an interview with him). On the other hand, the Source could use a healthy rival. The magazine has grown increasingly hype-heavy--of the 19 records reviewed in the current issue, only one (shades of Rolling Stone) got less than three stars. RapPages’ financial backing may raise a few eyebrows (it’s published by Larry Flynt), but the magazine makes a promising debut. Though bereft of record company ads, it offers a snappy layout, a strong first-person piece from Ice-T and a sharp feature on homeless activist Ted Hayes, which makes up for the softball profiles of Gerardo and DJ Quik. The Source’s biggest coup: a great photo layout, titled “Fat Rides of the Rich and Famous,” featuring rap stars posing with their sleek coupes, each identified by model and--most important--approximate value. Ice-T’s trio of cars, which include a 1989 Ferrari Mondial and 1990 Porsche 930 Turbo convertible, total $270,000. Says Ice: “Cars are essential pimp paraphernalia. You got to have cars if you’re playing that part of the game.”


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