Vibe is a magazine, launched 1993 by founder Quincy Jones and funded by Time Inc. The publication predominantly features R&B and hip-hop music artists, actors and other entertainers. Issued monthly, the magazine's target audience is predominantly young, urban followers of hip-hop culture. Though hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons was rumored to be an initial partner, publisher Len Burnett revealed in a March 2007 interview that Simmons clashed with editor-in-chief Jonathan Van Meter.
The magazine owes its success to having a broader range of interests than its closest competitors The Source and XXL which focus more narrowly on rap music or the rock & pop-centric Rolling Stone and Spin. It also differs from the more staid Essence, Ebony or Jet publications by attracting younger readers of many ethnicities. As of 2007, Vibe has a circulation of approximately 800,000. Advertisers run the gamut from record labels to Dolce & Gabbana to Cognac brands, thus enhancing the magazine's status as a trendsetter.
R&B singer Mary J. Blige has repeatedly made the cover of Vibe, with countless articles following her career. Trio TLC were infamously photographed for the cover in firefighters' gear, referencing the fact the member Lisa Lopes, aka Left Eye, burned down the house of then-boyfriend and NFL star Andre Rison. The first non-photograph cover of Vibe was an illustration of singer Aaliyah by well known artist/illustrator Alvaro. Other famous cover subjects are Brandy, Snoop Dogg, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Keyshia Cole, Lil Wayne, The Fugees, Eminem, T.I., R. Kelly, Michael Jackson, whom Quincy Jones' daughter had dressed in hip-hop clothes for the first and only time in entertainer's career, and Ciara who has repeatedly covered the magazine, although her October 2008 issue controversially airbrushed her clothes off.
Vibe has made a consistent effort to feature models of all ethnicities in these pages. Former editor Emil Wilbikin was frequently credited with styling those pages and keeping fashion in the forefront of the magazine's identity during the early 2000s. Many clothing brands created or linked to hip-hop celebrities, such as Sean Combs' Sean John, Nelly's Apple Bottoms and G-Unit by 50 Cent found plenty of exposure in Vibe's pages.
In the September 2003 issue commemorating 10 years of publication, the magazine created different covers using black and white portraits of its most popular cover subjects. It also contained "The Vibe 100: the juiciest people, places and things of the year"
As of 2007, the editor-in-chief is Danyel Smith, who held the same position from 1996 through 1999. Her predecessor was Mimi Valdes, with the aforementioned Emil Wilbikin serving prior to Valdes. Many successful writers and editors have contributed to the publication, including Alan Light, Jeff Chang, Dream Hampton, Cheo Hodari Coker, Erica Kennedy, Miles Marshall Lewis and Serena Kim.
Other books under the Vibe banner cover the history of hip-hop, the women of hip-hop and rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. Additionally, the magazine published a spin-off publication, Vibe Vixen from 2004 to 2007. Aimed at Vibe's female multicultural audience, Vibe Vixen had features on beauty, fashion, styles and female entertainers. Ciara made the magazine's history as the first ever Vibe Vixen.
Also a short-lived syndicated late night talk show of the same name, it premiered in August 1997 and was produced by Quincy Jones, hosted by Chris Spencer, and featured President Bill Clinton on its first episode. Like The Arsenio Hall Show of the early 1990s, it attracted young, urban audiences. Spencer was fired in October of that year, and replaced by comedian Sinbad, along with Big Boy as the in-house announcer. The show would only last until the summer of 1998, when it was cancelled. The show taped from CBS Television City in Los Angeles.
Other platforms are listed as VIBE Online, the magazine's online presence; VIBE On Demand, an on-demand network; VIBE film; MVibe, a wireless content provider for handheld devices as well as CD and DVD lines distributed under the same name.