Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Initial Research into Forms and Conventions

I have been researching into different types of music magazines to try to understand what aspects of the magazine appeals to specific audiences and how publishers use this to their advantage. Magazines such as Kerrang! appeal to an audience that likes to consider themselves inidivdual and against the mainstream whereas magazines such as such as Classic FM appeal to an audience that likes to consider themselves m0re sophisticated and upper class with a gentler and softer presentation style.

There are a number of mainstream rap/hip-hop music magazines however these all focus on american hip-hop whereas my magazine will focus only on "Grime" a british sub-genre of rap as there is a gap in the market.

XXL Worldwide is a magazine about American hip-hop music as well as culture. The name is a reference to hip-hop slang words such as "massive" and "phat" mean "good" or "cool". The fonts are mostly sans serif fonts with upper case letters, however a serif font is used for the headline "DEF JAM 25" this is to connote that the Def Jam label is prestigious. The people on the cover are all artists from the Def Jam label. The colour scheme is red and black with a white background, this helps the bold text stand out. The content is mostly about hip-hop music, with interviews, reviews of CDs and a retrospective of the Def Jam label. It also features articles on hip-hop culture for example there are articles on sneakers, video games and clothing. XXL uses mostly standard language however it throuws hip-hop slang in every now and again. Most of the pictures are of hip-hop artists and a lot of these shots are taken upwards to make them seem bigger and tougher to help portray the "gangsta" image. Serif fonts are used to connote the prestigious history of the Def Jam label.

The next magazine I will analyse is The Source. This magazine is also abou hip-hop music and culture. The front cover displays the "classy", "wealthy" side of hip-hop culture whereas the cover of XXL displays the tough, gang-like, tough image. The black and grey colour scheme connotes class and sophistication, as Snoop Dogg is one of the older and more respected hip-hop artists. The fonts used are simple and mostly white is used except for some straplines and the name of the cover article "SNOOP". Like XXL the source features lots of articles on products such as gadgets, clothing, video games etc. This fits in with the materialistic sensibilites of hip-hop culture and also the target audience for hip-hop is traditionally young men who are also the people that would be interested in things such as video games, gadgets and hip-hop style clothing. The style of the layout inside the magazine is minimalistic with white backgrounds and pictures in square boxes surrounded by text. Some serif fonts are used to connote class and sophistication.

"Vibe" magazine is more of a focussed hardcore rap magazine. It uses the stamp at the top of the cover "The Real Rap" to distinguish itself from other hip-hop magazines that include other things outside of rap such as R 'n' B and culture. The main image of the front cover is the rapper Eminem who has a serious, slightly aggressive expression and a tough pose with arms folded, which connotes the mascuiline, agressive side of rap music. The fonts used are bold, sans serif fonts with a red and black colour scheme which helps add to the hard image.

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