The launch of VIBE was the definitive introduction of the power of Hip-Hop and culture to move the crowd.
This new culture gave rise to stars, and none shone brighter than Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs.
It was July of 1993, while we were moving into our new VIBE offices on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan, we faced the excitement, the energy and the fear of which articles to include in our forthcoming September 1993 debut issue.
The cover was easy since we were all sitting there listening to Scott Poulson-Bryant (Dr.
Bryant now), a brilliant writer who also gave VIBE its name, spoke lucidly and clearly about an A&R Executive who was setting the entire music game on fire working at Andre Harrell’s Uptown Records.
And this led to our FIRST serious editorial decision of our young magazine’s career–”Do we keep Puffy in this issue or do we wait and see what happens with him and put him in a later issue?
”To our credit, we continued with the piece in the inaugural issue, showing Puff in his brash, bossy and shirtless glory.He soon secured a lucrative label deal with Clive Davis’ Arista Records for his own Bad Boy Records.He had been working diligently on a story about Sean Combs and his groundbreaking work with Mary J.Bilge, Jodeci, Heavy D and other acts on the powerhouse label.All was good, we were hot, and the young genius known as Puff Daddy was in our first issue.Then a confluence of tragedy and internal management struggles with the mogul Harrell led to Combs’ ouster from Uptown Records.