At this point, we would like to express our thoughts on current events from the German rap world. The opinion presented in each case is that of the author and does not necessarily correspond to the opinion of the entire editorial team – however, we like to give space for individual votes.
Below, our editor Simon deals with the end of hip-hop magazines from Rap.de and JUICE.
So far it has happened. Rap.de and JUICE both take the same path that “Intro” and “Q” have already taken. The uniform and almost scattered statement appeared on the home pages of the two music magazines: due to the pandemic, it entered bio advertising. So the store should be closed for good. It was all to be expected, it’s a pity anyway. However, some thoughts about the end of the two German rap magazines. There are three aspects that catch the eye when looking at the decline of the former journalist’s hip-hop media.
First, social media makes music media somewhat redundant. JUICE and Rap .de’s ad revenue has decreased as fewer and fewer people visit the sites. Fewer and fewer people have visited the pages because the content presented on them can be accessed elsewhere with less limits, i.e. directly and quickly. Why should I watch an interview with the artist: In XY about the new album when the artist himself tells all about the topic on his Instagram page? Why should I wait weeks to review a particular album when there are still interactive videos for every song released on Friday? Not to mention the daily chatter like beef and label changes. Before some low-paid editors sorted the recent spat between the two rapper’s ex-boyfriends according to the scene, the two brawls are back again anyway. The hip-hop press simply cannot keep up with this fast pace. The only way to avoid this dilemma is to step away from current events and work longer, but also more substantial. It is no coincidence that Der Spiegel and Die Zeit still do relatively well compared to many dailies. Conceptually, the work is less modern, but also less boisterous and attention-grabbing. This may not be very useful in terms of clicks and readers, but it does provide important input to the scene and still find an audience.
The necessity of such an approach in the fast-moving universe of “German rap” leads to the second note that goes hand in hand with the end of Rap .de and JUICE. The rather sluggish journalistic method of work described above did not fade with the end of various magazines. It is only run by other platforms. For example, “PULS Musikanalyse”, the YouTube channel “Hypeculture”, as well as several podcasts from Falk Schacht and Credibil prove it. What is remarkable here is that the mentioned media either pursue this activity more on the side and therefore are not primarily dependent on income – such as ‘Resumæ’ and ‘Deine Homegirls’. Or it is funded by broadcast fees and is therefore financially secure. Reporting and opinion-forming apart from daily gossip still work, but the classic online business model of “free content then advertising” is clearly not enough for this.
Third, the final farewell to Germany’s two most important hip-hop magazines was a pity. Not only that you can no longer look forward to more content. Content that has already been posted online can no longer be found either. piranha media GmbH, to which JUICE and Rap.de belong, has decided, without further ado, to take all articles such as interviews and reports online. Years of work was omitted, ironically most likely without prior notification to the journalists involved. This is nothing more than an inconvenience to her personally, an incredible amount of contemporary history has also been lost. The two magazines have served as important archives for how content within the German rap scene has changed over time, and how events are perceived, received and evaluated differently over the years. Quite apart from the sometimes humorous content of various interviews and comments. The fact that the authors, their work and thus the legacy of the journals have been treated with such ignorance is at the least disrespectful.
JUICE in particular, but also to a lesser extent Rap.de, has been an important cornerstone of the German hip-hop scene for decades. It is a pity that they are no longer there. The scene sorely lacks entries from magazines, especially when it comes to controversial topics.
(Illustrated by Daniel Firch)
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