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Ego Trip

TAKE AN EGO TRIP ON THE EAST COAST. NEW YORK IN NINETY FOUR. A RAP
ATTACK.  NOTORIOUS B.I.G,
WU-TANG CLAN, MOBB DEEP... NAS ON THE COVER
OF THE FIRST EVER ISSUE. ENTER THE ILLMATIC AND
GET READY FOR LIFE AFTER DEATH. 


Ego Trip number one The early issues were only ever sold outside of New York: in the city it was free. Nas is on the cover of this first issue. Summer 1994. His debut album Illmatic had just been released that April, signalling a revival in the New York rap scene.
 

Wu-Tang's Method Man with twisted foil fangs on the second issue. The tagline reads 'New York's Free Guide of Hip Musical Styles'. For Hip read Hip Hop and while there are rock and alternative artists in every issue, the covers are always rappers and, more often than not, East Coast. 

Full page ad on the back of the third issue. Like Tony Manero, the Lordz were Italian Americans. Unlike Tony they were rappers not dancers and unlike Nas or Mobb Deep they were from Brooklyn rather than Queensbridge and styled themselves on De Niro's Johnny Boy character in Mean Streets . Having listened to the Lordz we can say that musically, they made very good adverts!
 

There were fashion shoots in  Ego Trip.  This Ricky Powell story is the best. The skater is Harold from Larry Clark's  Kids . Shirt by Kingpin. 
 

An X-girl waiting to happen. Christy from Detroit on Powell's futon wearing a shirt by Kinky 147 and seersucker shorts by X-Large. 
 

Along with Ego Trip , Supreme also debuted in 1994 when James Jebbia opened the Lafayette Street store. Skating and hip hop (and punks) under one roof - the perfect  Ego Trip  advertiser.
 

The best  Ego Trip cover falls to the best ever MC. Rakim returns with a solo record to save rap from a celebrity death match. Biggie Smalls had been on the cover of the previous issue. 1972-1997.
 

Ego Trip  ran for twelve issues. See the visual history here. Latterly taglined 'The Arrogant Voice of Musical Truth', the editorial team also had an irreverent voice. This double page above is their projected view of future projects printed in the final issue. The team, who had also written Light vs Dark Skinded Blacks in Hip Hop, went on to publish  Ego Trip's Big Book of Racism  and produce  Ego Trip's The (White) Rapper Show  for VH1. They got more popular and more political at the same time! We have all twelve issues of Ego Trip complete. Email here if you want them that bad.
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