Best New Magazine - 2003
There's not enough written on Houston's thriving independent rap scene. A few local magazines and newspapers have come and gone, and the major hip-hop rags haven't given up much ink on anyone from H-town but the Geto Boys. So it's about time that someone local stepped up to document the happenings within one of the world's biggest rap markets. Rap Illustrated is Houston-centric, but it also delves into other regions in the South. It doesn't worry about the major labels -- this magazine's focus is independence. Billed as "the First Mix-Tape Magazine," each issue comes with a CD with at least 15 new songs from some of the hottest names in underground hip-hop, mostly from Houston. The mag itself is printed on heavy glossy paper, and the photography and layouts are outstanding.