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XXL ( "double-X-L") is a Hip-Hop magazine, published by Harris Publications.

Since 1997, XXL has competed with Hip-Hop powerhouse magazines such as The Source Magazine, and Vibe Magazine. It was founded by a former Source staffer as well as others who wanted to create a more critically sound magazine than that of The Source. Many in the Hip-Hop community suspected that The Source's journalistic integrity was compromised because Bostonmarker, Massachusettsmarker-based rapper, Benzino, an associate of The Source publisher, David Mays, were believed to have an unhealthy amount of influence over the editorial content and rating system of the magazine. The magazine's past editors included, Elliott Wilson (formerly of Ego Trip Magazine and The Source) and Datwon Thomas (former Editor-In-Chief of King Magazine).

In December 2006, XXL took over the Hip-Hop producer and DJ magazine Scratch (another publication owned by Harris Publications), re-branding it as "XXL Presents Scratch Magazine". Scratch shut down in September 2007. Other titles with limited runs have been launched under the XXL brand, including Hip-Hop Soul, Eye Candy and Shade45.

Special releases

Magazine cover of XXL Presents Shade 45
In August, 2005, Eminem and XXL teamed up to release a special issue titled XXL Presents Shade 45, and was designed to give maximum exposure to Shade 45 as a radio station, and at the same time give maximum exposure to the Shady Records label as a whole, as well as the radio DJ's and G-Unit Records' artists. XXL executive Publisher, Jonathan Rheingold, stated that typically magazines based around particular artists were not favourable, but "since Shade 45 is a truly authentic and uncensored rap radio channel, the marriage with the XXL brand made sense," before adding that it is what would interest rap fans.

Album ratings

XXL rates albums from "S" (poor) to "XXL" (classic). Initially, editors awarded XXL status to only six albums:

A later issue in December 2007 re-rated some albums and gave XXLs to:

  • Asterisk (*) notifies an album that was released before the existence of XXL magazine, meaning this is their original rating, not a re-rate.


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