There is no Hip-Hop publication that’s in competition with The Ave Magazine, says Editor-In-Chief Anslem Samuel. But Samuel doesn’t mean that statement as an insult to his peers.
“I think what we do is different than other urban magazines,” he says of The Ave, a self-proclaimed “Street Movement In Print.” The magazine has gotten accolades for its willingness to address social issues with pointed, distinct Hip-Hop sensibilities.
He admits there was another reason that The Ave has no real competition. “We don’t have the visibility to compete. [When you] think about urban journalism, you think about three mags [The Source, VIBE, XXL].”
Samuel started his own career at The Source, the “Bible” of the genre, but he admits he has other hopes for The Ave.
“We speak to a mature hip-hopper, but also somebody that wants to learn more,” he says. “We [as a people] are so beyond music. We capture the consciousness of Hip-Hop even though we don’t like to use that word [conscious].”
Samuel says that the term conscious has somehow become a cliché that The Ave would prefer not to be associated with, hence the “Street Movement In Print” theme.
Magazines have been long accused of fanning flame of conflict, but The Ave assumes a different approach. “Our substance sells itself. Beef doesn’t sell us. I can’t even recall us ever focusing on beef,” he says.
The current issue of the magazine offers a double cover with Martin Luther King, Jr. and The Game, who fondly recalls the 10-year passing of the late Eazy E. The King story examines the struggling leadership in the African American community and what course of action is best to reestablish that legacy. The issue also looks at the life of Bob Marley and an interview the Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s mother, Ms. Cherry Jones.
“Artists are real people. They are not always walking around screw-faced,” Samuels says of The Ave’s efforts to humanize the people inside the pages.
The Ave may be purchased at, Virgin Mega Stores, Tower Records, Borders Books, Barnes & Nobel and other indie outlets.