RapPages was one of the first magazines to cover Rap and Hip-hop. Based in thegilded LFP headquarters in sunny Beverly Hills, it was in a pitched battle forsurvival against NYC based Source Magazine. I joined the team to help themreinvent the overall look as well as help streamline the workflow. When I cameonboard the magazine still looked like a low budget fanzine and we wanted tocreate something that would appeal not only to the readers, but to a new levelof advertisers as well. The editors were some of the best informed in thebusiness, but as with many things LA were very chilled in their approach. Thelaid back attitude combined with the tiniest of budgets made it very difficultto compete but eventually we found a way to get the most bang for our buck.This was the second time I had the good fortune to work with Nancy Leopardi andshe was able to use her considerable Rolodex to bring some great photographersto the project. Musicians are often reluctant participants, and this genre isparticularly notorious for image control. Nancy however was able to findphotographers that could cajole these artists out of their comfort zonesomewhat and we got a lot of great images to accompany the exhaustive edit. Oneof my best moment at Rap Pages was when during a routine focus group we showedthe participants the first issue of my redesign. As the participants wereleaving, due to the fact that we had a few issues the interviewer asked forthem back. One participant responded, "No way this s*** is tight!"