First issue date: October 1991
On the cover: Ice Cube
Cover line: Cube Catches a 40 Oz. Bomb!
Editor: Dane Webb
Art director: Lou Bryant
Dane Webb was an employee at Coca-Cola when he asked his girlfriend if he could become a freelance writer. He wrote his first piece for the first issue of Rap Pages and landed himself an editorial position working for Hustler publisher and free speech advocate Larry Flynt (according to former E-i-C Sheena Lester, the hip-hop mag was actually the brainchild of one of Flyint's bodyguards, James Sims.) Dane soon quit his job at Coca-Cola and took a job at Rap Pages, which was soon giving The Source a run for its money. That first cover shot was a pick-up shot, but the magazine would eventually go on to do its own photo shoots.
Dane Webb says: "When I came to work for Rap Pages, they had created a commercial [mock-up] for the advertisers, and it had MC Hammer on it. They had already mailed it to the labels and stuff, saying they were introducing Rap Pages as a new magazine by Larry Flynt and I was like, 'This is not hip-hop. What is y'all talking about?' And they were like, 'What do you mean?' I was like, 'Hammer? C'mon man!' Right about that time, I wrote an article about Ice Cube and the rap industry selling malt liquor to the community. That was the first article I wrote for them, and they put it in that first issue, and it just so happened to coincide with John Singleton being in the editing bay for Boyz N the Hood. So it all kind of came together in one big dynamic. I said, 'That's our cover!'
The cover was dynamic. It was impactful, because the first issue hit the streets in August '91, and that was right around the time Boyz N the Hood hit theaters. Commercially, we couldn't time it any better. 3rd Bass was on the cover for the second issue, and that issue sold off the newsstands. I think we broke a record for West Coast publication sales."