NEW YORK — Fifteen years old: Not quite legal, but definitely not a baby! Vibe magazine, a staple of urban culture since its inception, celebrated turning a decade-and-a-half old Monday night at the Cathedral nightclub. Celebs who’ve graced the mag’s pages from back-in-the-day up to the present day came out to party with editor in chief Danyel Smith, her staff and lots of alums and celebrities.
Reproductions of iconic covers of the magazine — such as the Death Row one featuring Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre and Suge Knight — hung on the wall alongside the likes of Aaliyah’s angelic posthumous one and the publication’s current Jay-Z cover.
The standard for the night was set with throwback performances from Brand Nubian and Naughty by Nature. Meanwhile, Treach’s ex-wife Pepa was among those in the crowd, as were Heavy D, Usher’s wife Tameka Foster, Fonzworth Bentley, Tianna Taylor and Tracee Ellis Ross.
(Incidentally, Treach was the first star to appear on Vibe’s cover, for the mag’s preview issue in the fall of 1992. Besides a Naughty by Nature article, features in that issue included LL Cool J, Bobby Brown and “White People Who Think They’re Black.”)
It was a family reunion for many on the other side of the camera who got their start at Vibe, such as XXL editor Jermaine Hall, radio personality/ creator of The Ave magazine Raqiyah Mays and yours truly.
After a set from up-and-coming British singer Estelle, T.I. and Swizz Beatz were the last performers of the night, joining forces for the collaborative bangers “Bring ’Em Out” and Tip’s new joint, “Swing Your Rag” — a lot of Gucci and Louis Vuitton hankies were waved for that one. Swizz then went into his own set with “That Oprah,” “Money in the Bank,” and “It’s Me Bitches.”
But the party was far from over and the DJ kept things going for those who didn’t want to go home. You could see Grand Puba, wearing a linen shirt, dancing to Nice & Smooth, and Treach getting down to Frankie Beverly and Maze’s “Before I Let Go.”