Both magazine cover reveals came on the same day. The cover image for Vibe's June/July issue, which is also dubbed "The Sexy Issue," features Rozay shirtless with multiple black chains dangling from his neck. Complex/ magazine's June/July cover draws its inspiration from a "Jaws 2" movie poster and shows a more playful Ross posing as the killer shark and comedian Andy Samberg as his jet-skiing victim.
Complex, which has never featured Ross on the cover before, aimed to present the mafia-drenched rap star in a new light for their readers. "How do I take this thing and this guy who has taken this step forward in his career and then make it make sense for a men's style magazine that covers a lot of pop culture," Complex Editor in Chief Noah Callahan-Bever said.
"We got to set and we showed him the 'Jaws 2' poster, and there's a little moment when you're like, 'Oh sh--, this might not go over so well,' and he just took a big, deep laugh and said, 'Y'all crazy,' " Callahan-Bever recounted.
For Vibe, the motivation was different. "Putting Ross on 'The Sexy Issue' is a pretty big statement," Editor in Chief Jermaine Hall said. "I was just happy that he was down to do it. Obviously he is comfortable with taking his shirt off. It's not the first time that he's done it. But the fact that it was 'The Sexy' cover, it brings a lot more meaning to it and a lot more attention to it."
With both Vibe and Complex hitting stands at the same time, both mag chiefs shot down any notion of a brewing competition. "I think we speak to two different readers. I definitely don't feel any competition. I think we skew a little bit older than they do," Hall said.
Callahan-Bever agreed. "No, I don't think it's a competition at all. I think our audiences are widely different," he said. "I don't feel like they are trying to appeal to the same people that we are."
In addition to his major magazine shots, the Boss will also appear on "RapFix Live" this Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET on MTV.com.