UH Special Collections Acquires OZONE Magazine

OZONE Magazine

OZONE Magazine

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections has acquired the complete run of OZONE Magazine, the leading print publication on Southern hip hop from 2002 to 2010.

Published by photographer Julia Beverly, the magazine profiled Southern rappers such as Lil’ Wayne, T.I., David Banner, and Pitbull. Over the years, OZONE featured several Houston-area artists, including Devin the Dude, UGK, Lil’ Flip, Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Mike Jones, and Chamillionaire.

OZONE, Beverly noted, was well positioned to document the rise of Southern hip hop. “It all happened very organically, and that’s why it was so beautiful,” she said. “Every era in music and culture deserves a historian to preserve it for future generations, and I’m glad we could fill that role for Southern hip hop.” The magazine’s contributors became known for being in the right place at the right time, and the magazine’s content, particularly its photo galleries, offered a fresh and timely take on the people and culture of Southern hip hop.

OZONE began as a local publication in Orlando, FL, highlighting the city’s biggest DJs, artists, promoters, and events. Circulation of the underground magazine grew a core readership, fueled by promotional rounds in dozens of cities from Miami to Atlanta to Houston. “A lot of Southern rap fans had been feeling overlooked, so they were really excited to become a part of something to call their own,” Beverly said.

A highlight in the life of the magazine was the 2006 OZONE Awards, a success owing to the publisher’s perseverance in overcoming event-planning obstacles. The sell-out show received incredible support from established talent such as Lil Wayne, who headlined the show, and Ludacris, who arrived with MTV cameras recording footage for his Diary episode. The show also introduced breakthrough acts like T-Pain, Plies, Rick Ross, DJ Khaled, and Pitbull very early in their careers.

The collection is available for use by scholars, students, and the general public in the Special Collections reading room. Until it has been cataloged, interested researchers may contact the curator for the Houston Hip Hop collections, Julie Grob.

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Posted on September 20th, 2016 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | Comments Off on UH Special Collections Acquires OZONE Magazine