Hip Hop Connection (HHC) is the longest running monthly periodical devoted entirely to hip hop culture. HHC has earned international recognition and was described by Chuck D as "the best magazine in the world".
Under the editorship of Chris Hunt, the magazine published its first issue in July 1988, six months before The Source began in newsletter form. Prior to the first issue, the magazine's parent company had also run a premium rate 0898 telephone information line using the same name, presented by voice of now Radio 1 DJ Dave Pearce that invited MCs to call up and record their own rhyme after listening to the best rhyme of the previous week.
The early issues were its biggest selling and saw Hunt bringing together a talented group of writers and photographers, including Malu Halasa, Ekow Eshun, Vie Marshall and Normski, the future television presenter and celebrity, who was given his own section in the magazine to showcase his rap photography.
Chris Hunt had two stints as Editor of the magazine before leaving the title for the final time in 1993. His long-time Deputy Editor Andy Cowan took over the title in November 1993 and although it has changed owners several times (Popular Publications, Future Publishing, Ministry Of Sound), Cowan still runs the magazine to this day as its Editor/Publisher, it has managed to survive the rapid decline of the magazine market.
HHC and Popular Publications were owned by Music Maker Publications throughout the early 1990s until Music Maker was acquired by Future Publishing.
Future Publishing sold the title to Ministry of Sound in 2000. The first Ministry issue featured Mariah Carey on the front cover. Ministry tried to continue with its 'female artists only' cover policy which had proved successful for their dance magazine but after Kelis and Lauryn Hill it became apparent that they were rapidly running out of suitable candidates. Ministry sold the title after one year and Andy Cowan continued to run and publish the magazine.
In April 2006 Hip Hop Connection published its two-hundredth consecutive edition, re-running many of the classic rap interviews from its 18 year history. It is now owned by Cambridge based Infamous Ink.
In 2009, the issue sold its last ever hard issue, it is now only a on-line version from http://hiphopconnection.com/.
In April 2009 the magazine launched its first digital issue - available as a free download from http://hiphopconnection.com/ .
Each year, the magazine's writers and critics compile a list of the best hip hop albums of the year. The following is an incomplete list of HHC's albums of the year.
Further to the above, two readers' polls have determined the best album of a certain period.
- Pre-2000 - Public Enemy It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
- 1995-2005 - Raekwon Only Built 4 Cuban Linx...