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It’s the time of year when websites like ours and print publications begin wrapping up the year and giving nods to those who occupied our Twitter timelines and Netflix cues for the past 12 months. For magazines it’s a particularly critical fourth quarter showing off their big guns and typically you see the biggest names of the year on the cover.

As a former print guy I remember the fourth quarter playoffs very well. Jockeying for newsstand position and bragging rights hit its peak right around Thanksgiving to coincide with the big film and music releases. This year some of the last hip-hop magazines standing went ham doubling up the covers and reeling in Oscar contenders.

Check out the covers from The Source, XXL and Vibe and tell us which one you’ll be picking up.

Chris Brown and Big Sean pose for their new Illuminati membership cards on the cover of XXL.  Chris Brown’s new album “Carpe Diem” drops top of 2013. For some of you wondering what he’s doing on the cover of a mag for rappers, 9th Wonder, who produced Chris’  ”Real Hip-Hop,” told in 2011,  ”That showed me that hip-hop is the foundation for everybody in the last 25 years. It just is. He spit on it man.”

2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar recreate Eddie Murphy’s comedy classic “Coming To America”  on their covers of The Source.  Tit plays King Joffe Joffer with the dead fox on his back and Kendrick dons the crown of Prince Akeem.  Earlier this year 2 Chainz shared one of his biggest fears with TheUrbanDaily: “I’m scared of not being scared. I think people should have some sort of fear, it’s healthy. But sometimes I don’t have that and that bothers me.”

Vibe lessens the necessity for a split by having three of the biggest names in Hollywood, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington and Jamie Foxx on the cover to promote their new film “Django Unchained.”

Which magazine would you pick up?

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2 Chainz, Chris Brown & Jamie Foxx Cover 2012 Year-End Mags  was originally published on