The new Jefferson Boulevard office ([Raymond Leon Roker] used to work out of his apartment) heralded Urb's second year. During its first, the freebie magazine's circulation climbed from as many copies as would fit in Roker's Honda Accord (a few thousand) to 20,000 monthly. A colorful, stapled, newsprint-quality tabloid, Urb-shorthand for urban-not only has documented the blooming underground culture, it has helped it blossom along the coast from Rosarito to Sausalito.
Editorials have decried the Persian Gulf War and the nation's so-called hypocrisy, and even Roker's pet issue, meat eating. But Roker has no plans of using Urb as a political vehicle to harness the energy of the thousands of youths who dance for hours at underground parties:
Urb was not the first to chart subterranean territory. Its insider aura and rebellious words follow the tradition of Wet and Slash magazines in the late 1970s and early 1980s and most recently Revolt in Style, an artsy freebie, and the Pomona-based Sensured, a magazine focused almost solely on the Southland's underground's events before it went out of business this year. L.A. Weekly's only complaint is that Urb's editing is thin. (Indeed, incorrect spellings are easy finds, but the slang and misspellings give Roker's publication a street-smart edge.)