(images swiped from XXL and Different Kitchen)
What the fuck?!?!?
Those were the first three words that came out of mouth when I read the news, "Elliott Wilson Fired From XXL."
Long-time XXL Editor In Chief Elliott Wilson was suddenly fired from his post at the rap magazine today (Jan. 7). Undisclosed sources from inside the XXL offices have confirmed that Wilson was terminated, though as of press time no reason has been offered. SOHH has learned that Wilson's contract with XXL parent company, Harris Publications, was up this month. Sources say Deputy Editor Vanessa Satten has been appointed interim EIC.
Other news outlets also are reporting that Music Editor Leah Rose has left the building, as well.
A lot of industry heads are now proclaiming that they saw this coming, but I was totally blindsided. Quite frankly, I thought Wilson (aka "YN") was doing an excellent job at XXL. I was looking forward to more Lil Wayne covers and maybe a peace treaty between Ludacris and Mr. Wilson in 2008. Yeah, those Lil Wayne, 50 Cent, Jay-Z covers were redundant but they flew off the newsstands. It's all about the circulation numbers and ads -- and this magazine X-celed in both areas.
Although, I have to say, YN may have went out in a whimper with Nas as their cover boy for its March issue. The veteran rhyme-slinger had already graced the cover of the Source last month and talked about the brouhaha over his upcoming CD title Nigger. XXL's Nas cover story is probably well-written (with a better presentation) but it's the same old song. It's getting to a point now where I don't even care what Nas calls his album.
I think the Source is on its way back from obscurity with its Pimp C tribute issue. I like the cover and the whole presentation. I haven't checked out the magazine's article on the late rapper or the other editorials, but I'm quite sure it's all good stuff.
So what's in the future for Elliott Wilson?
Clyde Smith of Pro Hip-Hop (and YN's blogging arch nemesis) has a prediction -- Elliott Wilson Will Return Via TV.
Television would be a good look for YN, plus the money is good. Another Ego Trip book is probably in the pipeline. And hey, maybe even a YN blog (watch out Clyde!).
It would be interesting to see how XXL moves forward without their HYNIC.
Dang, the publishing game is harsh!**Added [1/09/08]** Former Source honchos Dave Mays and Benzino are gloating over Elliott Wilson's termination at XXL magazine. "If I see him in the streets I'ma put a foot in his ass," says Zino. "I'ma do that for Hip Hop." (via Mahogany Girl)