Monday Mutterings 10
News Headlines: Terror Squad; Nelly Joins The NBA; Vida's Booty

This Nigger's Crazy/ Vibe Loses Top Guy

Thug novelist Stanley Crouch

This Nigger Negro needs to be stopped.

According to Gawker, cultural critic/columnist Stanley Crouch allegedly bitch slapped a book critic named Dale Peck recently because Dale panned Stanley's novel Don't the Moon Look Lonesome in a review a couple of years ago. Apparently, while Dale was dining at New York's Tartine restaurant, Stanley approached Dale, shook his hand, and then allegedly smacked him in the face. Stanley reportedly said to Dale, "If you ever [do] anything like that [presumably referring to his bad review] again, it'll be much worse."

Dale won't press charges against Stanley. Meanwhile, Stanley is mum on the whole incident.

Is Stanley this gangster with his shit? Is Stanley a "Thug" novelist on the DL? If this alleged incident really did happened; then Stanley is just as "gangsta" as the hardcore rappers he despises when he rants about how hip-hop is such a vile culture and art form.

I have never heard of a journalist assaulting another critic over a bad review. But apparently Stanley is a habitual bitch slapper. According to Gawker, in the past, Stanley allegedly has thrown punches at esteemed jazz critic Howard Mandel, media assassin Harry Allen and the late Village Voice letters editor Ron Plotkin.

This Nigger Negro needs to be stopped.

In other media news . . .

Journalist/blog master Lynne d Johnson touched on it briefly in her post about her daily duties at Vibe magazine, but I'm going to tell y'all what's up:

Vibe-less Emil WilbekinVeteran editor/journalist Emil Wilbekin resigned from his post last Thursday (July 15) as editorial director and vice president of brand development at Vibe Ventures. Emil has accepted a position with Marc Ecko Collection as vice president of development, and he also will be added to the editorial board of Complex magazine.

For those of you who are not fashion conscious, Marc Ecko is the CEO/designer of the Ecko Unlimited brand. Clothing ads for Ecko can be found in your favorite hip-hop magazines featuring singer Res (where has she been?), Dred Prez and this hot, bootylicious model named Julissa (whoo-wee, I want her to be my baby's mama).

And for those of you who may not know Emil Wilbekin, he has worked at Vibe magazine since the beginning of the magazine's decade long run. He has held down nearly every editorial position at the magazine in his 12-plus years with the publication. Plus, he's a cool guy -- from what I've heard through friends and colleagues.

Also, Complex magazine is one of the hottest publications on the newsstands. It's an "urban lad" magazine for the hip-hop generation who love babes, music, clothes and other extra curricular activities. I have been a subscriber to the magazine since its first issue. It has great potential in the magazine game and I expect big things from this publication.

On a side note, Marc is going to open up a hip-hop clothing store in the middle of New York's busiest (crowdiest) epicenter -- 42nd Street. Peep the story from the New York Times below:

Published: July 15, 2004

Hip-Hop Store to Open in Times Square Theater
By Charles V. Bagli

After years of near misses with proposed theme restaurants and TV studios, the long-dormant Times Square Theater on 42nd Street finally has a tenant: Ecko Unlimited, the high-flying hip-hop clothing and lifestyle company.

The 84-year-old theater, which is on the north side of the street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, and features a three-story, 100-foot-long Doric colonnade, is the last of eight historic theaters on 42nd Street to find new life as a result of the 22-year effort to revitalize Times Square. Many of the others are once again home to theatrical productions. But Ecko says it plans to transform the theater into a four-level, $25 million supermarket of what is cool and fashionable in clothing, art, video games, electronics and collectible sneakers for the urban youth market.

"When you think of what's trendy, this is where you're going to be able to find it," Seth Gerszberg, president of Marc Ecko Enterprises, the parent company, said yesterday. "We needed to be in Times Square, where youth culture converges. Finding this place was just meant to be."

Ecko will keep many of the building's historic features, from the 25-foot-high proscenium arch over the stage to the ornamental plasterwork and the domed ceiling.

The theater was built in 1920 by the Selwyn brothers and was home to a string of major theatrical hits - "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," "The Front Page," "Strike Up the Band" and "Private Lives" - between 1926 and 1933 Legend has it that Tallulah Bankhead bankrolled the theater's last stage production, which flopped. By the 1940's, there was a retail store built on the stage, with its doors on 42nd Street. In the 1980's, the theater showed kung-fu movies.

The state later took control of the property as part of the 42nd Street redevelopment project. But even after the nearby New Victory Theater was renovated and Disney took over the landmark New Amsterdam Theater across 42nd Street, the Times Square remained dark and grimy-faced. At one point or another, Marvel Enterprises wanted to build a theme restaurant with Spider-Man crawling up the side of the building, CBS considered relocating its morning show there, and Livent, MTV, Billboard and Viacom considered live productions. But the deals always fell apart.

Cora Cahan, president of the New 42nd Street, the nonprofit group that oversees seven of the eight historic theaters, said her group had been talking with two prospective tenants when Ecko came along last year. A lease was signed last week, and Ecko hopes to open in early 2006.

"We reversed field, because of their passion and what it was they wanted to do," she said of Ecko. "We've always said diversity of uses on the block was the key to revitalization. For me, the spirit with which they approached the street and the theater was irresistible."

That's all folks!