Monday, January 01, 2007

Hip-Hop Weekly

I'd been hearing also sorts of trash about Hip Hop Weekly (the site wasn't working when I wrote this post), which covers "the entire hip hop culture" and was founded by the "creators of the source," so I was happy finally to get my hands on a copy a few days ago.

And I liked it! I've always been a fan of trashy magazines and was reading Star magazine (on the subway out in the open) long before glossy magazines devoted to tracking Lindsey Lohan and Angelina Jolie's every move of became accepted reading material. What's cool about it is that while most gossip rags have become more cleaned up and mainstream, HHW retains that old school trash flavor of gossip mags from days gone by (well, in fairness, there are still some trash masters like The National Enquirer are still out there, but they don't get as much love as they used to).

^^A sample page, featuring on-the-street fashion looks and an analysis of Kelis's deal with Japanese retailer Uniqlo (click to enlarge).

And it's wicked to look through HHW and see the polar opposite in terms of images that one sees in magazines like Star and People, in which the vast majority of stars featured are white and you get an occassional shot of, say, Beyonce or Janet Jackson. In HHW, it's all black stars with the occassional image of Fergie or Gwen Stefani.

Two of the star columnists featured in the magazine are radio personalities Star and Wendy Williams, which is also interesting to me cause I've listened to both of their shows. Star's column is sort of unhinged, but ehh, no shocker there. I listen to Wendy's show a lot so it was kinda boring cause there's nothing there that I haven't heard on her show, though in keeping with her reputation for outing folks, she does put both Usher and Tracy Morgan out there (I'd definitely heard her allude to Usher's queeny status on her show but not Morgan!)

The best feature in the article is the interview with Carmen, aka Nas's baby's momma. In it she reveals new gossip that was left out of the book, including supposedly that Nas got some revenge on Jay-Z by effing one of his girlfriends and she also claimed that she went to a judge to get an order that would stop Kelis from disciplining her child (Kelis was trying to get her to stop sucking her thumb by witholding a movie or some such shit like that). I found that hysterical cause here Carmen is all concerned about Nas's new wife disciplining her child and yet doesn't seem by phased by how she put her daughter out there by writing the book in the first place.

The one thing the magazine is gonna have to sort out (if it even continues to be published) is whether or not it's a rag for men or women. Cuz while the gossip and pretty pictures appealed to me, I was a lot less interested in all the profiles on rap artists, like a seven-page feature on "Who Really Runs the South," which I found to be kinda boring. If the magazine is gonna do stuff like that, it's really going to have to up the gossip quotient in those features, like who are these guys dating, how many kids do they have, etc.

I know that given who started up HHW, it is bound to walk lock step with chaos and controversy, but I do hope they manage to thug it out and keep publishing.

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