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Intelligencer: January 31–February 7, 2005

Irv Gotti’s dirty laundry, Melania Knauss's best dress man, Daniel Boulud on B’way, and more.


Illustration by Vault 49  

It Happens This Week
• Heady times for fans of spectacle: The Super Bowl brings out the best in ad agencies, the NFL, and halftime performer Paul McCartney
• Lauren Bacall and Alec Baldwin headline a Drama League benefit; 2,800 exhibitors descend on the Javits Center for the massive New York International Gift Fair.
• Earnest Canadian indie rockers the Arcade Fire play two shows for the less gaudily inclined.
• And the time to replace slush-damaged items is now—during the weeklong moratorium on sales tax for clothing and shoe purchases under $110.

Irv Gotti’s Dirty Laundry could lose him his business.
“They don’t call it ‘gangster rap’ for nothing,” said FBI agent Fred Snellings at the circuslike indictment of hip-hop impresario Irv “Gotti” Lorenzo, head of record label the Inc. (home to Ja Rule and Ashanti), for drug-money laundering last week. Though never known as much of a tough guy himself, Gotti is alleged to have laundered money from a friend who is, in fact, a convicted gangster— drug kingpin Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff. His friendship with McGriff may cost him his business. The Inc. (formerly Murder Inc.) began as a joint venture with Def Jam in 1999 after Lorenzo produced rapper DMX’s multiplatinum debut. But according to a source at Universal Music Group (the parent company of Def Jam), a conviction for Lorenzo would be “a material breach of his employment contract with the joint venture” and would allow “Def Jam to purchase the other 50 percent of the joint venture at a discount.” That’s enough to make a thug cry.
—Ethan Brown

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