Addison kicks it old-school and keeps it real.
Addison DeWitt -- Interior Design, 3/1/2001 12:00:00 AM
WHILE WE NORMALLY RESERVE this space for splenetic outbursts and vituperative rants, this month we've discovered a new pleasure that has leeched us of our poisons. We speak, of course, of "Cribs," MTV's weekly look at the vulgar homes and gardens of America's musical elite. We had once believed that the most shocking exemplars of poor taste could be found within the upholstered walls of this nation's scarier provincial show houses. But now, thanks to the underestimated brain trust at MTV, we've discovered a brave new world of domestic obscenity and suspended shame, a world of leather sectional sofas, a world of lacquer.
Just last week, we espied through guilty fingers the demented suburban fantasia that was the home (i.e., "crib") of one of those hopped-up, dressed-down lotharios from the Backstreet Gang. Or perhaps it was one of those tender ruffians from En Sync. In any case, this fabulously wealthy man-boy took great pleasure in squiring the MTV crew through the empty caverns of his vast fortress of solitude, a bloated spec house whose unremitting banality was relieved only by the insouciance of its celebrity maitre d'hotel. There were coffee tables crudely fashioned from ersatz Corinthian capitols, whole cricket pitches of itchy nylon carpet, and enough shiny black toilets and gold bathroom fixtures to make even Elton John feel at home. The designer of this base grotesquerie showed no fear in concocting a witch's brew of faux finishes and brass detailing.
Rappers, gangsta or otherwise, are also apparently passionate enthusiasts of interior décor. Recent episodes of "Cribs" have brought us to the not-so-hard-core haunts of Sisqo, Snoop Dogg, and Mystikal-whose enchanting ditty "Shake Your Ass" never fails to bring a smile to our lips. There seems to be a house style among the hip-hop aristocracy when it comes to interiors, and it doesn't derive so much from the street as it does from certain lower-end purveyors of domestic mediocrity. Too often these dreamworlds are, well, rather less than dreamy, resembling nothing so much as your standard, bland, not very tasteful but alas not imaginatively louche decorator interiors. Entertainment centers are especially important to rap moguls: walls of audio and video equipment; the aforementioned leather sectional sofas that would be no less at home in New Rochelle; a preponderant, dismal beige palette; and, as a nod to the hard-core lifestyle, the ubiquitous framed Scarface poster. We admire the insurgence of musical creativity that hip-hop and gangsta rap represent-after all, a day seldom passes when we aren't tempted to "bust a cap" in the ass of one of our professional homies-but we bemoan the ticky-tacky visions of deluxe living for which these artists too often settle. Might we suggest a Sills and Huniford tented entertainment center à la Malmaison for DMX, or a Peter Marino domus aurea for Dr. Dre. They can afford it.