Homeboys on the Range


Gathering an assortment of black power-brokers to hobnob and play golf on the country’s most whitebread golf courses is not without its challenges.

“We got stopped by the cops,” publicist Jodie Becker told me as I entered the Celtic-themed Bally Owen Golf Course in Hamburg, New Jersey, a tiny hamlet flanked by horse fields and an Arby’s. Pop-music image consultant Wendell Haskins (brother of music exec Terri) had picked it as the location for his third Original Tee Golf Classic for a group of record-industry honchos.

Campy in its “authenticity,” the range is styled like a traditional Scottish course, replete with mossy hills, tartan Astroturf, and piped-in Enya songs. You couldn’t walk a foot without running into the Italian caddie boys in their piss-yellow polos and newsboy chapeaus.

At hole 16, where the Motown team played, exec Don Mohammed looked dapper in his uniform—a blue Lacoste shirt, green Bally shoes, and a hat from Barneys. The look of black golfers is considerably more fashion-conscious than that of their white counterparts, and includes Onitsuka Tiger sneakers and Armani knits. “Whatever we do has to have flavor,” said Mohammed.

Kedar Massenberg, the Motown exec known for signing Erykah Badu, kept chasing his balls. “See that white guy?” Haskins pointed from a cart. “He’s a teaching pro at Dunwoody, where Frank Frailey plays. He’s the Motown team’s sure thing.”

By the fifth hole, we sped in our cart to catch up with New York Undercover heartthrob Malik Yoba. “I can’t believe we’re chasing down a marginal celebrity,” said a friend. Yoba was waiting to putt alongside artist Alanso Adams, in dreads and cap-toed oxfords.

Yoba seemed to have that eczema thing under control. If you haven’t seen him on TV for a while, it’s because he’s been working on a new musical with his production company, the Malik Yoba National Theater Company. They stage works for the “urban theater market”—those touring black melodramas.

“A lot of people, they’re like, ‘Child, he’s in one of those nigga plays!’ But we’re raising the bar,” said Yoba.

I was hurt that South Florida charmer Luke, of 2 Live Crew, had broken his leg and couldn’t make the trip—there would be no booty bounce in the bonnie highlands of North Jersey today. Our only consolation was the sight of two Luke Girls munching french fries at the bar in daisy dukes, ass cheeks exposed to the club’s dining room.

Note to the organizers of Entertainment Weekly‘s “It List” party: Filling a room with nauseatingly overstyled poseurs is not “It.”

The mag flexed its cavernous, AOL-tailored pockets with a huge bash on Monday night for its sixth anniversary “It List” issue at Chelsea’s Milk Studios loft space.

International “It” DJ John Digweed had been brought in to spin, but first, “It” Celebrity Relative Cameron Douglas (Michael Douglas‘s son) churned out a mix of progressive-house tracks for the swelling army of partiers.

“People need some more drinks. They’re too stiff!” remarked Diggers, sipping a cocktail. “They need to move their arses!”

Would he do another massive glamourthon again? “Probably not,” his publicist confided. “I think that John is really freaked out by playing in the middle of all this.”

Among the “It” faces I casually witnessed at the party were behemoth-sized Oz inmate Chris Meloni, soap queen Eva LaRue, NY1’s George Whipple, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, David Copperfield, and Anne Heche (sans Celestia).

“Are you gonna ask me, ‘What . . . is . . . it?’ ” asked 1999 “It” Cover Girl Heather Graham. No, honey. Leave that to Access Hollywood.

“It” VJ Iann Robinson of MTV2 came out because he had made the issue. Seeing as how my own paper is in the midst of hot and heavy union negotiations at press time, and we were at the most corporate manipulation of “cool,” I wondered how hard it was for the former public-access star to make moves in Viacom country. “When I first started working here, [MTV and I] banged heads a lot. I would be like, ‘These bands suck. What are you doing?’

“It’s basically subversion by infiltration,” said Robinson. “If 11 million people see me and think, ‘I can think for myself,’ then that’s cool.”

A remix of Moby‘s “We Are All Made of Stars” came on while Mos Def and his woman stepped off the elevator. I stepped on. After the obsessive parade of all things “It,” the “It” place to be tonight was home.