If you happened to be hanging outside the Harris County Criminal Courthouse Monday, chances are you saw some gentlemen handing out a tabloid-size tract called the Houston Real Press, featuring Australian rapper Iggy Azalea on the cover and a boatload of stupid inside.
The six-page libel-palooza serves as sort of a subliterate rebuttal to the Houston Press's March story detailing the state and federal litigation involving Azalea and a Houston rapper named Enzo Weinberg, who claims to be her common-law husband.
The story outlined how Azalea accused Weinberg of stealing demos she recorded in 2008 and using a crudely fabricated contract to sell the rights to unwitting distributors, and traced Weinberg's career from his days as Maurice Lasel Williams to self-proclaimed oil baron and recording artist and part-time eyepatch-wearer Hefe Wine, who is awaiting trial on a felony charge for allegedly choking and hitting an ex-girlfriend.
By the time we got to the courthouse, the action was over, and no one was handing out copies of the paper, but we did manage to find a forlorn copy, skittering across the sidewalk like that plastic bag in American Beauty. So thankfully, we can share the contents with you.
The paper contains images of what purport to be a series of emails from Azalea (then 18 years old) to Weinberg, written in 2008, showing how Azalea loved Weinberg, then 36 and separated from his second wife. The emails were originally posted on a site called XMGhiphop.com, but it's unclear if they are part of the divorce case Weinberg initiated in 2014, because those records have been sealed and the parties were subjected to a gag order. But given the fact that Weinberg admitted to a federal judge that he literally used scissors to cut-and-paste the document that he claimed gave him the right to sell Azalea's demos -- a Franken-contract that was stitched together in part from another recording artist's paperwork -- we find the emails suspect.
In addition to the purported emails, the "Houston Real Press" story posits the question: "Did Iggy Azalea's team hire a lynch mob to go after common law husband Hefe Wine?"
Helpfully, it then answers the question: "This newspaper was inspired by the unethical payment and slander involved within the city of Houston justice system and ruthless media sources such as the Houston Press."
The "lynch mob" includes family law attorney Randy Wilhite (whose surname is misspelled as "Wilhight"), criminal defense attorneys Chip Lewis ( or "Luis") and Charles Johnson (or, um, "Charls"), private investigator John Moritz, and Houston Press reporter Craig Malisow (they got that name right?).
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Azalea played an active role in the conspiracy, according to the story, "by presenting personal banking information of Hefe Wine, residence addresses, and social security info belong to Hefe Wine to Craig Malisow." (We'd like to state for the record that this is simply not true, and that Azalea did not speak to the Press for the story. Nor did Weinberg, despite repeated requests for comment. We'd also like to point out that Weinberg has used at least three social security numbers when filling out official documents).
The story also includes, for some reason, testimony from Mark White, bassist of "the legendary rock band Spin Doctors." White is quoted as saying, "I have know Jefe Wine since the year 2000 [sic]. I'm from New York and he's from TX so it was a great combination of East meets South....We actually met in the church....We have remained the best of friends til this day. The reason I appreciated Jefe was because he was a real straight up kind of guy. He always kept his word in business and he is a very loyal person. He was a great person to do business with and always had a great since of humor [sic]."
Sidenote: Say what you will, but the Spin Doctors' 1991 debut, Pocket Full of Kryptonite, remains a classic. From the jaunty kiss-off of "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" to the plaintive crooning that fades out "How Could You Want Him (When You Know You Could Have Me)," the album is a sunny, hook-filled romp.
But back to the story at hand: We reached out to Weinberg and his attorneys, Robert Pelton and Jimmy Ardoin, to see if they could identify the publisher, but haven't yet heard back. We'll update accordingly.