Bloomberg, Bambaataa, Etc.

Wearing a dark pinstripe suit, open white shirt, mirror sunglasses and braided pony tail, Ice-T walked into the Blue Room for his City Hall press conference. “We were here lobbyin for movie stuff and we got it,” he boasted to a gaggle of political reporters. When the Mayor arrived, welcoming everyone to City Hall “or my crib as I like to call it,” Ice-T moved behind him, puffing out his chest and clenching his fists by his hips in a tough guy pose. Def Jam founder and Bloomberg campaigner Russell Simmons, (“my man Russell,” as the Mayor called him) stood next to Ice-T and rubbed worry beads while Bloomberg said the words “Wu-Tang Clan.” The trio had come together to announce that VH1’s annual hip-hop honors show would be staying in New York, beating out competition from Los Angeles. (Honorees include Afrika Bambaataa, Eazy-E, MC Lyte.) The reelected Mayor has apparently loosened up since declaring that “‘defacing subway cars is hardly a joke,'” when he attempted, unsuccessfully, to legally block the spray painting of mock subway cars at a Marc Ecko event honoring graffiti writers. Now Bloomberg is embracing hip-hop culture, expanding the award into “hip-hop honors week” and telling Ice-T to “step to the mic.” In the corner of the room, press officer Angela Banks-Lowe, aka rapper Madame Star, looked on approvingly as she chatted with radio DJ Fab Five Freddy. “My people said Bloomberg’s cool man,” said Ice-T.

“We’ll take another subject, if you want,” the Mayor said.

—Jason Horowitz