We were exhausted—it was our third night in a row at The Plaza, and, quite frankly, we were becoming a little too familiar with the hotel’s ornate ballrooms at fund-raiser after frilly fund-raiser. The Observer loves schmoozing, but of late our calendar has left us rather harried—perhaps even unappreciative. As we arrived at the bedazzled edifice for the seventh annual Children’s Rights Benefit this past Wednesday, we quickly took notice of rapper Nick Cannon, slipping coolly out of a large black SUV with an entourage and bodyguards. At last, something seemed fresh, and unpredictable. While hip-hop stars and R&B producers are certainly no strangers to this old-school bastion of New York excess, it’s always exciting to see a touch of, er, young blood among traditional notions of prestige and privilege. With producer Kasseem David Dean a k a “Swizz Beatz” up for top honors that night, we anticipated that the hotel would be getting a much-needed dose of swagger. Read More
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