The Oral History of Complex Fergie (October/November 2006); Lil Wayne & Travis Barker (December 2006/January 2007)

2006

DONNIE KWAK: “One of my most distinct memories is a meeting Seth had with the staff in which he held up an issue of Complex and literally ripped it apart, page by page. His point was that each one of these pages cost $4,000 to produce. So he was like ‘Every page that isn’t worth $4,000 I’m gonna rip out.’ That ended up
being 95% of the book.”

MATT DOYLE: “We went to Toronto to shoot Fergie in this little shitty studio we found online. It was a dump, but Fergie was so cool about it. She was like, ‘Oh, I like this place. It’s charming.’ Then after the shoot we went out to this strip club—and ran into Fergie there.”

RICH ANTONIELLO: “Seth was not happy with the editorial direction, so he set up this shadow magazine staff. He picked a bunch of people and brought them to the office for a secret meeting.”

DONNIE KWAK: “Richard Martin was away on vacation and that’s when Seth had the plan of radically making over Complex. It was a totally bizarre meeting Seth held in one of the Ecko conference rooms. We were all kind of like ‘What the fuck is going on right now?’ In the end Noah [Callahan-Bever] took over for Richard Martin and the rest of the staff was retained.”

RICH ANTONIELLO: “It was definitely a weird moment, but it expedited us ripping off the Band-Aid and building a new magazine with Noah. His first issue—the December/January Lil Wayne/Travis Barker cover—was what I always envisioned Complex should be.”

NOAH CALLAHAN-BEVER, Editor-In-Chief: “My first issue was supposed to be a Nas cover but while I was flying to the shoot, his publicist canceled on us. So I’m listening to Lil Wayne’s Dedication mixtape, and I made the call during a layover. By the time the plane landed in L.A. the whole thing was set up. Toshi [Kondo] did the cover story and we had the hottest rapper in the game talking shit about the biggest rapper in the game. Then it was like, How do you follow that?”

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