Gueraseva, Stacy 1975–
Gueraseva, Stacy 1975–
CAREER: Worked for Elle and Atlantic Records; One-world magazine, New York, NY, editor-in-chief, 1998–2001.
Contributor to periodicals, including Vibe, Interview, XXL, and Fader.
SIDELIGHTS: Stacy Gueraseva has worked as editor-in-chief of Russell Simmons's Oneworld magazine, and Simmons is one of the subjects of Gueraseva's Def Jam, Inc.: Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin, and the Extraordinary Story of the World's Most Influential Hip Hop Label. Both Simmons and Rubin contributed to Gueraseva's book.
In the book, Gueraseva reports that Simmons quit college to become a promoter through his company Rush Management. Rush was one of the first to manage hiphop artists, including the famous group Run DMC, in which Simmons's brother, Joey, was a member. The book relates how Rubin and Simmons, who worked well together, brought hip-hop to mainstream culture by promoting musical groups such as the Beastie Boys. Hollywood Reporter critic Gregory McNamee called Def Jam, Inc. "a fly-on-the-wall account of how the anarchic, dangerous, and ever so hip record label Def Jam became part of the music establishment." Booklist contributor Mike Tribby described the book as "detailed, referenced, and well written."
Gueraseva told CA: "I took a terrific writing class during my freshman year in college, which really jump-started my passion for writing. I began writing constantly and reading great books. This snowballed into writing for college papers, interning and ultimately becoming a magazine editor.
"A combination of various mediums: from other people's writing to music, to visual art and travel, influence my work. As a writer, I find Quark Xpress indispensable. I love to cut and paste and move text around. I start with some very rough, disjointed paragraphs and ideas, which I then start to weave together, with the help of an outline. Since I write mostly nonfiction, I rely on my research and quotes to drive the narrative, so I go from writing and rewriting my own text, and then inserting quotes and research into appropriate sections.
"The most surprising thing I have learned as a writer is that there is probably a good writer inside of everyone that can be brought out with practice. I didn't start out as a great writer, I definitely worked and worked on my craft. As a culture, we tend to romanticize writers, but really great writing is a combination of constant practice and a great imagination.
"I would love Def Jam, Inc. to not just entertain, but also inspire readers. The book is as much an exciting story of a unique and important company as it is a guide to being successful and making your dreams come true. If I can move people to realize their goals, with the help of my book, that would be the ultimate reward."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2005, Mike Tribby, review of Def Jam, Inc.: Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin, and the Extraordinary Story of the World's Most Influential Hip Hop Label, p. 1980.
Hollywood Reporter, August 8, 2005, Gregory Mc-Namee, review of Def Jam, Inc., p. 14.
Maxim, August, 2005, review of Def Jam, Inc., p. 88.
Spin, November, 2005, Will Hermes, review of Def Jam, Inc., p. 110.
Vibe, September, 2005, review of Def Jam, Inc., p. 112.
Def Jam, Inc., Web site, http://www.defjambook.com/ (November 9, 2005).
New York Cool, http://www.newyorkcool.com/ (August 2, 2005), Wendy R. Williams, "Wendy R. Williams Talks to Stacy Gueraseva." (interview).
Smith Alumni Quarterly Online, http://saqonline.smith.edu/ (November 9, 2005), Karen Brown, "From the Margin to the Mainstream" (interview).
Variety Online, http://www.variety.com/ (November 9, 2005), Phil Gallo, review of Def Jam, Inc.