WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY - Eyes forward. I'm not referring to the female anatomy (as did the oft-quoted Seinfeld episode whose title I lifted). I'm referring to brushes with the law that increase some celebrities' media impact. Consider freedom fighters Martin, Mahatma and Malcolm. Consider also gangstas and music industry entertainers, such as the dueling East Coast and West Coast rappers, whose legal snafus typically enhance their street cred. Sometimes they even ply their trade from the big house, as did Shyne, Beanie Sigel and Turk--who released their albums from jail, Rapper C-Murder--who got in hot water over the new album and video he produced behind bars, Lil Kim--who dropped her album just before entering jail and the many artists who release titles that highlight their incarceration (e.g., "What Jail Is Like," by The Afghan Whigs; "Long Time No See," by Chico DeBarge; and "Penitentiary Chances," by rapper Turk).
I guess if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Domestic diva Martha-on-the-block proved equally able to withstand--even harness--legal and prison heat, and continued to drop it like it's hot from the kitchen, garden and elsewhere at Camp Cupcake, where she served time. Her activities there, which I describe as "Martha Stewart Inside Living," have been the recipe for raising her market and media value. Moreover, her release today from house arrest and donning a new accessory--an ankle bracelet that permits law officers to track her movements--have further stirred the media pot and raised serious dough. There's more bread where that came from. During her travails, Martha cooked up two new shows that aren't even out of the oven yet.###