NEW YORK — HarperCollins editor Josh Behar has locked up rights to the first book from Antoine Clark, publisher of F.E.D.S., a self-distributed magazine covering criminal life and the gritty side of hip-hop, which Rolling Stone has dubbed the hot magazine of 1999.
The book will combine photos and fresh stories with pieces previously published in F.E.D.S., including articles on the street gang the Bloods, a missing-children page and a portrait of Nickey Barnes, dubbed the Black Godfather for his control of the East Coast heroin trade in the 1970s.
“This is ‘Cops’ from a criminal’s point of view,” said Lydia Wills of Artists Agency, who repped Clark in the six-figure deal, and plans to shop the book to film and TV outlets.
Single issues of F.E.D.S., which stands for Finally Every Dimension of the Streets and carries a parental advisory, have sold as many as 60,000 copies and circulate widely in prisons. But the point of the magazine and book, said Behar, is to deter people from a life of crime.
“Antoine’s whole purpose and impetus is to stop these things from happening by chilling readers into thinking this isn’t cool, it’s just frightening,” Behar told Daily Variety. He hopes to publish the untitled book in 2001.