Archives

30 Years Ago, The Source Set A New Standard For Hip-Hop Journalism

This week, Hip-Hop culture is celebrating its 45th anniversary. The first documented South Bronx rec room party with DJ Kool Herc behind the wheels of steel was on August 11, 1973. Like the origins of the culture, that event's significance would live by word of mouth if Hip-Hop had no... Read more

Jay Smooth, Host Of NYC’s Longest-Running Hip-Hop Radio Show, Resigns In Protest

Jay Smooth, host and DJ of The Underground Railroad, the longest-running Hip-Hop radio program in New York, has announced that he is resigning from his post. The show runs on the non-commercial WBAI-FM station. Smooth's resignation is a direct protest of WBAI's recent hiring of Leonard Lopate, a former show... Read more

Kid Capri Explains Why He Has Beef With Funkmaster Flex (Video)

Two of the most recognized names in DJ'ing, especially for those in and around the New York City area, are currently beefing. For those following social media, mixtape legend Kid Capri has minced no words in his opinions of Funkmaster Flex. Both men, who each claim Bronx, New York as... Read more

DJ Premier Postpones “PRhyme 2” Tour Dates To Care For His Father

DJ Premier has revealed that he and Royce Da 5'9, his partner in PRhyme, must prematurely postpone the remainder of their PRhyme 2 Tour due to his father's declining health. The Gang Starr member released the following statement to fans, as told to Ambrosia For Heads: "Throughout the duration of my... Read more

Finding The GOAT Group: Boogie Down Productions vs. Ultramagnetic MC’s. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest collectives vying for the #1 spot. Sixty-two groups have been pre-selected by a panel of experts, and one slot will be reserved for a wild-card entry, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to... Read more

Finding The GOAT Group: Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five vs. Whodini. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest collectives vying for the #1 spot. Sixty-two groups have been pre-selected by a panel of experts, and one slot will be reserved for a wild-card entry, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to... Read more

This Fast-Paced Documentary On 1977 NYC Shows Hip-Hop’s Playground (Video)

From The Get Down to The Deuce, 1970s New York City has become a recent beacon of pop culture inspiration. At the time, the Big Apple seemed defined by countercultures. Within the five boroughs, politics, sex, crime, and the fight for equal rights would help shape critical advancements in music,... Read more

An New Video Shows The Rise Of The Soulquarians & Why Things Fell Apart

During the week of special engagements leading up to last Sunday's Grammy Awards, The Roots held a four-day residency at The Gramercy Theatre in Manhattan. During the day, the three-time Grammy-winners programmed events that included the first live taping of Questlove Supreme with guest Common, as well as a Black... Read more

Nas Receives Spotlight Award From The New York City Mayor’s Office

On his legendary debut album Illmatic, Nas told listeners that "nothing's equivalent to the New York state of mind." The city has played a background in Nasir Jones' lyrics for more than 25 years, and the skyline of his Queensbridge neighborhood and greater New York City has been on some... Read more

Black Thought Is A Triple Threat. He Acts As Well As He Raps.

"I feel like whether acting or making music or visual arts or fashion, I feel like you're sort of using the same muscles, with emphasis on different elements at different times," Black Thought tells Ambrosia For Heads. It's the day after his birthday, and the man who always seems to introduce... Read more

This ’96 Freestyle From Tribe, Busta, The Roots & More Packs Lines That Truly Punch (Audio)

The City of Brotherly Love has undoubtedly produced some of Hip-Hop's best MCs to ever grip the mic, and equally, some of the greatest DJs to touch the turntables. Legendary Philadelphia DJ Cash Money has an extensive resumé with memorable mixtapes to prove the latter. After making seminal 1980s 12"... Read more

Weldon Irvine Influenced Black Star, KRS-One, JAY-Z, Common & Q-Tip. His Story Is Being Told (Video)

Best-known perhaps as the songwriter of the unofficial Civil Rights anthem, "To Be Young, Gifted and Black" (popularized by Nina Simone), the late Weldon Irvine bridged the generations as a key mentor and collaborator to Hip-Hop icons during the '90s and beyond. Guru, Roy Ayers, & Donald Byrd Brought Jazzmatazz... Read more

Kool G Rap, Lil Fame & Freeway Are Wise Guys On And Off The Mic (Video)

Since 1986, Kool G Rap has stuck to his guns as a trailblazer of East Coast Gangsta Rap and a paragon of lyricism. His cinematic portrayals and trenchant analysis of New York City street life made his longtime fans keep tabs on his newest offerings from the lab. Kool G... Read more

DJ Premier Says It’s Still Possible He Will Release The Final Gang Starr Album (Video)

In one of the busiest seasons in his career, DJ Premier appeared before a studio audience to discuss more than 30 years of music. Earlier this month, the member of Gang Starr, PRhyme, and The Badder Band sat with Genius' Rob Markman (and Letty Martinez) to discuss his truly marvelous... Read more

One Train Operator Gives New Meaning To “South Bronx Subway Rap” (Video)

In the film soundtrack to Wild Style, Cold Crush Brothers MC Grandmaster Caz famously spit the "South Bronx Rap." That classic track was later used for Nas' Illmatic intro and countless other places. While much has changed in New York City since the early 1980s, the relationship between subway trains... Read more

40 Years Ago A New York City Blackout Turned Up The Power On Hip-Hop (Video)

Thursday (July 13) marks the 40th anniversary of New York City's infamous 1977 electricity blackout. This was a pivotal moment in Hip-Hop history which ignited a surge in the formation of DJs and Rap crews throughout the genre's birthplace. Wonder What A 1977 New York City Park Jam Sounded Like?... Read more

The Wire Creator’s Next Series Takes A Bite Out Of The Rotten Apple (Video)

Writer/director David Simon has been praised for portraying authentic environments. With The Wire, he transported millions of living-rooms to a Baltimore, Maryland grid they may never otherwise see, let alone understand. Treme carefully delved into post-Katrina New Orleans, and Generation Kill retraced the steps in the Invasion of Iraq. What If... Read more

Developers Who Destroyed A Graffiti Landmark Aim To Use Its Heritage In Their Redesign

Queens, New York's 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center was a Hip-Hop landmark that endured for decades. Dubbed "The Institute Of Higher Burning," the Long Island City art space was home to a living shrine of graffiti. Curated by writer Meres One (aka Jonathan Cohen), the five-story warehouse building built in 1892... Read more

Nas Dusts Off A Gil Scott-Heron Sample For A Nasty Look At Addiction (Audio)

Nas is an executive producer (and rhyme-writer) on the series, The Get Down. Set in the 1970s Bronx, the show looks at the earliest days of Hip-Hop music and culture, and the circumstances around its creation. While DJ'ing, MC'ing, breakin', and graffiti are colorful forms of expression, crime, drugs, and... Read more

Main Source Are Joined By Pete Rock, Just Blaze & More For Their 25-Year Reunion (Video)

Last week (February 1), the founding three members of Hip-Hop group Main Source performed together for the first time in more than 25 years. Large Professor, as well as John Browne high school classmate,  K-Cut, plus guest DJ Rashad Smith (of Bad Boy Records fame) blessed Lower Manhattan's S.O.B.'s stages... Read more

Main Source Will Perform Together For The First Time In 25 Years

It has been nearly 25 years since Large Professor left Main Source. In that time, the Queens, New York MC/producer/DJ has not worked with his breakthrough group, consisting of Toronto, Ontario brothers, K-Cut and Sir Scratch. That will be changing, as the Wild Pitch Records trio announced its first show... Read more

Taxstone Arrested After DNA Discovered On Weapon In Troy Ave Shooting

Last May 25, Ronald "Banga" McPhatter was killed backstage at New York City's Irving Plaza. The fatal incident took place during a concert headlined by T.I. Troy Ave, one of the guest performers (along with Anderson .Paak, Maino, and Uncle Murda) and a close friend and reported employer of McPhatter,... Read more

A New Book Details The Rich Hip-Hop History Of NYC’s Latin Quarter Club

In No Half Steppin': An Oral and Pictorial History of New York City Club the Latin Quarter and the Birth of Hip-Hop's Golden Era, legendary musician, archivist, and activist Claude "Paradise" Gray shares over 175 color photographs and flyers. Along with Giuseppe "u.net" Pipitone, Paradise has provided scholars of Hip-Hop... Read more

Common Is A Rap Pharaoh Building Pyramids Of Empowerment, With Words (Video)

One week ago today, Common released his 11th album, Black America Again. The LP had many a la carte looks before its release. "Pyramids" was a highlight. Produced by Karriem Riggins and Robert Glasper, the track is one of several with reverberating lyrics about the modern day Black experience, the... Read more

15 Years Later, J-Live Reflects On His Gripping 9/11 Commentary On “Satisfied”

Today marks the 15th anniversary of September 11, 2001. Within hours 2,996 people lost their lives that tragic day, as a result of four plane hijackings and subsequent crashes in New York, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. For all who lived through it, the events and their impact continue... Read more

This 1977 NYC Party Mix Shows How The Earliest Hip-Hop Parties Sounded (Audio)

Thanks to the series "The Get Down," many are newly fascinated with 1970s New York City and the genesis of Hip-Hop. DJ'ing, rapping, graffiti, and breakin' came together harmoniously in an overall form of expression that reflected the complexities of city-dwelling at a specific time in fashion, music, visual art,... Read more

Doug E. Fresh, Nice & Smooth, Bahamadia Headline 39th Annual Rocksteady Anniversary

For the 39th year, New York City and neighboring Hip-Hop fans will be treated to a free concert—headlined by legends. Sunday (July 31) Central Park's Summer Stage will play host to the Rocksteady Crew Anniversary concert. This year's event will be headlined by Doug E. Fresh, Nice & Smooth, and... Read more

A Giant Wall May Be the Only Way to Save New York City from Climate Change

New York City could be under a foot of water as soon as 2030.While that may not sound like a lot, the prospect of such a drastic change in sea level surrounding a city built on a series of islands is indeed scary. The birthplace of Hip-Hop is home to... Read more

Cam’ron & New York’s Subway B-Boys Dazzle in a Video That Redefines Creativity (Video)

Perhaps the only thing more ubiquitous in New York City than the subways are the subway performers who use the time between station stops to amaze the crowd - or at least attempt to - with music, poetry, speeches, or dance. There has developed a microcosm in the subway dance... Read more

Your Old Droog Transforms Into A B-Boy “Elmo” In This Quirky NYC-Inspired Video

Your Old Droog took his recently-released single "42 (Forty Deuce)" and made the best possible video. The Brooklyn, New York MC hit the very 42nd Street Times Square that inspired the Nu Shooz-sampling song, and recreated some vibes from the epicenter of mainstream Manhattan. The video features the old fashioned... Read more

Kanye West Aims To Go Swish In Madison Square Garden On Release Day

If anybody knows how to make an album release an event, it is Kanye West. 2011's Watch The Throne would be the "leak-proof" album during the perceived zenith of online bootlegging. Two years later, Yeezus would be played, in part, with projected video footage on buildings across the globe. For... Read more

Two 1980s NYC Street Culture Docs Capture The Cool, Even In These Trailers (Videos)

New York City has long been an epicenter for culture. From music, to fashion, to art, the five boroughs and beyond have influenced the world near and far. In the 1980s, the Big Apple was especially influential. Two documentarians of the era are Jamel Shabazz and Manfred Kirchheimer. Shabazz, a... Read more

A New Report Details The Number of Platinum Hip-Hop Albums By City

As far as music is concerned, a musician's hometown can be as heavy an influence in the development of one's sound as is talent. In many respects, the world can be carved up into musical regions, with borders based on native sounds as distinctively clear as the geographic markers like... Read more

Necro, Vinnie Paz & Immortal Technique Take Hip-Hop Back To Its Essence (Video)

Remember when hardcore MCs were at the forefront of Hip-Hop? Necro, Vinnie Paz and Immortal Technique are bringing Heads back to those days with their new music video for "Take HipHop Back." Filmed in New York City, the video features all of the Hip-Hop elements: MCing, DJing, breakdancing and graffiti.... Read more

Gentrification Is Giving the Boogie Down New Meaning & Not Everybody’s Feeling the Message

For decades, just the name "South Bronx" conjured up images of inner city turmoil, with all of its abandoned buildings, overcrowded schools, high crime rates, and a disproportionate level of poverty and its side effects - lack of access to healthy food, healthcare, and jobs. In fact, films like "80... Read more

Afrika Bambaataa Will Receive a Lifetime Achievement Award For Helping to Birth Hip-Hop

Considered to be the Godfather of the culture, Afrika Bambaataa blazed a trail through the New York city club scene during a time when the city's youth culture was experimenting with what would become Hip-Hop (a term credited to Bambaataa). His contributions to that landscape are being recognized by the... Read more

Today Is Harold Hunter Day. Remember The Skate Icon/”Kids” Star Through This Compilation (Video)

Harold Hunter epitomized 1990s New York City cool. A feature actor in Kids, Hunter is best remembered for his skate style, grit, and sense of humor. He would go on to be a primary figure helping launch the Zoo York brand. In 2006, at the age of 31, the East... Read more

36 Years Later, The Warriors Take Their Last Subway Ride Home. Can You Dig It? (Video)

A lot has changed in New York City since Walter Hill filmed The Warriors. While the Wonder Wheel remains, much of Coney Island has changed when standing on Stillwell Avenue. More than 35 years after the cult classic released, Rolling Stone filmed as cult fans organized "Swan" (Michael Beck), "Cochise"... Read more

If Brandy Was Singing In Disguise on the Subway, Would You Wanna Be Down? (Video)

For more than two decades, Brandy has entertained audiences around the world, both as a singer and an actress. But, is she good enough for New York City subway riders? The talented Ms. Norwood went undercover, underground in the transit tunnels of the Big Apple. Wearing a scarf, hoodie and... Read more

This 1976 Mini-Documentary Explores The Complexity of Graffiti Culture Before ‘Style Wars’ (Video)

It the late '70s, a distinctively rebellious trend began to populate the walls, monuments, and empty spaces of New York City, one that would go on to become a founding principle of Hip-Hop culture. Graffiti, despite having been around for millennia, experienced a surge in popularity in the late 20th... Read more

Want To See How Hip-Hop Started? Two New Shows Document Its Beginnings (Video)

It's New York City in the late '60s and early '70s, and there is an underbelly of criminal and gang activity plaguing the Big Apple's neighborhoods, a combination of socioeconomic and political environments that, years later, will help birth what is today the world's most influential culture. This particularly dangerous... Read more

Jay Z Releases Visual To One Of His Most Personal Songs In Years (Video)

Jay Z has been making headlines recently through his new business venture with Tidal. In support of the new music streaming business, he released a music video for the song "Glory," reminding us that he is an artist and a father first and foremost. Before Common & John Legend were... Read more

Want To Feel Some 1970s New York City Seediness? Hit The Terminal Bar (Video)

Whether you're listening to Ultramagnetic MC's, Mr. MFE, or Beastie Boys, MCs love "that old New York," but should they really? Released more than a year ago, this 20+ minute documentary on one of the grimiest Midtown Manhattan bars flexes some realness on just how "do or die" Times Square... Read more

From Oakland To NYC, Hieroglyphics Perform At Tramps & Fat Beats In ’98 (Video)

From Kanye West to Common, DJ Eclipse unfolds yet another video from his archives featuring a video filled with freestyles from Oakland Hip-Hop collective Hieroglyphics. In this flashback to 1998, Hiero performs the Souls of Mischief cut, "Rock It Like That," at Tramps in New York City before the video... Read more

Uhh Huh, What’s That Sound? OutKast is Performing in New York This Summer. Details Here.

Fresh off official confirmation of OutKast performing as one of the headliners at this year's Coachella festival, Rolling Stone has confirmed that the dynamic duo will also be performing at Governor's Ball in New York City this Summer. Here's what Rolling Stone had to say: "OutKast will make their first... Read more

Watch the Throne – The Listening Party

I just attended the listening party for the album at the Rose Center Planetarium in NYC.  Below are some quick observations, as well as some clips from an interview Jay-Z did with Angie Martinez earlier. 1.  They brought out the heavy-hitters:  It was a who's who of music and media... Read more