Archives

Pharoahe Monch Discusses Early Hip-Hop Experiences & Why He Still Loves H.E.R. (Video)

Last week, respected DJ/producer J. Period orchestrated a "live mixtape" Hip-Hop event featuring Rap performances by Rakim, Black Thought, and Pharoahe Monch. Surprise guest performers included Smif-n-Wessun, Dres and Chi-Ali, Eric B., as well as Mumu Fresh. Yasiin Bey appeared on stage, but did not perform. In addition to rapping and... Read more

Finding The GOAT Group: Black Star vs. The Roots. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’ annual competition 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 (which has been determined), including the possibility for... Read more

Finding The GOAT Group: Black Star vs. Slum Village. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’ annual competition 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 (which has been determined), including the possibility... Read more

Yasiin Bey & Talib Kweli Are Reuniting On Stage To Celebrate 20 Years Of Black Star

September marks 20 years since the release of Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star. The collaborative album was the first full-length efforts from both Brooklyn, New York MCs. The Rawkus Records pair has gone on to decorated solo careers, capturing some of that Black Star chemistry on a... Read more

Talib Kweli Discusses The Genius Of Madvillainy & Its Impact On Hip-Hop (Audio)

Last month, Madvillain's album celebrated its 14th birthday. In the early 2000s, MF DOOM and Madlib formed the group and recorded Madvillainy in the latter's bomb shelter studio in Glendale, California. The resulting Stones Throw Records album was a game-changer in the careers of two elusive, decorated veterans, both creatively... Read more

Nas & Black Star Will Share The Stage This Summer

Nas and Black Star are two championed Hip-Hop acts. Whereas Nas has released 11 solo albums, in addition to compilations, and group work with The Firm and Distant Relatives, Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey have just one group LP. In 2018, reports are lingering that both entities have album plans... Read more

Kidz In The Hall Are Releasing A New Album. Here’s The 1st Video.

Bubbling up as a summery ode to Naledge’s home-town, Chicago, “Dear Eastside” marks the welcome return of the Pop-retro Hip-Hop duo, Kidz In The Hall. Kidz in the Hall signed with Rawkus Records in 2006, releasing the cult-lauded School Was My Hustle on the label. Since their Rawkus tenure, Naledge... Read more

Joell Ortiz & Fred The Godson Roar Like Godzilla In An Ode To New York (Audio)

At the Y2K pinnacle of Rawkus Records, Pharoahe Monch eclipsed his Organized Konfusion success with an onslaught of solo hits. The first cut was probably the deepest, thanks to "Simon Says." The Queens, New York MC/producer used the Godzilla theme in a beat that transcended single, into an all-out club banger... Read more

Talib Kweli Details How He And Mos Def Became Family Before They Were Black Star (Video)

This week, Talib Kweli appeared on Desus & Mero to promote November 17's Radio Silence album. That LP reunites Kweli with Jay Electronica and Anderson .Paak, as well as features a range of guests, from Waka Flocka Flame to Freestyle Fellowship's Myka 9 to Rick Ross. In making his return... Read more

9th Wonder Explains Why Soundbombing & Rawkus Kept His Hip-Hop Dreams Alive (Video)

Hip-Hop news and culture move fast, and it’s easy to miss significant developments. Every week, Ambrosia For Heads takes a look back at the LAST 7 days. This video series, hosted by Justin “The Company Man” Hunte examines the current issues with a colorful rundown of the what, where, and why. While the LAST... Read more

Talib Kweli Reflects On A “Train Of Thought” Song That Remains Eternal 17 Years Later (Audio)

Last week, Mos Def's solo debut Black On Both Sides celebrated its 18th birthday. Meanwhile, today (October 17), Talib Kweli, Yasiin Bey's Black Star partner, and DJ Hi-Tek honor the 17th anniversary of Reflection Eternal's Train Of Thought. Both Rawkus Records releases are benchmark albums to Hip-Hop, as well as... Read more

Yasiin Bey Discusses The Drama That’s Caused Him To Fall Back From The Music Business (Video)

Even since his days as mighty Mos Def, Yasiin Bey does not do many interviews. However, the Black Star MC recently gave Ebro In The Morning more than one hour of his time—reportedly impromptu. The MC/actor/poet and activist jumped in a cab and appeared before Ebro and company to speak... 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

Teen Bresha Meadows Stood Up To Her Abusive Father. Talib Kweli Tells Her Story (Audio)

In July of 2016, Warren, Ohio teenager Bresha Meadows fatally shot her father, reportedly as he slept. The 14-year-old killed Jonathan Meadows after years of physical abuse, which also included her brothers and mother, according to relatives. Despite the evidence of abuse, Meadows was charged with aggravated murder. Bresha and... Read more

See The Full Historic Conversation & Cypher Between Mos Def, Big Pun, Canibus & DMX (Video)

Twenty years ago, Hip-Hop was in crosswinds. Microphones were grabbed by emerging voices from across the landscape, geographically, stylistically, and regarding content. As the genre collected itself following the sudden and tragic killings of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, it wanted new sounds, messages, and conversations. Mos Def & Dave... Read more

Mos Def & Dave Chappelle Did The Original Carpool Karaoke (Video)

For 25 groundbreaking episodes in the two official seasons Chappelle's Show, viewers could lean back, laugh, learn, and maybe even cringe every so often. The program was about comedy, but it was hardly an escape. Instead, Dave Chappelle and his cast confronted real life issues with a humorous approach. Racism,... Read more

Talib Kweli Explains How A Tribe Called Quest Fathered Hip-Hop Music As We Know It (Video)

Talib Kweli is one of the distinguished guests on A Tribe Called Quest's final album. Appearing on "The Killing Season," Kweli worked alongside Q-Tip, Jarobi White, and the late Phife Dawg. The album has topped the charts, and become one of music's most talked about releases in 2016. Speaking with... Read more

Zack De La Rocha Is Back & Still Raging On An El-P Produced Outcry (Audio)

More than 18 years ago, the first Lyricists Lounge compilation released. Featuring De La Soul, Common, Mos Def (n/k/a Yasiin Bey), and Q-Tip, the Rawkus Records double album delivered the Underground Hip-Hop community to the mainstream (reaching the Top 200), with a plethora of important independent voices, and more than... Read more

Sadat X, R.A. The Rugged Man & Thirstin Howl Are Proud Industry Outcasts (Video)

Over 17 years ago, Rawkus Records released Soundbombing 2. That LP, a Top 30 on the Pop charts, helped further the ongoing introductions of Eminem, Dilated Peoples, High & Mighty, Company Flow, and others to the masses. An elite independent label at the time, Rawkus (then home to Mos Def,... Read more

Many Have Never Seen Mos Def’s First Music Video. Here It Is.

The mighty Mos Def (n/k/a Yasiin Bey) has a Hip-Hop career that spans well over 20 years. The Brooklyn, New York MC burst on the scene care of major appearances alongside De La Soul, Da Bush Babees, and DJ Honda—but he had his own thing brewing, even before Rawkus Records... Read more

Yasiin Bey Declares 2016 Album Will Be His Last & Announces Industry Retirement

This week, Yasiin Bey (f/k/a Mos Def) left a very unique voicemail on Kanye West's phone. West, who signed Bey to his G.O.O.D. Music imprint after years of collaboration, shared the message with the public yesterday (January 19). The Brooklyn, New York MC reacted to West's latest song, "No More... Read more

Reflection Eternal’s Train Of Thought vs. Outkast’s Stankonia. Which Is Better?

One year ago, Ambrosia For Heads launched a debate among its readers seeking to answer one of Hip-Hop’s most hotly-contested questions: who is the greatest MC of all time? “Finding The GOAT MC” lasted between September 2014 and May 2015, engaging millions of readers and ultimately producing its winner, as... Read more

Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch & Last Emperor Freestyle In A Found 2001 Moment (Audio)

In 2001, things were taking off for Talib Kweli and Pharoahe Monch. As part of the Rawkus Records movement, these 1990s alums were paving the way for solo careers following extensive group success with the likes of Organized Konfusion, Black Star, and Reflection Eternal. Presumably doing the Hip Hop For... Read more

A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders vs. Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star. Which Is Better?

One year ago, Ambrosia For Heads launched a debate among its readers seeking to answer one of Hip-Hop’s most hotly-contested questions: who is the greatest MC of all time? “Finding The GOAT MC” lasted between September 2014 and May 2015, engaging millions of readers and ultimately producing its winner, as... Read more

Outkast’s Aquemini vs. Mos Def’s Black On Both Sides. Which Is Better?

One year ago, Ambrosia For Heads launched a debate among its readers seeking to answer one of Hip-Hop’s most hotly-contested questions: who is the greatest MC of all time? “Finding The GOAT MC” lasted between September 2014 and May 2015, engaging millions of readers and ultimately producing its winner, as... Read more

Ice Cube’s AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted vs. Mos Def’s Black On Both Sides. Which Is Better?

One year ago, Ambrosia For Heads launched a debate among its readers seeking to answer one of Hip-Hop’s most hotly-contested questions: who is the greatest MC of all time? “Finding The GOAT MC” lasted between September 2014 and May 2015, engaging millions of readers and ultimately producing its winner, as... Read more

Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star vs. De La Soul’s Stakes Is High. Which Is Better?

One year ago, Ambrosia For Heads launched a debate among its readers seeking to answer one of Hip-Hop’s most hotly-contested questions: who is the greatest MC of all time? “Finding The GOAT MC” lasted between September 2014 and May 2015, engaging millions of readers and ultimately producing its winner, as... Read more

Talib Kweli & 9th Wonder’s Indie 500 Drives For A Star-Studded Win (Album Stream)

Last year, Talib Kweli, 9th Wonder, and Pharaohe Monch announced that they were combining forces and resources to launch Indie 500, an independent label, marketing, and distribution conglomerate. Nearly a year to the date after the announcement, Indie 500 (the album) arrives. While it doesn't release until November 6, Heads... Read more

Talib Kweli & 9th Wonder Suggest There Is No Such Thing As An Innocent Bystander (Audio/Video)

Alexander Hamilton once said, "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything." There is a lot to stand up for in the world around us—and there are some who still seemingly feel like it is not their place, their preference, or their politics to have an opinion. Talib Kweli, 9th... Read more

Talib Kweli, Rapsody & 9th Wonder Reconsider The Meaning Of “Ghetto” (Video)

Last week, Talib Kweli, Rapsody, and 9th Wonder released "Every Ghetto." The DJ Hi-Tek-produced collaborative single is a hallmark release for the Indie 500 conglomerate, and its follow-up video proves it. Traveling from Brooklyn, New York to Cincinnati, Ohio, the soulful song examines at neighborhoods that are often called "ghettos"... Read more

10 Things You May Not Know About Rawkus Records (Audio)

Though it kept a lower profile than companies like Def Jam and Bad Boy, in the late 90s and early 00s, there were few, if any record labels, that carried the flag for Hip-Hop more proudly than Rawkus Records. For many, the company introduced Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Eminem, El-P's... Read more

Black Star Announce Tour Dates…Half A World Away From Brooklyn.

More than 15 years removed from their self-titled album, Black Star is making moves. Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey (f/k/a Mos Def) have done spot appearances in the last three years. However, the former Rawkus Records duo has announced a four concert tour...in Australia. That's a long way from Brooklyn,... Read more

15 Years Ago, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Common & More Used Hip-Hop for Justice. The Fight Continues.

Police officers (and law enforcement officials) murdering unarmed people of color has been a resounding issue, especially since the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin. However, while mainstream media has not always looked at the issue that extends back throughout the United States' history, other media has. One of those sources... Read more

Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch & Bun B To Perform Free Concert One Year After Michael Brown’s Murder

August 9, 2014 was Michael Brown's last day alive. The 18 year-old Ferguson, Missouri man had graduated high school eight days earlier, before an altercation with Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson that would ultimately leave Brown murdered in the street. One year later, August 9, 2015, Talib Kweli will perform... Read more

Do Remember: Black Star’s K.O.S. (Determination) (Audio)

1998's breakthrough album, Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star introduced the Hip-Hop masses, and eventually the mainstream, to two brilliant Brooklyn, New York creative visionaries. The Rawkus Records release followed a season of 12" singles, compilation appearances, and in the case of Mighty Mos, some high-profile features (De... Read more

Rest In Peace Pumpkinhead, Friends & Collaborators Mourn

Veteran Brooklyn, New York MC Pumpkinhead (a/k/a PH) has been reported dead this morning (June 9). Friends and collaborators of the man born Robert Alan Diaz have begun to publicly mourn. Notably, Pumpkinhead appeared on acclaimed albums such as Immortal Technique's Revolutionary 1 and Revolutionary 2 albums, in addition to... Read more

Do Remember: Talib Kweli & DJ Quik’s Put It In The Air (Audio)

Few artists have the excitement leading into their solo debut as Talib Kweli, especially by 2000s standards. Entering Quality, the Brooklyn, New York MC had already found success with two groups, Black Star and Reflection Eternal. Both acts, duos with Mos Def and DJ Hi-Tek, respectively, had been met with... Read more

Do Remember: Rawkus Records’ Soundbombing 2 Album (Audio)

May 18, 1999, Rawkus Records would enter their most definitive year with their fifth full-length release in Soundbombing II. Distributed by the same Priority Records that had been so integral to the successes of Ruthless, Rap-A-Lot, and Roc-A-Fella, Brian Brater and Jarret Myer's imprint was truly stepping out. 1998 had... Read more

Finding The GOAT (Round 5): Rakim vs. Mos Def…Who You Got?

With just 11 MCs remaining we have reached the critical Round 5 in the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). Now, only five match-up's—all running this week—separate Round 5 from the final six MCs, including Round 4 bye winner Big Daddy Kane. Since the elimination,... Read more

Finding The GOAT (Round 4): Mos Def vs. MF DOOM…Who You Got?

We have now reached the critical Round 4 in the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). With 21 MCs remaining (with the largest winning margin, Rakim receives a bye for the round), things are really coming down to 10 match-ups, leading AFH’s bracket-style series towards... Read more

Ever Hear This Rare Mos Def & Talib Kweli Freestyle? (Audio)

One of the most disappointing moments in Hip-Hop relates not to something that happened, but rather something that didn't. After releasing the nearly universally acclaimed album Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, Yasiin Bey (pka Mos Def) and Talib never united again for a follow up. At the... Read more

Finding The GOAT (Round 3): Eminem vs. Talib Kweli…Who You Got?

We have reached the third round in the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). With 42 MCs remaining, we are asking you to help us rank who is the greatest MC to pick up a mic. We will take over 35 years of Hip-Hop into... Read more

Finding The GOAT (Round 3): Big Daddy Kane vs. Kool G Rap…Who You Got?

We have reached the third round in the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). With 42 MCs remaining, we are asking you to help us rank who is the greatest MC to pick up a mic. We will take over 35 years of Hip-Hop into... Read more

Finding The GOAT (Round 3): Kanye West vs. Mos Def…Who You Got

We have reached the third round in the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). With 42 MCs remaining, we are asking you to help us rank who is the greatest MC to pick up a mic. We will take over 35 years of Hip-Hop into... Read more

Finding The GOAT (Round 2): Action Bronson vs. Joell Ortiz…Who You Got?

We have reached the second round in the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). We are asking you to help us rank who is the greatest MC to pick up a mic. We will take over 35 years of Hip-Hop into consideration, pairing special match-ups... Read more

Redman, Talib Kweli and Wrekonize Bring a Slice of Pardise on a Super Soulful Track (Audio)

In terms of star power and interesting, thought-out collaborators DJ EFN's Another Time  (March 3) rivals albums by Funkmaster Flex, DJ Clue, and DJ Khaled—just see the tracklist. Heads delight, as "Paradise" unites Redman with Talib Kweli, joined by ¡Mayday!'s Wrekonize. The three MCs describe idyllic places, from romantic partners,... Read more

Finding The GOAT (Round 2): Kool G Rap vs. Ras Kass…Who You Got?

We have reached the second round in the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). We are asking you to help us rank who is the greatest MC to pick up a mic. We will take over 35 years of Hip-Hop into consideration, pairing special match-ups... Read more

Finding The GOAT (Round 2): Mos Def vs. Phonte…Who You Got?

We have reached the second round in the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). We are asking you to help us rank who is the greatest MC to pick up a mic. We will take over 35 years of Hip-Hop into consideration, pairing special match-ups... Read more

Finding The GOAT (Round 2): Immortal Technique vs. Talib Kweli…Who You Got?

We have reached the second round in the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). We are asking you to help us rank who is the greatest MC to pick up a mic. We will take over 35 years of Hip-Hop into consideration, pairing special match-ups... Read more

Lewis Parker, Eastkoast, El Da Sensei & Shabaam Sahdeeq Make A Joint Worthy Of Soundbombing (Audio)

Yesterday (January 20), Joey Bada$$' B4.Da.$$ hit shelves and digital outlets as a callback to the lyrical, free-form, expressionist Hip-Hop from the East Coast of the late 1990s. Not a throwback exactly, Brooklyn's Bada$$ studied the O.G.'s, listened to the tapes, and aimed to show the grassroots take on Hip-Hop,... Read more