Food for Thought

15 Years Later The Black Album Is Still JAY-Z’s Perfect Fadeaway (Video)

"Any time you're making an album, especially if this is your last album, every single track has to be a statement. Like, in your mind, you're thinking, I have to make the perfect album," JAY-Z said before Fade To Black cameras during 2003, when the documentary filmed. "Anybody that knows... Read more

Mac Miller Was A Shining Example To All That Authenticity Always Triumphs

“Like how could he go? He was part lion.” That lyric, pulled from Mac Miller’s 2013 track “REMember,” was a heartfelt inquiry addressed to the universe. How, at such a young age of 20-years-old and a future so bright, could it be possible for his dear friend Ruben Eli Mitrani to... Read more

Bun B Gives His Old Verse A 1 Out Of 5 Because Of A Trump Reference (Video)

"I should've known better back then; I should've had better foresight." That's what Bun B said while participating in BET's Rate The Bars series. He was referring to lyrics that he wrote during the early 1990s for the cult-classic "Pocket Full of Stones" from UGK's debut album Too Hard to... Read more

Charlamagne’s DNA Was Not Found On The Person Accusing Him Of Sexual Assault

This weekend, media personality and author Charlamagne Tha God declared his innocence regarding a very serious accusation from more than 17 years ago. At that time, in C.T.G.'s home state of South Carolina, the radio station employee was accused of rape by a then-15-year-old girl named Jessica Reid. Those charges... Read more

20 Years Ago, The Beastie Boys Reminded Rap Fans That 3 MCs & 1 DJ Is A Winning Formula

1998 was a changing time for Hip-Hop. The attitude of the period was recovering from the killings of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls. Groups like The Fugees and A Tribe Called Quest separated for solo pursuits. Meanwhile Black Star emerged. Master P's No Limit Records led a marketing battalion that... Read more

Freeway Explains How One Cypher Changed His Career With Roc-A-Fella

On a scorching summer afternoon, Freeway is lounging in a cool recording studio in the Northern Liberties section in the City of Brotherly Love. The smoky lab is in the same high-rise building as accounting firms, law offices, and working folks pausing for a late afternoon snack in the ground... Read more

Electric Relaxation: A Hip-Hop Guide To Meditation

With mental health and self-care being at the center of so many conversations, it’s no surprise that lots of folks are talking about meditation. Schools, corporations, sports teams and many of your favorite MC’s have incorporated some sort of meditation practice into their lives. Big Sean spits “life got me... Read more

Drake’s Spotify Scorpion Sting. Are Playlists The New Payola?

Less than one week ago, Drake released his fifth official album, Scorpion. A double-dose signaling Drake's last release in his Young Money/Cash Money contract, the work involves JAY-Z, DJ Premier, Ty Dolla $ign, DJ Paul, and a posthumous vocal appearance from Michael Jackson. In several days, fans will learn if... Read more

Why Kanye West Is A Genius Regardless Of His Views Outside Of Music

Kanye West's cultural influence is undeniable. Few artists, especially in Hip-Hop have had a reign as long or as far-reaching as the artist who locked himself in a room doing five a beats a day for three summers. Remember when everyone wore those terrible shutter shade sunglasses after Graduation dropped?... Read more

The 14 Best Hip-Hop Releases So Far In 2018 (Audio & Video)

Approaching 2018’s midpoint, the year has been absolutely incredible for Hip-Hop and Rap music. For many artists, the album is now shorter than it has ever been. Releases are more concentrated and digestible than they have been been in decades. Moreover, the MC/producer double-threat is winning, as is the chemistry... Read more

Did Drake Bring Malice Out Of Retirement? The Clipse Have New Music In The Chamber.

For most of the decade, The Clipse have been on ice. Pusha-T stepped forth with a bustling solo and executive career. Meanwhile, Malice (nka No Malice) penned a memoir on his personal and spiritual transformation and began making music to reflect his life outlook. In 2017, No Malice did an... Read more

Bumpy Knuckles & Biz Markie Team Up For A Video With A Purpose. Check It Out, Y’all.

Today (May 18), Bumpy Knuckles releases Pop Duke, Vol. 1. The 10-song concept project is produced by Nottz, and it features a cast of Rap O.G.'s such as Chuck D, Kool G Rap, and M.O.P.'s Lil Fame. It also includes a fellow Long Islander, Biz Markie, who makes a rare... Read more

Royce 5’9’s Book Of Ryan Is A New Chapter & Proof That He Is 1 Of Hip-Hop’s Greatest MCs

At the top of this decade, Royce 5’9 began tying up loose ends in the interest of personal growth and legacy. Slaughterhouse had recently taken shape, exciting the possibilities for Royce and three MCs with like-minded verbal values. Next, Nickel Nine and Eminem revived Bad Meets Evil, their short-lived duo... Read more

J. Cole Reveals Who Kill Edward Is And It’s Deeper Than Rap

On J. Cole's newly-released KOD, there is one guest by the name of kiLL edward. The character appears on two songs: "The Cut Off" and "FRIENDS." These are two powerful cuts on an album that carries three titles: Kids On Drugs, Kill Our Demons, and King Overdose. For an artist... Read more

DJ Premier Speaks About How Real Moment Of Truth Was For Hip-Hop & Gang Starr (Video)

On March 30, 1998, Gang Starr stepped forth with Moment Of Truth. Guru and DJ Premier had taken four years since giving the masses their seminal album, Hard To Earn, and Hip-Hop was at a pivotal place in history. "We had platinum-respect. You'd think we were platinum artists that sold... Read more

Erick Sermon Reveals The Real Reason Craig Mack Did Not Join The Bad Boy Reunion Tour

On March 12, MC Craig Mack died at the age of 47 (earlier reports listed his age as 46). The Bronx-born, Long Island-raised artist who used his real name on records deceased from what coroner's declared as natural causes at his home in Walterboro, South Carolina. Other sources close to... Read more

9th Wonder Speaks On Why Bruno Mars’ Critics Are Fakin’ The Funk

Last month, while accepting his Grammy for "Album Of The Year" for 24K Magic, Bruno Mars made it a point to address the other nominees by name. He shouted out "Kung-Fu Kenny, JAY-Z and Gambino," saying to them "You guys are the reason I'm in the studio pulling my hair out...thank... Read more

Roc Marciano’s New Album Is The Latest Indie Uppercut To The Streaming Model

Today (March 9), Roc Marciano's RR2: The Bitter Dose became available on all major streaming platforms. The album released late last month, and was contained to Roc's online store for download sale and physical copy pre-order. As a 20-year Hip-Hop veteran, it was calculated move made by the former Flipmode... Read more

Phonte Has Made An Elite Album For The 99% Of Grown Hip-Hop Fans

It's been more than six years since Phonte released his solo debut. Late 2012's Charity Starts At Home was critically-acclaimed and seemed to indicate that Tigallo was on his way to creating a stellar solo catalog beyond his celebrated work with Little Brother and Foreign Exchange. It did not quite... Read more

Tech N9ne Knows The Plan To End Racism But Questions Whether We Can Follow It (Video)

Last Friday (March 2), Tech N9ne released his album, The Planet. It is a fitting title for the 46-year-old Kansas City, Missouri MC-turned-mogul. With platinum and gold singles now under his belt, Aaron Dontez Yates labored to create a bustling universe that existed beyond commercial radio, music video channels, and... Read more

Vince Staples’ CrowdFunding Campaign Is Doomed To Fail & That’s The Best Thing For Hip-Hop

The Hip-Hop industry is adapting to the times. A-list rappers release albums through cellphone carriers, cryptocurrency is accepted as a form of payment by artists, and the idea of a project being for sale is being challenged by some of the genre’s top earners. One of the tech trends that... Read more

Hip-Hop Needs To Take A Stand On Gun Violence. We’ll Go First.

Since the February 14, 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL that took the lives of 17 people, the discourse around gun violence, and how to lessen it, is as engaged as it’s ever been. The fact that the story has stayed in the news cycle... Read more

Conscious Rap Is Back & Writing New Chapters In Black History

In honor of Black History Month 2018, Ambrosia For Heads is highlighting some of the most inspiring Black entertainers, athletes, and artists whose contributions to Black history extend far beyond their artistic talents. These Black heroes have dedicated their time, resources and platforms to uplift Black communities, inspire young people and create... Read more

Black Panther Is Not A Movie. It’s A Movement & It’s Bigger Than Box Office Success.

There have been literally hundreds of interviews with the cast of Black Panther, and thousands of write-ups about the film's commercial and cultural impact. However, there’s a moment that occurs in a Sway In The Morning town hall discussion with the entire cast that captures the essence of why this... Read more

15 Years Ago, 50 Cent Plotted A Pathway From Underdog To Superstar

Fifteen years ago today (February 6, 2003), Queens, New York's 50 Cent took the world by storm with his debut album, Get Rich Or Die Tryin'. When Curtis Jackson burst onto the mainstream scene with a survivalist story, vendetta vocals, and Eminem and Dr. Dre in his corner, the industry... Read more

Why Jay Rock Is The Unsung Hero Of Top Dawg Entertainment (Video)

In Hip-Hop, the first is not always the biggest. Just as football has its linemen fighting for every inch, Rap music often has its figures that blaze a trail, light a path, or move the boulders for another artist to shoot the resulting gap. This week, TDE announced its Championship... Read more

Why Kendrick Lamar & JAY-Z May Destroy Each Others Chances At Winning Album Of The Year

With the 60th Grammy Award nominations being announced this week, and just a little under two months away from crowning the respective victors, the collective post-nomination conversation from those within the music industry and fans alike, has been incredibly rich in both impression and speculation. For the very first time... Read more

By All Means Necessary: How Boogie Down Productions Was Formed Against All Odds (Video)

"You could call a man a bum with disgust on your morning run. 'Cause he lives outside in the street, you don't know this, but you've failed to realize that the one you so despise reflects yourself  'cause every Black man is homeless." KRS-One has never hidden the fact that... Read more

Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city Turns 5. It’s Past Time To Call It A Classic (Video)

For those who were already familiar with Kendrick Lamar in 2012, good kid, m.A.A.d. city was not his debut album. That distinction belonged to Section.80, the 2011 masterpiece released independently through Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE), Kendrick's label home since the beginning. Even before that, Kendrick had shown he was a... Read more

Diamond D’s “Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop” Is A Hip-Hop Classic That Still Burns Strong

Today (September 22) marks 25 years since the release of Diamond D's landmark debut album Stunts, Blunts & Hip Hop. In this era when the MC/producers like J. Cole, Kanye West, and Logic are celebrated among music's biggest stars, this silver anniversary is significant to their career as commercially viable artists transcending... Read more

Sean Price’s Wife Bernadette Discusses Her Husband & Completing His Last Album

Sean Price stated on Heltah Skeltah’s debut about his longtime rhyme partner Rockness Monsta, “behind every great Ruck there’s a Rock.” But throughout the late great Price’s career stood a great woman named Bernadette Price. She has become one of Rap’s most famous widows who paralleled "Edith Bunker" to Sean’s "Archie... Read more

Last Of A Dying Breed: Why Scarface Is The Greatest MC Of All Time (Video)

Scarface is an MC who is a keystone within a legendary group, the Geto Boys. However, he also maintains a solo catalog that is arguably even more impressive. Brad Jordan's career expands nearly 30 years, and the Houston, Texas legend has made a powerful impact with the fans, the critics,... Read more

10 Years Ago, Blu & Exile’s “Below The Heavens” Resurrected Underground Rap

Ten years ago (July 17, 2007), Blu & Exile combined forces for their Below The Heavens album. At a time when so-called "underground Hip-Hop" was sounding like a passé term, if not taken as an unintended diss, these two Southern Californians excited the culture through very straightforwardly channeling their souls... Read more

Video Music Box Was The 1st Rap City & Ralph McDaniels Was The Mayor (Video)

Today (July 15), "Uncle" Ralph McDaniels will resume his longstanding post as one of the hosts at the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival. As he has done in four different decades, Ralph finds Hip-Hop culture in the flesh and transmits his excitement, passion, and belief onto the masses. A DJ, college student,... Read more

How JAY-Z’s New Album Is The Blueprint For Grown Man Rap (Video)

In the last eight days, JAY-Z's 4:44 monopolized the Hip-Hop conversation and most of the pop culture space. There are a lot of headlines and developing storylines that can easily get in the way of the fact that a 47-year-old-rapper, mogul, and king of cool reached a definitive career milestone,... Read more

Here Are The Jewels From JAY-Z’s New Album That You Won’t See In The Tabloids

Nearly a week after its release, listeners are still unpacking JAY-Z's new album 4:44. As an MC with a reputation for double and triple entendres and veiled references, lines from all of Jay's songs have plenty to be decoded. But, on this LP he packed an enormous amount of material... Read more

People Are Watching The Fire In The Theater…Meanwhile The World Is Burning Down (Video)

Quite a bit happened in the last week. Kendrick Lamar gave his second (and third) interviews about the creation and inspiration behind DAMN. Joe Budden, DJ Akademiks, and Migos played host to the most talked about red carpet event of the year to date at the BET Awards. JAY-Z released... Read more

The 11 Best Hip-Hop Releases So Far In 2017 (Audio)

At 2017’s midpoint, the year has been generous in substantial art. Some artists have rallied to make the album an unbreakable sequence of songs. Others are seeking new, casual ways to keep fans gratified without the gravity of the longstanding format. Some releases have allowed us to know MCs at... Read more

RESPECT THE DJ: Rob Swift Speaks Out Against Those Who Should Not Be Called “DJ”

Words By DJ Rob Swift I started out as a fan first. I grew up around the art of DJing since I came out my mother’s womb. There hasn’t been a day in my life that I haven’t been exposed to the art form in some way, NOT ONE DAY.... Read more

An Argument For Why Black Thought Is The Greatest MC Of All Time (Video)

For almost 25 years, Black Thought has been putting his raspy voiced verses to record. The constant MC for The Roots crew has made a dozen albums, seemingly performed as much as any Rap artist, and is now typically on television five nights per week. More than just simply hard... Read more

Holler If Ya Hear Me: A Look At Tupac’s Most Revolutionary Calls For Change

“Everything I do I do to represent my people. ” - Tupac Shakur, 1994 In his music, Tupac Shakur brilliantly blended the revolutionary messages of Public Enemy with the shock and awe approach of N.W.A. Shakur's catalog was built on a foundation of hard truths and upsetting the status quo.... Read more

How Prison Transformed Tupac But Could Not Save Him From Death Row

On Valentines Day 1995, Tupac Amaru Shakur was processed into general population at Clinton Correctional Facility. Approximately eight months later, Pac left the maximum security prison in Dannemora, New York. And nothing was the same. From his cell, Tupac counted his time. Unless he had visitors, Pac was in isolation... Read more

Tupac Shakur’s Early Poems Showed The Sensitive Side Of Thug Life (Video)

Celebrated the world over for his prophetic words on the mic, Tupac Shakur was not only a gifted lyricist but also an accomplished poet. Bridging "thug life" with "fine art," the controversial MC brought up amidst the worlds of political activism, theater, and dance was killed before reaching his full... Read more

Kanye West Or Shakespeare: Who Is More Relevant Right Now? (Video)

One made Hamlet, and one made "H•A•M." William Shakespeare and Kanye West may appear to be very different kinds of artists. However, both creators (one an author and playwright, the other an MC, producer, and designer) greatly shaped the popular culture of their times. Across centuries, mediums, and more, both... Read more

Tupac’s Spoken Words: Why His Interviews Are Even More Compelling Than His Music (Video)

"I want when they see me, they know that every day that I'm breathing, it's for Us to go farther. Every time I speak, I want the truth to come out. Every time I speak, I want a shiver. I don't want them to [predict] what I'm gonna say 'cause... Read more

Tupac Shakur’s Formative Years: The Young Man Before The Myth (Video)

"I loved my childhood, even though it was bad. I love it. I feel like it's taught me so much. Nothing can faze me. Nothing in this world can surprise me. It might set me back, but only momentarily can it set me back. I think it's helped me to... Read more

Bizzy Says He & Krayzie Are The Ones Capable Of Creating New Waves For Bone Thugs (Video)

One year ago, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony released "Coming Home." The reunion single came just days following the Cleveland Cavaliers' first NBA title crown. In the 52 years between championships across major sports in Cleveland, one of its other symbols of success with Bone Thugs. Winning Grammy's, dominating the charts, changing the... Read more

Brother Ali Details How Our Pleasures Are Used By Those In Power To Control Us

After a nearly five-year break, Brother Ali will release All The Beauty In This Whole Life this Friday (May 5). The Rhymesayers Entertainment mainstay has crafted an album that confronts so many issues in the modern universe. Ali Newman has a lot to say on what's happening with the world, and while... Read more

The Rumors Were Right. Kendrick Lamar DID Release 2 New Albums.

Merely hours after Kendrick Lamar released his masterful new album, DAMN., a rumor surfaced that set the internet ablaze. It is unclear who the original author was, but the theory was Kendrick actually had plans to release 2 albums that weekend. The details were wildly creative yet also stunningly detailed…all... Read more

噂が本当だった。ケンドリックは本当にアルバムを二枚リリースしたのだ。

ケンドリック・ラマーが極めて巧みな新アルバム「DAMN.」をリリースしたそのほんの数時間後、ネットではある噂が大炎上した。誰が言い出したかは不明だが、一説にはケンドリックは実は同週末にアルバムを二枚リリースする予定だった、というのだ。詳しい内容・根拠はワイルドに想像力に富んだものである一方、中には驚く程細かい描写もあった。普通だったら「こりゃガセネタだろう」と流したくなるような要素の勢揃い。 その主な要素とは次のとおり。「DAMN.」は聖金曜日 [Good Friday: 復活祭の前の金曜日。キリストの命日] にリリースされたもので、ケンドリックの死を象徴している。(ネット上の)空論家たちは、ケンドリックが次に「NATION.」というタイトルで「自分の復活」と意味で二枚目のアルバムを復活祭にリリースするのではないかと暗示し出した。タイトルを合わせると「DAMNATION」[天罰] となる。ケンドリックの音楽にはスピリチュアルな要素も含まれており、早くも「Section.80」というアルバムの時点ですでに「Kush & Corinthians」[クッシュとコリント人]のような曲があり、ジャケットには聖書が写っている。また、アルバムのリリースに向けて The New York Times とのインタビューの中でケンドリックはこう語る。 「俺たちは人生と呼ばれるあらゆるものごとから、ある一つの大きな要素を排除しがちな、そんな時代にいるんだ。つまり神だよ。今、世界で起きていることとの間に軋轢を生んでしまうから誰も言わないけど。政治や政府、体制について語ろうとするとさ」。 噂を裏付ける詳細も豊富だ。「DAMN.」のジャケット裏は、全曲が最後まで大文字で書かれ、それを強調するかのように「.」で終わり、白い背景へと溢れるようなレイアウトになっている。噂によるとこれらは一つのアナグラム(つづり換え遊び)のつもりである。つづり換えると「Earth led 2 Death [地球は死を招いた]」や「Death 2 the leader [リーダーに死を]」などと、噂のコンセプトを強化するようなフレーズがいくつか成り立つとみられる。更にいうと、「DAMN.」のM字がちょうど悪魔の角とも捉えてもいいようにケンドリックの頭の上に位置しており、今度「NATION.」ではO字を天使の輪に見立てるのではないかという説だった。また「DAMN.」のカバーは赤だから、「NATION.」は青になるだろうと。そしてケンドリック本人も火に油を注ぐように「DAMN.」のリリース直後に、Spotifyのプロフィール写真を変え、赤だった背景が青になっていた。その後、「NATION.」の偽アートワークが出回り始めた。 二日間、世の中は息をひそめて「NATION.」のリリースを待った。期待が外れたと気付くと、噂の火が弱まりかけたが、数日後にアルバムのサイン会でケンドリックが口にしてしまった一言でまたすぐ様に大炎上した。 「俺の音楽、まだあるよ」 この言葉が大騒ぎを起こし、それを正すべくケンドリックは公式声明を発表せざるを得なくなった。「 KenFolk [ケンドリックファンの皆] へ。皆から、自分の音楽への、止まない期待と欲望に、感謝。しかしリリースはないよ。自分の活動は今後の俺たち TDE (Top Dawg Entertainment) の日程発表でわかるよ、でも」 KenFolk. ThankU 4 the desire of always anticipating new music of my own. None is... Read more