Food for Thought

Kanye West Explains Why He Blew Up On Sway & Just How Deep The Question “HOW SWAY??” Was

Throughout the last dozen years, Kanye West lyrics have dealt a lot with wealth and finances. On The Life Of Pablo, "No More Parties In L.A." is a series of verses: "A 38-year-old eight-year-old with rich nigga problems / Tell my wife that I hate the Rolls so I don't... Read more

Fugees Producer Salaam Remi Explains How They Went From Underground MCs To Global Superstars

Twenty years ago, The Fugees released The Score. The February 13, 1996 album transformed the trio of Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean, and Pras from New Jersey Underground Hip-Hop hopefuls to cultural icons. The RuffHouse/Sony Records album would go six-times platinum in the United States alone, and eventually pivot to everything... Read more

Why Tupac’s “All Eyez On Me” Remains The First & Last Flawed Classic Album

Twenty years ago today (February 13, 1996), Tupac Shakur released what many would come to consider his magnum opus in All Eyez On Me. A Death Row Records double-album, the lone project 'Pac released at the label before his death is a sprawling ensemble of a man on a vendetta.... Read more

Black Thought Reveals What Artists Used To Do To Get J Dilla’s Best Beats (Video)

Between 1999 and 2006, The Roots would work with J Dilla (f/k/a Jay Dee) a number of times. Then label-mates at MCA Records, Dilla produced elements of the Grammy-nominated platinum Things Fall Apart album. While "Dynamite!" would make the LP, "New Year's @ Jay Dee's" would be a hidden jewel... Read more

A.G. Reveals All-Star Lineup For Next Solo LP & Discusses D.I.T.C. Reunion (Video Interview)

A.G. was one of the performers on hand at this past weekend's second annual J Dilla Weekend in Miami, Florida. Like fellow performers T3 (Slum Village), Black Thought, Royce Da 5'9, Diamond D, and honoree Pete Rock, Andre The Giant worked with Dilla before the producer/MC's February 10, 2006 death.... Read more

Kendrick Lamar Details The Origins Of “To Pimp A Butterfly” & Why Prince Missed The Cut

In preparation for the 58th Grammy Awards, the Recording Academy's website published an oral history of this year's most nominated album. Kendrick Lamar's sophomore major label effort, To Pimp A Butterfly carries 11 nominations at the February 15 ceremony in Los Angeles, California. Hip-Hop journalist Andreas Hale spoke to K-Dot,... Read more

A-F-R-O Describes Achieving “Hip-Hop Dreamland” While Still A Teenager (Video Interview)

A-F-R-O was among the performers at this past weekend's second annual J Dilla Weekend in Miami, Florida. The 18 year-old Bellflower, California representative has gotten critical cosigns from DJ Premier, GZA, Jean Grae, and others, as well as being mentored by his personal favorite MC, R.A. The Rugged Man. Speaking... Read more

Rapsody Reacts To Grammy Nomination & Confirms Guest On Next Album (Video Interview)

Last night, Rapsody and 9th Wonder performed at the second annual J Dilla Weekend in Miami, Florida. During Rap's set, her friend and collaborator Jay Electronica took the stage to publicly crown her "the best female lyricist since Lauryn Hill," and bestow her with his chain. Moments later, the Jamla... Read more

9th Wonder Explains How J Dilla Changed The Sound of Hip-Hop and Fathered “Neo Soul” In The Process (Interview)

After the ascendance of greats like DJ Premier, Pete Rock and Q-Tip in the 90s. There was a new wave of producers that would come to prominence in the 2000s who would carry the torch for Hip-Hop and take it in new directions. This new generation of beatmakers included the... Read more

Royce Da 5’9 Answers Fan Questions & Reflects on His Idol J Dilla (Video Interview)

On Sunday, January 31, Ambrosia for Heads hosted a live-streaming conversation with Royce Da 5'9, the celebrated Detroit MC whose work as a solo artist, a member of Slaughterhouse, and a member of PRhyme makes him one of the busiest and most in-demand performers in the game. With a headlining... Read more

Pharoahe Monch Speaks About His New Album, J Dilla & 25 Years of Organized Konfusion (Interview)

Pharoahe Monch is - without an iota of doubt - one of music's most indelibly unique voices. Sonically and technically there is no other like him, and yet his influence lives within countless MCs who've come after him. As a solo artist he continues to excite fans with his boomerang... Read more

Spotlight: Tim Gent Aims To Put Clarksville, Tennessee On The Lyrical Rap Map

Today (January 25), Clarksville, Tennessee MC Tim Gent is releasing his latest project. For The Love is a free effort by the impressive sensation, who balances precise lyricism with the trends of today. Already with individual videos reaching beyond 30,000 plays, the 22 year-old not only shows promise for putting... Read more

DJ Premier Tells The Story Of This Photo With D’Angelo, Alchemist & J. Dilla, In His Words

DJ Premier tells Ambrosia For Heads the story about the night he, D'Angelo, Alchemist and J. Dilla gathered in the studio and took what would become an iconic photo. These are his words about the photo, that night, and the other supremely talented men with whom he posed: "Gang Starr... Read more

Hip-Hop Man Of The Year 2015: How Kendrick Lamar Proved That He Truly Is “Chosen” (Editorial)

In large part, 2015 was a difficult year to make sense of. Around the world, there were major acts of violence, hatred, and reminders that injustice and systematic prejudice lurk in every corner. Approaching an election year, the discourse in the United States often felt polarized, with across-the-aisle messages vitriolic.... Read more

Ambrosia For Heads Present…Our Picks For The 15 Best Hip-Hop Albums Of 2015

2015 watched a lot change in the music industry. Streaming culture kept Heads on the edge of their seats, as Hip-Hop superstars "pushed the button" on a whim. Reclusive legends released new product, while patient veterans made massive breakthroughs. No matter large or small, burgeoning or veteran, all artists seemed... Read more

Hip-Hop’s Shining Moments of 2015: The Big, The Small, & The Revolutionary

Each and every year, there is no shortage of moments in time which crystallize the development of Hip-Hop's growth, and 2015 is no different. Over the course of the previous 12 months, the culture played larger-than-life roles in film, health, politics, television, and of course, music history. Here are just... Read more

G-Eazy Bared His Soul on His Latest Album, & He’s Got More to Say (Interview)

On December 4, Oakland, California MC G-Eazy released his sophomore album for RCA Records called When It's Dark Out, and with it he continued the chart-topping success he found with his 2014 major label debut, These Things Happen. The 26 year-old has already worked with giants like E-40, Big Sean,... Read more

15 Years Ago, Xzibit’s Restlessness Helped Make Him a Household Name (Editorial)

On December 12, 2000, Los Angeles, California-based MC Xzibit dropped his third album, one that arrived at a curious juncture in his musical and professional careers. Already considered a West Coast favorite thanks to the grassroots and Underground support of his sophomore effort 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz, the streets... Read more

How The Grammy Nomination of a Diss Song May Be Their Greatest Hip-Hop Misstep, Yet

This week began with the 2016 Grammy Award nominations. For Hip-Hop fans, this year's noms included 11 in the direction of Kendrick Lamar, thanks to his March, 2015 album To Pimp A Butterfly. Two years removed from controversial wins by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis in the 2014 "Best Rap Song,"... Read more

10 Years Ago Lil Wayne Released Tha Carter II & It Made Him A Hip-Hop Superstar

A decade ago, it could certainly have been argued that Lil Wayne had nowhere near the body of work to be considered one of the game's best lyricists. However, 10 years after releasing Tha Carter II, he helped Billboard break the Internet after taking the 10th slot on the publication's... Read more

25 Years Ago, Brand Nubian Propelled Us Forward by Looking Back (Editorial)

One need not look far to witness the enduring influence Brand Nubian has had on Hip-Hop. It's in today's fashion trends, in all of today's nods to the '90s, and it's most certainly in the music of today's up and comers. The New Rochelle, New York group's featured MCs, Grand... Read more

Sheek Louch Discusses Silverback Gorilla 2 & Talks Working With Biggie and DMX (Interview)

Whereas speaking to Jadakiss or Styles P is often a lower key experience, their LOX band-mate Sheek Louch is high-energy. The Yonkers, New York veteran MC did not equate himself to one of the most ferocious members of the animal kingdom by being docile. In the Tommy Boy Entertainment conference... Read more

15 Years After Releasing “Mama’s Gun,” Erykah Badu Remains As Cleva As Ever (Editorial)

At the time of its release, Erykah Badu's sophomore album was often labeled as the sister album to D'Angelo's Voodoo, which had dropped 10 months earlier. Released on November 21, 2000, Badu's Mama's Gun was intimate, soul-baring, and one of the leaders of the Neo-Soul movement that presented an alternative... Read more

Tech N9ne Evaluates Role Of Cyphers & Talks Next Solo Album (Interview)

Tech N9ne crams as many words and ideas into his energetic bars as he possibly can. It is this feat that has made him one of the most revered MCs of the last 15 years. He has become an independent deity, simultaneously skyrocketing in status, wealth, and respect, while much... Read more

20 Years Later, The Pharcyde’s “Labcabincalifornia” Is Far Greater Than The Credit It Received (Editorial)

20 years ago today (November 14, 1995), The Pharcyde released its second album, Labcabincalifornia. Coming a full three years after their Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde debut, the LP was highly anticipated, but for many, it didn't live up to the expectations put forth by the group's first release. Home... Read more

Anderson .Paak’s Music Excited Dr. Dre & DJ Premier. His Story Is One Of Paid Dues. (Interview)

Although he was born Brandon Anderson Paak, most people who are close to the Southern California artist know him best as Breezy. A nickname that has stuck throughout most of his life, this association eventually became .Paak's handle as an artist, and thus, giving birth to the first chapter in... Read more

Masta Ace Reflects On A Long Hot Summer & Offers This Re-Release Bonus Track (Premiere)

Tomorrow (November 10), Masta Ace's 2004 LP, A Long Hot Summer is being re-released on CD by Below System Records. Originally released on Ace's M3 imprint, the critically-acclaimed album followed up Disposable Arts with the Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York MC making another conceptual, story-driven LP. 9th Wonder, The Beatnuts, Edo.... Read more

Outkast’s Stankonia Showed Miss Jackson & The World They Were For Real

Year 2000 was forced to be big in Hip-Hop. As the whole world saw the changes that came with a new millennium, the culture used the newness of things to seemingly reset from the troubling actions, tones, and violent mistakes of the late 1990s. Hip-Hop as a whole seemed to... Read more

Vince Staples Clarifies “Golden-Era” Remarks. In Doing So, He Raises Some GREAT Questions (Audio)

Vince Staples appears in a Time magazine video that published online yesterday (October 27). In it, the Def Jam Records artist from Long Beach, California was asked to reflect on 1990s pop culture. While admitting that he has never heard an album of Justin Timberlake's work with N*SYNC or Mel... Read more

Are Paid Streaming Services Relevant In A YouTube, SoundCloud, DatPiff-Dominated Hip-Hop World?

Some of the biggest Hip-Hop albums of 2015 were released without much advanced notice. In August, Dr. Dre released Compton, his first studio album of the millennium, and the third in an illustrious lineage that includes The Chronic and 2001, just a couple weeks after it was announced. However, at... Read more

It’s October 21, 2015. What Is “Back To The Future” According To KRS-One?

In what has come to be known as "Back To The Future Day" (October 21, 2015), the fictional date portrayed as "the future" in the sequel to Robert Zemeckis' 1985 film has actually arrived. The Michael J. Fox blockbuster franchise is still a cultural touchstone more than 30 years since... Read more

Pimp C’s Diverse Musical Talents & Mental Health Struggles Remembered in His Definitive Biography (Interview)

This December marks eight years since Pimp C passed away. The man born Chad Butler built a career around making a well-seasoned gumbo with his far-reaching love of music. UGK, the Underground Kingz that Pimp C and Bun B established in the late 1980s, sprinkled Hip-Hop with elements of Blues,... Read more

15 Years Ago, Ludacris Disproved The Sophomore Slump With “Back For The First Time” (Editorial)

It was just under two weeks before Halloween in 2000 when Ludacris, an MC from Atlanta, Georgia whose independently released Incognegro a year earlier barely registered on the charts, dropped his second album. It's possible the spooky story of the dreaded "sophomore slump" circulated around the periphery of his consciousness;... Read more

20 Years Later, Dead Presidents’ Depiction About Life for War Veterans Still Resonates

20 years ago today (October 6, 1995) Dead Presidents was released in theaters and with it arrived one of the most powerful depictions of Black Veterans in the history of American cinema. Starring Terrence Howard, Larenz Tate, Chris Tucker, and Bookeem Woodbine among others, the film was directed by brothers... Read more

What Makes A Hip-Hop Album A Classic? (Editorial)

In all genres of music, the term "classic" prompts debate. Cultural conservatives argue it is used too freely, and often stamped on works of art prematurely. On the other hand, liberally-minded art patrons maintain that placing restrictions on calling an item classic misses the point entirely. Especially with so much... 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

Heartbreak Of Late: How Katrina, Taylor & A Tragic Loss Shaped Kanye West

In the last 15 years, has an artist used the medium of music videos as profoundly and as dynamically as Kanye West? At last night's (August 30) 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, Mr. West received the honorary Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, placing him in the company of not only... Read more

LL Cool J’s Album Mama Said Knock You Out Turns 25. Here’s How It Re-Defined His Career

"DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK!! I'VE BEEN HERE FOR YEARS!!!" Despite his protest in the opening lines of the title song to Mama Said Knock You Out, a triumphant return is exactly what that album was for LL Cool J when it was released 25 years ago on August 27,... Read more

Rare 25-Year Old N.W.A. Photos & Collectibles Resurface, Care of a Longterm Fan (Interview)

Only now, in 2015, is N.W.A. a group that can test the waters of the digital era. It's been nearly 25 years since the group existed, and more than that since it had its famous five member lineup including Ice Cube. In 1988, there were no blogs, no streams, no... Read more

Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise Is 20 Years Old Today. Take A Walk Back Through The Valley

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Coolio seemed to be living in the shadows. A product of Southern California, the MC born Artis Leon Ivey, Jr. made some of his first noise alongside WC, DJ Crazy Toones and the collective known as WC & The Maad Circle. As the... Read more

DJ Premier Details the Inside Story on Working With Dr. Dre & Names His Top 5 Producers (Interview)

DJ Premier and Dr. Dre are widely considered to be two of Hip-Hip's greatest producers of all-time. While the two have worked on the same projects occasionally over the last two decades, and maintained a friendship along the way, they had not had released a full collaboration, until now. The... Read more

15 Years Later, Common’s “The Light” Remains a Shining Example of Hip-Hop Love

On July 18, 2000, Common released "The Light," and with it came one of Hip-Hop's greatest love songs. Along with Black Star's 1998 track "Brown Skin Lady" and The Roots' breakout 1999 single "You Got Me," "The Light" represented a focus on mutual respect, vulnerability, and a soulful approach to... Read more

25 Years Ago Today, 2 Live Crew Made History, Bringing Out The Parental Advisory Sticker

On July 13, 1990, the first album to be adorned with a parental advisory sticker hit the shelves, ushering in a new era in the recording industry and re-igniting a heated discussion about censorship, freedom of speech, and morality. Banned in the U.S.A. was 2 Live Crew's fourth album, and... Read more

Legacy: Why Going Back Is Best For Puff Daddy & Bad Boy’s Future

Following last month's Bad Boy Records 20th anniversary set at the 2015 BET Awards, Puff Daddy announced that he is planning a tour with some of the artists he shared the stage with. Only mentioning Lil' Kim by name (who, many know, was never an official Bad Boy Records artist), the... Read more

Skyzoo Discusses His New Album and the Changing Landscape of Brooklyn (Interview)

2015 is a monumental year for Skyzoo. While the journey extends back longer, it has been a decade since much of the Rap consciousness first heard the smooth cadence from the Brooklyn, New York MC. In that span, Sky' has released and appeared on handfuls of acclaimed and charting albums.... Read more

Eric B. & Rakim’s Let The Rhythm Hit ‘Em Turns 25 Years Old & Hits Just As Hard

June 19 marked the 25th anniversary for Eric B. & Rakim's third album, Let The Rhythm Hit 'Em. Perhaps forever in the shadows of Paid In Full, and to a much lesser extent, Follow The Leader, L.T.R.H.E. is a black sheep within a truly classic catalog from the iconic pair.... Read more

David Banner & 9th Wonder Planning Death Of A Pop Star 2 (Interview)

Recently, Ambrosia For Heads spoke with David Banner. The Jackson, Mississippi native MC/producer/actor spoke about DJ EFN's Another Time album, particularly his "Warrior" verse. However, while speaking with AFH, the veteran Crooked Lettaz alum spoke about one of his most beloved works, 2010's Death Of A Pop Star LP, a... Read more

Did Hollywood Forget N.W.A. Had 5 Members? Here’s Some Love for MC Ren & DJ Yella.

This week has been a roller-coaster for fans of "Rap's Most Dangerous Group": N.W.A. On Monday (June 8), it was revealed that Ice Cube will reunite on stage with DJ Yella for the first time since 1989. MC Ren will be there too as part of Los Angeles, California's BET... Read more

Shad Remains One Of Hip-Hop’s Best Kept Secrets, 10 Years Deep

Ten years ago today (June 10), Shadrach Kabango, more widely known as Shad, had a box delivered to his parent’s house in London, Ontario, Canada. As he recalled today via Facebook, the box contained the first CD pressings of his debut album, When This Is Over, which he would take... Read more

Lost Ones: How A Flood Destroyed Inspectah Deck’s RZA-Produced Solo Debut (Video)

Listen to Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Like, really listen hard. Then, listen to Wu-Tang Forever. All of it, both discs. Revisiting those 1990s Rap gems should not come as a menial task to many. However, the contents of those two Loud Records releases are rich soil for debate. Often... Read more