Throwback

Teddy Riley Details Losing His Fortune & Moving Back To The Projects (Video)

In addition to his crucial role in Guy and Blackstreet, Teddy Riley may be best known for pioneering the "New Jack Swing" sound (a term coined by journalist/screenwriter Barry Michael Cooper). The 51-year-old Riley is a product of Harlem's St. Nicholas housing projects, a backdrop for the new-jack slang and... Read more

Ultramagnetic MCs’ Ced-Gee Reveals He Produced Most Of BDP’s Criminal Minded (Video)

There is a bevy of pivotal and highly influential Hip-Hop albums celebrating landmark anniversaries this year. Ambrosia For Heads has recently published articles about the 20 year anniversaries of both Black Star’s self-titled debut and OutKast’s Aquemini. The 25th anniversary of Wu-Tang Clan’s initial offering, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)... Read more

RZA Discusses Losing Hundreds Of Wu-Tang Clan Beats & 2 Albums In Floods

Wu-Tang Clan is celebrating the 25th-anniversary of its legendary debut next month. Enter The Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers set the stage for dozens upon dozens of releases to follow, from the nine founding members and more. Just last Friday, Ghostface Killah dropped The Lost Tapes. Method Man's Meth Lab II is... Read more

Sir Jinx Reveals That His & Ice Cube’s First Song Plays In Michael Jackson’s “Bad” Video

N.W.A. was not Ice Cube's first Rap group. Years before O'Shea Jackson helped lead an independent Gangsta Rap charge in music, he and longtime producer/DJ Sir Jinx were already major label acts. Although Cube, Jinx, and K-Dee had C.I.A. (Criminals In Action) during the mid-1980s (a trio that worked with... Read more

Comedian AJ Johnson Explains How Spoofing Eazy-E Caused A Serious Problem (Video)

Actor Anthony "A.J." Johnson has had memorable roles in films such as Friday, House Party, and Master P's I Got The Hook Up, among others. From Compton, California, the comedian who had appeared in the first and third House Party film was used in the early 1990s beef between Dr.... Read more

20 Years Ago Black Star Released A Gold Standard For Hip-Hop (Audio)

Twenty years ago today (September 29, 1998), Mos Def and Talib Kweli joined forces and waved the Black Star flag courtesy of an incredible album. Time-tested, that same flag is forever planted in ears, hearts, and consciousness of so many Hip-Hop Heads. After two decades, Mos Def & Talib Kweli... Read more

Brother Ali Is Celebrating 15 Years Of “Shadows On The Sun” With A Tour

The year 2003 was a decent one in the Hip-Hop world. JAY-Z released one of his biggest projects, The Black Album; 50 Cent catapulted onto the scene with Get Rich or Die Trying; and ATL’s finest, Outkast, dropped their conceptual double-disc, Speakerboxsx/The Love Below. But while those projects glided along... Read more

A Video Shows Mobb Deep’s Lethal Sampling For “Murda Muzik,” On Its 19th Birthday

Mobb Deep's fourth album, Murda Muzik, remains their best-selling album to date. It began the duo's transition from New York street poets into a pair capable of making records that played on the radio, video shows, and the clubs at once. Havoc didn't forfeit his gift for sampling in the... Read more

Ski Beatz Admits To Throwing Away An Entire Pre-Reasonable Doubt JAY-Z Album & Big L Music

Hip-Hop lore often provides Heads with stories of triumph, classic moments, and past situations that, at the time, those involved didn't know how legendary they'd be. Sometimes though, disheartening news will emerge when the greats do recall their musical past. RZA's studio was flooded multiple times, which caused the creation... Read more

The Producer Of Ether Attempted To Offer The Beat To JAY-Z Before Nas (Video)

The term "ether" is forever implanted in the Hip-Hop lexicon and beyond. Heads can thank Nas for that one. The song is the title from Nasir's 2001 campaign against JAY-Z, in response to JAY-Z's "The Takeover." Two of the most respected MCs in Hip-Hop became entrenched in one of Rap's... Read more

John Singleton Reveals He Wanted N.W.A. To Star In Boyz N The Hood

Thirty years ago today, on August 8, 1988, the N.W.A. released its proper debut album, Straight Outta Compton. Bursting onto the scene with rawness and aggression fueled by the Reagan-era Compton climate and lifestyle, Ni**az Wit' Attitudes presented an LP that would shape the sound and narrative in Rap for... Read more

Pete Rock Says Biggie Wanted The Main Ingredient Interlude Beats For His Album (Audio)

UPDATE: Pete Rock clarified today's earlier report regarding his Touré Show interview. The legendary producer, MC, and DJ points out that it is 1994's Main Ingredient, and not Mecca & Soul Brother, whose interlude beats Biggie Smalls wanted: it was main ingredient not mecca ????????‍♂️ — PETEROCK.COM (@PeteRock) August 9,... Read more

J. Prince Reveals The Original Plan For Scarface & Tupac’s “Smile” (Video)

J. Prince has shunned the spotlight for much of Rap-A-Lot Records' 32 years of business. The label's founder, the man born James Smith, has gone public in a very big way this year. The Houston, Texas native published his memoir The Art And Science Of Respect. Right as the text... Read more

The Real Hangover: Ed Lover Tells The Story Of His Wild Night Out With Mike Tyson (Video)

Ed Lover is best known as one of the hosts of Yo! MTV Raps in the late-1980s and early-1990s. However, the Queens, New Yorker has worn many hats over the years including rapper, actor, radio personality, and even dance innovator. His prominent positions in TV and radio have allowed him... 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

Too Short Explains How Tupac Almost Kept Pimp C From Working With JAY-Z (Video)

With 2000's guest spot on JAY-Z's Top 20 hit "Big Pimpin'," UGK scored their most visible collaboration to date. Produced by Timbaland, it appeared on Jigga's triple-platinum Vol. 3... Life and Times of S. Carter and is easily one of the rapper's biggest commercial successes. At the time, Underground Kingz Bun B... Read more

Prince Paul Explains Why He’s Bothered By 1 Important Gravediggaz Credit (Video)

Prince Paul was a founding member of The Gravediggaz. At a time when he was still very active in producing De La Soul records, the Long Island, New Yorker assembled a quartet with Stetsasonic band-mate Frukwan (aka "The Gatekeeper"), as well as onetime Tommy Boy Records label-mate Poetic (aka "The... Read more

DJ Paul Gives The Secret History To UGK & OutKast’s “Int’l Players Anthem”(Video)

"Int'l Players Anthem (I Choose You)" is one of the biggest Hip-Hop collaborations of the 2000s, and contends as one of the greatest Rap mergers of all-time. Featuring OutKast, UGK's record and thematic video became a jet-pack for Bun B and Pimp C's long-awaited fifth (and eponymous) album to reach... Read more

Snoop Claims Biggie Tried To Have Him Shot & Explains How They Made Peace (Video)

While Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls had the most storied and ultimately tragic Rap beef in history, there were other moments that greatly defined a coastal conflict between the Death Row and Bad Boy labels. In 1995, there was a shooting in Red Hook, Brooklyn while Tha Dogg Pound and... Read more

Big Daddy Kane Details Recording This 1988 Mixtape Collabo With JAY-Z (Video)

Big Daddy Kane and DJ Mister Cee have been performing and recording together for more than 30 years. The two Brooklyn, New York natives appear together on Funkmaster Flex's I Got A Story To Tell series. For more than an hour, one of the greatest MCs of all time revisits... Read more

Westside Connection’s Biggest Hit Was Almost Jacked By Dr. Dre

A dozen years before Slaughterhouse formed, Westside Connection was one of Hip-Hop's super-groups. Following a run of acclaimed solo albums and hit movie success, Ice Cube merged with longtime associate WC and protege, Mack 10. The Connect-Gang formed, with The M.A.A.D. Circle's DJ Crazy Toones (Dub's brother) coming along behind... Read more

PMD Discusses Yo! MTV Raps’ Ed Lover Being One Of The Best Freestylers On The Planet (Audio)

From its inception in 1988 to its final episode in 1995, Yo! MTV Raps was a top springboard for Hip-Hop artists. It was an opportunity to showcase skills and unique styles on one of the largest platforms available to the genre. In an interview with HipHopDX, Parrish "PMD" Smith spoke... Read more

Slick Rick Revisits His Great Adventures 30 Years Later

This November, Slick Rick will celebrate the 30th anniversary of his debut album, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick. Its influence is immeasurable and inspired legends like Nas, The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, and more. And it's evident. Rick's witty wordplay and effortless flow on the album also made him stand... Read more

See Jada Pinkett Call Out Eazy-E For Misogyny In His Music The First Time They Met (Video)

In addition to a prominent acting career, Jada Pinkett Smith is renowned for her activism. Pinkett's calls to social justice have spanned decades. Now, Heads who may have missed it at the time are getting a look at how prophetic she was, even by the age of 20. Back in... Read more

A 1993 JAY-Z Battle Shows He Was Already Dope Beyond A Reasonable Doubt (Video)

Back in the early 1990s, before many MCs had coveted record deals, they got their profiles up and buzzes hot through battling. This is the position JAY-Z was in back in 1993, as he was still two years away from founding his independent label, Roc-A-Fella Records, and was only known... Read more

A New Video Shows The Music OutKast Had In The Caddy To Make A Classic Album

Yesterday (April 26) marked the 24th anniversary of OutKast's debut album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik. Looking back, the LP's influence stretches wide, especially for southern Hip-Hop. The Funk-laden, groovy tunes André 3000, Big Boi, and producers/musicians Organized Noize brought to the culture set the standard for everything that wasn't New York or West... Read more

Fat Joe Talks About The Time Big L Said He Was Going To Steal All Joe’s Fans (Video)

In 1997, Diggin' In The Crates was in strong stride. The New York City MC and producer collective saw albums by O.C., and Diamond D. Fat Joe was one of the members of the crew that was on the rise. The following year, Joe earned a gold plaque through third... Read more

Rakim Hilariously Details His High Stakes Slap-Boxing Match With LL Cool J (Video)

Being a legendary MC comes with a lot of praise, pressure, and stories. Rakim's faced or experienced a lot of all three, and when it comes to interviews over the years, "the God MC" has treated Heads to a lot of great tales. For example, one of those stories was... Read more

Tupac Hit Up Many More People Than Biggie In His Original Makaveli Liner Notes

Tupac was not alive for the release of his fifth solo album, The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. However, he was promoting and working on the LP at the time of his September 13, 1996 death. Fresh off the success of double-album, All Eyez On Me, Tupac wrote and... 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

25 Years Ago, ONYX Knew Just How To Make Heads Back Up & Slam (Video)

On Friday (March 30), ONYX's debut album Bacdafucup turned 25 years old. The LP is quintessential Big Apple "tough-guy Rap" and perhaps one of the more hardcore Hip Hop albums of all-time. Back in 1991, the group sent a demo of some of their earliest music to Jam Master Jay,... Read more

Coolio Explains Why His Tupac Collaboration Was Deliberately Erased (Video)

In the mid-1990s, two of the biggest stars in music were rappers, Coolio and Tupac Shakur. At the 38th Grammy Awards in February of 1996, the two men competed for "Best Rap Solo Performance." Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" took the trophy home, while Tupac's "Dear Mama" joined singles by Biggie, Dr.... Read more

Kurupt Recalls Snatching The “New York, New York” Beat Back From Biggie

In September of 1995, Tha Dogg Pound released the first single from their debut album, Dogg Food. "New York, New York" proved to be a controversial record, even if it is rooted in a 1983 Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five single. The '95 Death Row Records version arrived five... Read more

Amy Winehouse’s Found Demo Showcases How Much Soul She Had At 17 (Audio)

When Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning at the age of 27, the music community was shaken to its core after losing one of its boldest vocalists. Early in her short-lived career, the beehive-haired British singer's musical hybrid of R&B, Jazz, retro-Soul and Hip-Hop on her 2003 debut album Frank gained... 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

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

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’ Original Demo For “It Ain’t Hard To Tell” Left No Doubt He Would Prevail (Audio)

It's not uncommon for rappers to commence in their teens or even become famous in those years. Rakim was 19 when Paid In Full was released. LL Cool J was 17 when his debut arrived. Big Boi and André 3000 from OutKast were teens when they started, as was Joey... Read more

Kool G Rap Explains How Record Label Politics Made Him Lose Like The Ill Street Blues

Twenty-five years ago today, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo released their third album, Live & Let Die. Featuring singles "Ill Street Blues" and "On The Run," the Cold Chillin' Records release marked a shift for the Queens, New York MC and DJ team. The release would be the final... 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

This Mix Salutes 1987’s Def Jam Tour With LL Cool J, P.E., Eric B. & Rakim and Whodini

By 1987 Def Jam Records had solidified a foothold in the Hip-Hop music landscape. While labels like Sugar Hill, Enjoy, Jive, and Profile Records had released some truly incredible singles, Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin's three-year-old outfit was fast embracing the Rap album format. Moreover, they had a diverse roster—in... Read more

Rah Digga’s Lost Album Featuring J Dilla & No I.D. Production Has Been Released (Audio)

There were 10 long years between Rah Digga's celebrated 2000 debut Dirty Harriet and her follow-up collaboration with producer Nottz, Classic. In that time, Digga left her post as "the First Lady of Flipmode Squad" alongside Busta Rhymes and went fully independent, where she remains today. Rah Digga Rates Nicki... 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

Too Short vs. MC Hammer: 2 Of Oakland’s Finest Were Beefing Subliminally

In the year between September of 1990 and 1991, three Oakland, California Hip-Hop acts would have albums receive platinum certification. Digital Underground would be first, with Sex Packets. In January of the new year, Too Short secured a plaque with Short Dog's In The House. M.C. Hammer would follow two... 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

D’Angelo & DJ Premier Cooked Up This Remix Years Before They Made Devil’s Pie (Audio)

In 1998, D'Angelo cut up a slice of "Devil's Pie" with Gang Starr's DJ Premier. The metaphoric groove appeared in Belly (and its soundtrack), and also on the Virginia singer's sophomore LP, Voodoo. The beat that Canibus reportedly passed on became just the injection the man born Michael Archer hoped... Read more

O.C.’s “Jewelz” At 20: It May Be The True Diamond In His Discography

Following the assassinations of the Rap industry's biggest stars The Notorious B.I.G. in 1997 and Tupac Shakur one year prior, the genre was a powder keg that exploded. The remaining stars of Hip-Hop were trying to figure out how to clean up the mess. Some hardcore outfits like Wu-Tang Clan... Read more

Biz Markie Details How He Made The Mazda MPV A Hip-Hop Symbol

Biz Markie sat down with Questlove for the most recent episode of Questlove Supreme. There, the acclaimed MC/DJ/producer and super-collector had a lengthy and lighthearted conversation about his 35-year-career. Throwback: Classic Audio of Rakim and Biz Markie Rhyming in High School (Audio) Quest', a fellow collector, presses Biz about his... Read more

Redman, Erick Sermon & Keith Murray Freestyle To The Def Over “Who Shot Ya” (Audio)

1998 was arguably the strongest year of the East Coast's resurgence during the West Coast Gangsta Rap-dominated decade. Radio stations across the map, and music video channels BET and MTV, were putting a diverse mix of music from New York City representatives DMX, N.O.R.E., Nas, Big Pun, Cam'ron, Ma$e, Biggie... Read more

O.D.B. Was One Of The First To Co-Sign Kanye As An MC. The Receipt Proves It (Audio)

In 2002, during an era where mainstream Hip-Hop appeared heavily saturated with gangsterism and hustler narratives, a preppy, middle-class, pink Polo shirt-rockin’ producer from the Chicago suburbs shocked the Rap game by signing to Jay-Z’s Roc-A-Fella Records at its pinnacle. While renowned for his distinctive, soulful production, Kanye West had... Read more