Throwback

Happy Birthday To Big Daddy Kane. Ever Hear His “Raw” Remix With Kool G Rap?

Today (September 10) marks Big Daddy Kane's birthday. Commanding audiences far and wide since he was a teenager, the now 51-year-old living legend continues to be among the culture's best performers. From collaborations with Ghostface Killah and Joell Ortiz, as well as new freestyles, King Asiatic continues to add to... Read more

GZA Opens Up About Writing Some Of ODB’s Classic Verses

Over the last decade, GZA has been one of the most reserved members of Wu-Tang Clan. The legendary Brooklyn, New York lyricist participated in this year's Sacha Jenkins-directed documentary, Wu-Tang: Of Mics And Men. He will also be portrayed in next week's dramatic series, Wu-Tang: An American Saga. However, The... Read more

Ever Hear Kurupt’s Debut? He Rapped With The S.O.S. Band Before The Chronic (Audio)

The S.O.S. Band bridged the gap between Disco and Electro Funk. Formed a few years earlier, the Atlanta, Georgia outfit made a splash with their debut 1980 single "Take Your Time (Do It Right)." The breakthrough hit for Clarence Avant's burgeoning Tabu Records topped the R&B and Dance charts on... Read more

O.C. Releases 3+ Hours Of ’90s Rarities, Demos & Freestyles. Dig In. (Audio)

For more than 25 years, O.C. has been a vicious MC. From JAY-Z to Big L, Pharoahe Monch to Murs, rappers across the Hip-Hop landscape have been eager to work with the Diggin' In The Crates member. O' has fed the masses, from the acclaimed Word...Life and Jewelz one-two punch,... Read more

Here’s The Story Behind The All-Star Cypher That Ended The Arsenio Hall Show

Twenty-five years ago this month, The Arsenio Hall Show dimmed the lights on a massive television platform, especially for Hip-Hop. Since early 1989, the actor/comedian/host planted his flag with a new kind of late-night talk-show with a penchant for the issues, people, and culture that inspired him. From M.C. Hammer... Read more

DJ Quik Recalls Making Tupac’s All Eyez On Me & The Advice Dr. Dre Gave Him (Video)

DJ Quik and Hi-C recently appeared on Los Angeles, California's KDAY radio station. The Compton, California natives who have a long collaborative history spoke to host Romeo about the shows they have been doing together in the Midwest. Quik also praised the upcoming Suga Free album that he worked on.... Read more

De La Soul Recall The Origins Of The Native Tongues & The MC Who Started It (Video)

Earlier this month, De La Soul's episode of Drink Champs featured an extensive and newsworthy preview. N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN released the part of the discussion where Posdnuos, Dave, and Maseo addressed their ongoing, and sometimes public negotiations with Tommy Boy Music surrounding the digital revenue and rights to the... Read more

Just Blaze Says He’s Given M.O.P. All The Beats Intended For Their Roc-A-Fella Album

Just Blaze is the latest guest on Let The Record Show. The highly-respected producer tells hosts Mike Pizzo and Warren Peace about the personal significance of songs by Main Source, Nas, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Genesis, and others, as they play on a turntable. At the end of... Read more

DJ Quik Says Suge Knight Had Diddy’s Child’s Mother In His Room After The Source Awards

On August 3, 1995, that year's Source Awards took place at Madison Square Gardens' Paramount Theater. The event is seismic in Rap music history, as it marks the shots heard 'round, disses from the podium at the magazine's event. In the aftermath of the situation, for those in attendance and... Read more

Ever See JAY-Z, Busta Rhymes, Biz Markie & Jaz-O Freestyle On The Same Stage? (Video)

In 1993, the Mario Van Peebles film Posse hit theaters. At its release party, some of Brooklyn's finest showed up, along with Biz Markie. One of the film's stars, Big Daddy Kane, hosted the New York City event. He appeared in the Western alongside Van Peebles, Stephen Baldwin, Tone-Loc, Tiny... Read more

Early Hip-Hop Records Sampled James Brown. His 1st Funk Record Sampled Miles Davis.

If the debate for the King of R&B is up for grabs, followers of the late great James Brown can rest easy, as his position among the greatest to ever do it, is secure as a Master padlock. Known indelibly as the “Godfather of Soul Music,” Brown’s career covered successive... Read more

LL Cool J, DMX, Redman & Method Man Explain The Real Definition Of A Freestyle

Twenty-one years ago this month, LL Cool J released his "4, 3, 2, 1" single. Not unlike "I Shot Ya" two years prior, one of the most respected figures in Rap recruited a team of ferocious MCs to share the mic. In addition to Canibus, whose early career appearance and... Read more

Travel Back To The Early ’90s & Hear Casual Paint Hieroglyphics With Words On His Demo

A few years before there Mistah F.A.B. burst onto the scene, it was Casual who turned a Bay Area reputation for battling into a successful music career that has lasted ever since. "Smash Rockwell" continues to put in work with his Hieroglyphics crew, as Fear Itself approaches its 25th anniversary.... Read more

Hear The Original Version Of California Love & It’s Nuthin’ But A Dre Thang

UPDATE: The same version through an alternate upload has been added. ORIGINAL STORY: When Tupac Shakur got out of prison in late 1995, he boarded a private jet and went straight to Death Row Records' Can-Am Studios in Tarzana, California. After pausing for dinner at Monty's Steakhouse with his new... Read more

This 2003 Conversation With MF DOOM Is The Interview Of His Career

In addition to phenomenal lyricism and one-of-a-kind production, one of DOOM's charms is his mystery. Perhaps as an extension of the metal-faced mask that he has worn for nearly 20 years, the man born Daniel Dumile rarely grants interviews. While verified accounts may exist, DOOM's one great artist of the... Read more

This Mix Of 13 De La Soul Videos Is The Plug For 1 Of Hip-Hop’s Greatest Groups

2018 marks the 30th-anniversary of De La Soul dropping their debut single “Plug Tunin,” as well as the 25 year anniversary of their third album Buhloone Mindstate. Before the year ends, the celebration of one of Hip-Hop's most groundbreaking groups is not quite over. Tommy Boy Records (De La's record... Read more

Ad-Rock Opens Up About The Beastie Boys’ Bitter Split From Def Jam

Last month Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz and Michael "Mike D" Diamond published The Beastie Boys Book. The memoir of the band chronicles 35 years of music-making, friendship, and being part of multiple cultural melting pots in Downtown New York City, Los Angeles, and places and spaces in between. A highlight in... Read more

Spice 1 Believes This Is The Last Song Tupac Recorded (Video)

In the 12 years since Tupac Shakur was murdered in September 1996, the rapper's discography has grown to include a slew of posthumous releases and compilations. Beginning with The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory, the string of projects released after his death have made him one of the most... Read more

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

LL Cool J Remembers Knocking Out MC Hammer With A Diss & Explains Why (Video)

On his "I Shot Ya (Remix)" LL Cool J reminded music fans that his victories included wins against Kool Moe Dee, Ice-T, and M.C. Hammer. Five years prior, on LL Cool J's fourth album, Mama Said Knock You Out, he seemingly left the ring victorious with a TKO title track aimed... Read more

MC Serch Says He Was Once Asked To Write Lyrics For Rakim (Video)

3rd Bass released two gold albums between 1989 and 1991. Twenty-nine years ago this month, Def Jam Records released The Cactus Album, a full-length debut from the New York City collective of MC Serch, Prime Minister Pete Nice, and DJ Richie Rich (aka DJ Daddy Rich). The first single from that... Read more

Bobby Brown Reveals The Real Reason Mike Tyson Lost To Buster Douglas

On February 11, 1990 Mike Tyson fought Buster Douglas at The Tokyo Dome. In 10 rounds, the fight would go down in history as one of boxing's biggest upsets. The undefeated, undisputed heavyweight champion lost to Douglas, an underdog with four losses and a draw to his name at the... Read more

The Story Of How ODB Recorded His Verse For Mariah Carey’s Remix Is Fantastic

In 1995 Mariah Carey scored her ninth #1 single with "Fantasy." From her fifth album, Daydream, the song offered a nod to Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, by sampling The Tom Tom Club's "Genius Of Love," a staple from New York City's Downtown scene a dozen or so years... Read more

DJ Premier Reveals He’s The Person Who Sequenced Nas’ Illmatic Album (Audio)

DJ Premier has an extensive background in Hip-Hop music and production. This week the legendary Gang Starr member (deemed "The Greatest Hip-Hop Producer Of All-Time" by Ambrosia For Heads readers) native casually dropped another line to add to his already lengthy resume. On the latest episode of crooner Anderson .Paak's .Paak... Read more

Q-Tip Explains How His Renaissance Birthed A New Movement In Hip-Hop

November 4, 2008 was a day laced in change. Marking the Presidential election that led Barack Obama to Office, American politics and culture was in the midst of a transformation. Hip-Hop artists became increasingly vocal in the conversation of change in America. In addition to US politics, Rap music seemed... Read more

KRS-One Recalls How Battling On Scott La Rock’s Behalf Led To The Formation Of BDP

Boogie Down Productions is a Hip-Hop outfit that is revered for its combative nature. The collective launched by KRS-One and DJ Scott La Rock would challenge Rap peers including MC Shan, Marley Marl, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Roxanne Shanté, and others throughout its late 1980s run. However, according to Blastmaster KRS-One,... Read more

The Beastie Boys Explain Why They Were Nearly Done After Licensed To Ill

The Beastie Boys are a Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inducted group recognized for fusing Hip-Hop, Punk Rock, and Electronic music. Between the early 1980s and the early 2010s, the trio of Adam "MCA" Yauch, Michael "Mike D" Diamond, and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz released eight studio albums. Exactly half... 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jimmy Iovine Reveals He Was Behind Suge Knight Bailing Tupac Out Of Jail

In October of 1995, Tupac Shakur signed with Death Row Records. Reportedly inking his deal on a napkin, Pac joined Dr. Dre and Suge Knight's reigning and equally notorious record label. In that transaction, Shakur was able to post bail and leave Clinton Correctional Facility. In a matter of days,... Read more

Nas Performs “Hate Me Now” With A Brass Band & It’s All Love (Video)

Rakim, Prodigy, Queen Latifah, Talib Kweli, and Joey Bada$$ are just a few of the big names in Rap music who have shared the stage with the Soul Rebels, an award-winning brass band enjoying the biggest success of its 20+ year career thanks to worldwide tours and appearances on some... Read more

MC Eiht Explains How He & DJ Quik Recorded Their Historic Collaborations (Audio)

In April, DJ Quik and Problem released the full-length edition of their Rosecrans album, building on their EP of the same title (dropped a year prior). Notably, the 12 track Compton-made LP featured an unexpected guest: MC Eiht. Decades ago, what began as a Rap beef between Quik and Eiht reportedly inspired... Read more

How Laurence Fishburne & Spike Lee Are Tied To Grandmaster Flash’s “White Lines” Video

Writer and director Ernest Dickerson, perhaps best known for his 1992 directorial debut Juice, worked extensively with Spike Lee in the 1980s and ’90s as his cinematographer. Together, they created a myriad of important films like She’s Gotta Have It, Do The Right Thing and Malcolm X. Sitting down with... Read more

Chuck D Tells Kool Moe Dee That Spike Lee Did For Public Enemy What Radio Wouldn’t (Video)

Kool Moe Dee is one of the first Hip-Hop solo stars. As Public Enemy's Chuck D points out, Kool Moe Dee went from one third of the Treacherous 3 MCs to a Jive Records soloist, complete with hits, battle beefs, and a career that went from the 1970s into the... Read more