Archives

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

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

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

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

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

This 11-Year Old Raps Harder Than Most Grown Men (Video)

For decades, Hip-Hop has often overlooked the relationship between age and subject matters. A genre that often reflects poverty, crime, and innocence lost is a product of those experiences. The same rules used in other art forms may not apply. Nas recorded his verse for Main Source's "Live At The... 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

LG Is Planting The Seeds Of His Rap Career & Looking To Grow Even More (Video)

Hailing from New Orleans, Louisiana, LG's musical blood comes from both his family and the city in which he was born and raised. At the age of seven, he began to explore his natural talents, eventually dropping his debut mixtape Cinco in 2011. The title comes from his childhood stomping... Read more

Rare Video Reveals That B.D.P.’s Criminal Minded Was An Answer To Non-Believers

Thirty years ago this week (March 3, 1987), the direction and style of Hip-Hop forever changed thanks to Boogie Down Productions' debut album, Criminal Minded. With only "South Bronx" in wide circulation prior to the release of the B-Boy Records album, KRS-One and DJ Scott La Rock made a jaw-dropping... Read more

Sir Jinx Speaks About Keeping The Production On Ice Cube’s Death Certificate True To The Game

Present day Hip-Hop relies heavily on serial albums. From The Blueprint to Detox, there is momentum in many great artists' catalogs that keeps the listener engaged while threading a concept. Twenty five years ago this week, Ice Cube released Death Certificate. This platinum album followed 1990's AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted solo breakout,... Read more

Large Professor Broke More Than Atoms 25 Years Ago. He Broke New Ground.

By the early 1990s, Wild Pitch Records proved to be one of the most exciting labels in Hip-Hop. It was their logo at the center of the record that made key introductions for Gang Starr, Lord Finesse, and Flavor Unit lyricist Chill Rob G. Stu Fine’s label appeared to be... Read more

Masta Ace Premieres “Young Black Intelligent” & Champions The Art Of Storytelling (Audio)

This week (May 13), Masta Ace will release his fifth solo album, The Falling Season. Although the LP follows the conceptual storyline of 2012's DOOM-supported MA_DOOM: Son Of Yvonne, it also reportedly also stands in the cult-championed lineage of 2001's Disposable Arts and 2004's Long Hot Summer. Released on Ace's... 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

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

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

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

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

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

DJ EFN Elevates DJ Albums & David Banner Explains One Potent Verse (Interview)

After 20 years of his life devoted to Hip-Hop music and culture, Miami, Florida-based DJ EFN stepped to the front with Another Time. Self-released, the studio album included more than 30 years of MC greats, spanning all regions, styles, and skill-sets. Scarface, Blu, Royce Da 5'9", Killer Mike, MC Eiht,... Read more

Common’s Be Turns 10 Years Old Today. Is It The Definitive Comeback Album?

One decade ago today (May 24, 2005), Common released his sixth album, Be. Although Common was then already a Grammy Award-winning, gold-certified MC, he was in an odd place. Comm' Sense was 11 years removed from his brilliant grassroots Hip-Hop commentary sophomore, Resurrection. The Chicago, Illinois MC was also five... Read more

At 15 Years Old, Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP Still May Reign Supreme

The problem with an incredible work is often following it up. In Hip-Hop, for every Doggystyle, there's a Doggfather, for every Black Album, there's a Kingdom Come, and for every Stankonia, there's well,...wonder. Although he had been plugging away in Hip-Hop starting in the mid-1990s, Eminem skyrocketed to fame in... Read more

Once Again It’s On: Ice Cube’s AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted Rings True At 25

A quarter of a century ago today (May 16, 1990), Ice Cube released his solo debut. AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted signaled his post-N.W.A. career, and the acrimonious split left fans eager to hear Cube's perspective. However, what those supporters received was more dynamic than one man's tale of anger and revenge,... Read more

Mobb Deep’s Infamous 20 Years Later is Still 1 of Hip-Hop’s Grittiest Classics (Food For Thought)

In the late 1980s, artists like Just-Ice, ScHoolly D, the Geto Boys, N.W.A., Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, and Public Enemy started testing the power of their words, profane and dense alike. The human condition was explored, and Hip-Hop planted a flag in the ground that stated—to quote Ice... Read more

Eternal E: Remembering Eazy-E’s Massive Contributions 20 Years Later (Food For Thought)

Eazy-E, who was only 31 when he died 20 years ago today (March 26, 1995), was considered one (if not the) progenitor of West Coast Gangsta Rap. As a record label executive, he established a blueprint for future young, Black entrepreneurs. As a member of N.W.A., he helped lend a... Read more

2Pac’s Pivotal Classic Me Against The World Turns 20 Years Old (Food For Thought)

20 years ago today (March 14, 1995), Tupac Shakur's Me Against The World was released, and with it came the rapper's most introspective work of his career. Released during a time of exceptional turmoil for 2Pac, the album signaled a musical changing of the guards, post-Thug Life and pre-Death Row,... Read more

Here’s the Story of How Mello Music Group Defiantly Built a Haven for Real Hip-Hop (Interview)

For the better part of the last decade, as independent label mainstays have been closing up their doors, going on hiatus, or reconfiguring their audience, Mello Music Group has secured a foundation. The Tucson, Arizona-based label has cultivated new voices, redeveloped lyrical legends, and built an industry model rooted in... Read more

DJ Quik’s Safe + Sound Still Has Groundbreaking Funk 20 Years Later (Food For Thought)

Beginning his musical career on the mixtape circuit in Compton, California, DJ Quik has gone on to become the most expansive signee to Profile Records. In the 25 years since, he has spent time as an “R&B pretty boy,” the creator of a  Top 10 album, an independent distributor, and... Read more

Raise It Up: Grasping The Entire Greatness Of J Dilla In Retrospect (Food For Thought)

On the heels of the first expanded Dilla Weekend, it is difficult to ignore the growth in posthumous fame that James Yancey (a/k/a Jay Dee or J Dilla) has accrued since passing away on this date, nine years ago. Like Amadeus Mozart's and Vincent Van Gogh's before him, Dilla's legacy... Read more

15 Years After Big Pun’s Life, Producer Domingo Shares Vivid Memories Off The Books (Interview)

Fifteen years ago today (February 7, 2000), Christopher Rios tragically died from a heart attack, leaving behind his family, friends, and millions of fans. At the time, the Bronx, New York MC known as Big Pun had only released a lone album, 1998's Capital Punishment, but with that body of... Read more

Detroit Vs. Everybody: How One City Staged a Hip-Hop Takeover (Editorial)

Detroit, Michigan is historically, a fighter’s city. The sharp elbows of the Bad Boy-era Pistons, the unbreakable spirit of the autoworkers through the decline of the industry’s bountifulness, and the cold, harsh conditions of everyday life make for the Great Lakes State to be rugged, never smooth. In the context... Read more

A 30 Year Salute To The Cosby Show From A 30-Something (Food For Thought)

Thirty years ago this past weekend (September 20, 1984 to be exact), "The Cosby Show" premiered in NBC's Thursday night lineup. Followed by "Family Ties," "Cheers," "Night Court" and "Hill Street Blues," the show would join what would prove to be one of the most championed, and most enduring programs... Read more

The Notorious B.I.G’s Ready To Die 20 Years Later, The Best Of All Worlds (Food For Thought)

Twenty years ago today (September 13, 1994), The Notorious B.I.G and Bad Boy Records released Ready To Die, one (and many argue the best) of the two handfuls of incredible debut albums introduced in 1994. A long hot summer after Nas' Illmatic, with Wu-Tang Clan's Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)... Read more

18 Years Ago Today, Do Or Die Released Picture This. Belo Tells The Story & Reveals A Sequel (Food For Thought Interview)

Eighteen years ago today, on September 3, 1996, three fearless 20-year-olds from the Westside of Chicago, released a debut album that would forever assist in the establishing of the Midwest's presence among the already ingrained rap heavyweights of cities in the East, West, and South regions of the Country. In... Read more

Can You Feel It: Why 1984 Is Hip-Hop’s Watershed Moment (Food For Thought)

Last year, Hip-Hop turned 40 years old—as far as we know. In truth, part of the culture’s beauty comes from the fact that there is no genesis moment. From the ancient cave-side hieroglyphics to the late ‘60s tags of TAKI 183, graffiti existed as a fascinating balance of expression and... Read more

Do Remember: Super Lover Cee & Casanova Rud’s Girls, I Got ‘Em Locked (Video)

Super Lover Cee & Casanova Rud's "Girls, I Got 'Em Locked" was hardly what would constitute a hit by today's radio standards. However, like so many 12" plates of the 1980s, the 1988 Elektra Records single was known amongst inner-circles. With the New York City duo signed to a major... Read more

7 Years Ago Today, Blu & Exile Released Below The Heavens & Changed The Game. AFH Celebrates The Back-story & Impact With Exile (Food For Thought Interview)

Seven years ago today, the Hip-Hop faithful was formally introduced to an obscure assemblage of 15 tracks, constructed by an equally arcane Los Angeles rooted duo, Blu & Exile, that over the subsequent years from its unveiling, would prove to be one of the most compelling and dynamic collections of... Read more

Prince’s Purple Rain Remembered 30 Years Later (Food For Thought)

It has been 30 years ago this week (June 25 to be exact) that Prince released his magnum opus sixth album, Purple Rain. Twenty million copies sold later, the greatest selling soundtrack of all-time is both a time capsule, and—if we look at it in terms of substance, theme, and... Read more

Common Remembers Maya Angelou In This Touching Letter (Food For Thought)

In the wake of Maya Angelou's death last week, Common published a heartfelt reaction. Comm's words explain everything they need to, but Ambrosia For Heads felt this was something too heartfelt, important, and eloquent not to share: "Since I was 5 years old I have loved reading good writing. I... Read more

Rick Ross’ Mastermind Album is His Finest Yet. Some May Say Classic (Food For Thought)

Last night (February 11), Rick Ross hosted a Mastermind album release party at New World Stages in New York City and AFH was in the building. The event was a star-studded affair, with Ross and Meek Mill there from MMG, as well as DJ Khaled, Fabolous, Busta Rhymes, Mack Wilds,... Read more

Macklemore & Kendrick Lamar: How Hip-Hop (Not The Grammy’s) Turned Sunday Into a Fail (Food For Thought)

The day after the Grammy Awards, the conversation about Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ win for Best Rap Album over Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d. city (G.K.M.C) grew from a buzz to a roar. Social media platforms and the web, generally, were on fire. The frenzy was fueled in part by... Read more

Wale Writes A Letter Explaining Why He’s Not Using Twitter Much, Addresses Listener Criticism

Ms. Lauryn Hill and Lil Wayne are not the only artists writing open letters. From his EveryBlueMoon site, Wale has broken a silence on why the once deeply-active, sometimes-controversial Twitter user has shied away from the social media platform. The Maybach Music Group MC's Twitter account shows that he largely... Read more

Today It All Makes Sense: A Retrospective on the Chicago Hip-Hop Sound (Food For Thought)

Published by: Bandini “This the city of Chicago, the state of confusion The style I'm using is free or at least it would be if my mind was…” – Malik Yusef, “My City” (One Day It’ll All Make Sense) Since the 1990s, Common Sense has always been among my favorite... Read more

Jay Z’s Brand Is Suffering Because People Don’t Trust Him Anymore. Here’s Why (Food For Thought)

Business Insider has done a piece on Jay Z's year as a business, man. According to a survey of millennials done by a branding expert, Hov's brand took some major hits this year, particularly due to the Samsung deal. In fact, the deal was the 2nd least popular of the... Read more

The “Ultimate” Exit That Was Jay Z’s Black Album (Food For Thought)

Hip-Hop celebrates a grand entrance. Since the days of receiving Bad Boy Records promo-packs of The Notorious B.I.G. & Craig Mack in a McDonald’s "Big Mac" container, the dog-and-pony show known as the music industry has embraced the infinite possibilities of the new over the challenges of re-purposing the old.... Read more

NahRight’s 10 Classic Biggie Smalls Mixtape Cuts

To celebrate the 19th anniversary of the release of The Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready to Die album yesterday, NahRight put together a phenomenal piece on 10 Classic Biggie Smalls Mixtape Cuts. Here's what NahRight had to say about their entry #6: 6. “Freestyle” (off Puff Daddy and DJ S&S’s Bad Boy... Read more

Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, M.A.A.D. city Album Crosses the 1 Million Sold Mark (Food for Thought)

Salute to Kendrick Lamar. His good kid, M.A.A.D. city album has officially sold more than 1 million copies this week, according to SoundScan. There was a lot of conversation about the album being a classic when it was released. Now that it's been nearly a year since it debuted, would... Read more

Young-Ye: How Jay-Z and Kanye West Made the World Watch the Throne (Again) and Saved Hip-Hop in the Process (Food for Thought)

For the better part of the last 2 weeks, I was convinced the sibling-like rivalry between Jay-Z and Kanye West had reached epic (and perhaps unseemly) proportions. How else could you explain the 2 dropping albums within 3 weeks of one another with Jay-Z seemingly stepping on little brother Kanye’s... Read more

5 Things I Like About Kanye West’s Yeezus Album (and none of them are the music)

Happy 1st Father's Day to Kanye West. By now, you may have heard his new Yeezus album. I can't say I like most of the music (though I'm In It, Guilt Trip and Bound 2 are intoxicating), and I probably never will. That said, here are 5 things I like... Read more

Method Man Interview with Montreality (Video)

Method Man is the latest to get the Montreality treatment in an interview. Tical discusses what type of student he was in school, what he spent his first big check on, his favorite cartoon character, the likelihood of another Wu album, what he learned from working with Biggie and Tupac... Read more

Complex’s 50 Best Guest Verses of All Time

Here's another conversation starter from Complex. They've put together their list of the 50 Best Guest Verses of All Time. You certainly won't agree with all of the picks and they're definitely not the order, but the top 5 is STRONG. See what they wrote about Ghostface Killah's verse on... Read more