Archives

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

Casanova & DJ Premier Make Haters Think Twice About What They Say (Video)

Casanova 2X is the type of hard-nosed East Coast MC that always seems to seek out the sounds of DJ Premier. The Brooklyn, New Yorker's mic style can be traced to artists such as M.O.P., The LOX, Bumpy Knuckles, Screwball, and Non-Phixion. The artist that Memphis Bleek ushered into Roc... Read more

With Black Sunday, Cypress Hill Brought The Influence Of Latinos In Hip-Hop To The Masses (Video)

In 1993, California was the epicenter of Hip-Hop. Artists such as Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre were the faces of West Coast Gangsta Rap boom, which was winning in the mainstream. Plus, Cali’s prominent street gang culture and urban lifestyle had an emerging presence in Hollywood... 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

Finding The GOAT Group: Geto Boys vs. N.W.A. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual competition series features Hip-Hop’s greatest collectives vying for the #1 spot. Sixty-two groups have been pre-selected by a panel of experts, and one slot will be reserved for a wild-card entry (which has been determined), including the possibility... Read more

In 2005, Beanie Sigel Teamed With Method Man & Heavy D For 1 Of His Realest Releases (Video)

During the early 2000s, Roc-A-Fella Records was one of the music industry's driving forces. Within the empire, JAY-Z was the boss, Kanye West was the creative, Cam'ron was the street-savvy comedian. Meanwhile, Beanie Sigel became the enforcer of the R-O-C. By Y2K, New York City-based Roc-A-Fella took a strong interest... Read more

Finding The GOAT Group: Boogie Down Productions vs. Ultramagnetic MC’s. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest collectives vying for the #1 spot. Sixty-two groups have been pre-selected by a panel of experts, and one slot will be reserved for a wild-card entry, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to... Read more

Finding The GOAT Group: N.W.A. vs. UGK. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest collectives vying for the #1 spot. Sixty-two groups have been pre-selected by a panel of experts, and one slot will be reserved for a wild-card entry, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to... Read more

Freddie Gibbs & Mozzy Update “Colors” For 2018 & It’s Even More Gangsta (Audio)

Thirty years ago, Ice-T released "Colors" as a companion to Dennis Hopper's film of the same name. Both the song (which climbed up the Top 100) and the movie starring Sean Penn and featuring early appearances by Don Cheadle, Damon Wayans, and Leon were timepieces of 1980s gang culture. Ice-T... Read more

Bumpy Knuckles & Snoop Are Proud To Be O.G.s & Share Their Wisdom (Audio)

With over 50 years in the Rap game combined, Snoop Dogg and Bumpy Knuckles (aka Freddie Foxxx) have immense credibility. They are two MCs who have navigated several eras of Hip-Hop's evolution. Each can spit hard rhymes that chin-check opponents and they both have reputations for offering righteousness. It all... Read more

GZA & Inspectah Deck’s Cold World Lyricism Still Causes Chills (Video)

Summer may be Hip-Hop's most treasured season. Cookouts, drop-tops, park jams, and "just hangin' out" have spawned plenty of beloved playlist hits. However, the winter section of the year has inspired some incredible Rap music in its own right. Bundled up bars about construction Timbs, 4x4 Landcruisers and Jeeps, skull... Read more

Murs & 9th Wonder’s 3:16 Album Set An Everlasting Trend In Hip-Hop (Video)

Collaboration albums between Hip-Hop artists across style, geography, and subject matter have become more commonplace than ever. Creators from aesthetically different sub-genres who have joined forces in the recent past include Madlib and Freddie Gibbs, Vince Staples and No I.D., and Killer Mike and El-P's 2010s formation of Run The... Read more

20 Years Later, Rhyme & Reason Remains Rap Music’s Ultimate Backstage Pass (Video)

During the late 1990s, Hip-Hop was a seismic force that garnered mainstream recognition as a billion-dollar industry. The culture had invalidated scores of critics who dismissed it as a fad during the previous two decades. Hip-Hop achieved this while rewriting the rules of the music business and redefining the American... 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

A Near 500-Song Mix Showcases The Magnificent History Of West Coast Hip-Hop (Audio)

West Coast Hip-Hop is incredible. So many of its pioneers are still making albums, doing shows, and adding to their legacy. As a tribute to the Left Coast immense contributions to Hip-Hop, Take It Personal Radio has compiled a four-part episode dedicated to gangsta and underground Rap classics from the... Read more

Large Professor Speaks On The Targets Of “Fakin’ The Funk” & Why He Attacked The Wack

It goes without saying that 1992 was a turning point year for Hip-Hop. The hardcore and underground Rap scenes from the East, West, Midwest, and South each boasted a myriad of artists with memorable singles and albums to define their respective region's sound. Simultaneously, this period was when Pop music... Read more

N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton Album Heads To The Library Of Congress

Approaching its 30th anniversary of release, N.W.A.'s album Straight Outta Compton continues to be rather suddenly treated as a classic album in the mainstream. The 1988 Ruthless Records LP by Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren, and DJ Yella has always been a grassroots success. However, the album that... Read more

AMG Breaks Down How DJ Quik, 2nd II None & Hi-C All Cliqued Up (Video)

In late 1980s and early 1990s, there were a number of Greater Los Angeles Hip-Hop collectives. From N.W.A. and Compton's Most Wanted to Low Profile/WC & Maad Circle and Rhyme Syndicate, many crews had famous names and songs attached to their movements. At the turn of the '90s, DJ Quik... Read more

ScHoolboy Q Thinks The Grammys Shade Gangsta Rap. He Details Next Album (Audio)

This weekend, the 59th Grammy Awards will take place. The Sunday affair promises an on-stage collaboration between Q-Tip and Anderson .Paak and a host of high-profile Hip-Hop stars in attendance at Los Angeles, California's Staples Center. Even though the arena is just a few miles away from where ScHoolboy Q... Read more

MC Eiht Reveals Why His Album With DJ Premier Is A Return To Quality Over Quantity (Video)

In the dozen years between 1994 and 2006, MC Eiht released more than 17 albums of new music. The Compton's Most Wanted front man focused on his solo career (while still doing collaborations with C.M.W., Spice 1, Brotha Lynch Hung and others) and did so at a wildly prolific rate.... Read more

The Grammys Finally Realize Straight Outta Compton Was a Great Album

Over the last two years—largely thanks to a 2015 blockbuster biopic, the mainstream media has apparently reconsidered the merits of N.W.A. The Ruthless Records collective of Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren, and DJ Yella released two albums, a compilation, and an EP between 1987 and 1991. In that... Read more

ScHoolboy Q Shows Why He Just Might Be The Last Real Gangsta Rapper (Video)

Since dropping his Blank Face LP on July 8, ScHoolboy Q has been showered with critical acclaim, not only for the lyrical content of his fourth album but also the visual masterpieces that depict beautifully nuanced portrayals of the street-life mentality from someone juggling various perspectives: that of a self-proclaimed... 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

Killer Mike Stands Up For Rap Lyrics, Pens An Op-Ed For USA Today

If Hip-Hop in 2014 needs a "Man of the year," Killer Mike is steadily beckoning nominations. Less than one week after a powerful, heartfelt reaction to a court decision to not indict Ferguson, Missouri Police Department Officer Darren Wilson for the murder of teenager Michael Brown, Killer Mike is taking... Read more

2Pac, Ruthless & Priority Records To Be Honored At Indie Entertainment Summit Conference

Three pillars of Gangsta Rap are among those slated to be honored at 2014's Indie Entertainment Summit & Hip-Hop Honors. Iconic artist 2Pac is included, along with two 1980s labels, Priority Records and Ruthless Records. Notably, all three of these acts are tied together. 2Pac appeared on Above The Law's... Read more

Ice-T & Body Count Are Back To Making Threatening Rock-Rap. But Who’s Their New Target? (Video)

When some Heads talk about Ice-T's songs, they inevitably mention "Cop Killer." It's not a celebrated street-anthem like "6 'N The Mornin'," "Colors," or "New Jack Hustler." It's a song made by Tracy's Metal/Rock-Rap outfit, Body Count. The 1992 single about retaliation from police violence prompted strong reactions from everybody... Read more

Damn It Feels Good To Hear A Gangsta: The 2014 Revival Of Gangsta Rap (Food For Thought)

In just its first quarter, 2014 has witnessed its share of high profile releases. ScHoolboy Q unleashed his major label debut, OXYMORON, while Rick Ross’ continued his growth with concept and cohesion in Mastermind. Kid Cudi surprised everybody with a sneak-attack release, while Kid Ink, The Stepbrothers, and Isaiah Rashad... Read more