Archives

In 1988, A Dozen Songs By Top Shelf MCs Went Missing. They’ve Been Found (Audio)

Back in 1988, there was a small studio and gathering place in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Top Shelf Studios was reportedly different than the usual places where Rap records were made. At a time when the culture was blossoming, MCs from across New York City liked the energy of the... Read more

Kool G Rap Was Wrongfully Accused Of Shoplifting. Now He’s Getting Gangster.

For the last 30 years, Kool G Rap's music has featured narratives about being on the run, wanted by the law, and serving time in places like New York City's Rikers Island. One of Gangsta Rap's pioneers is part of headlines this week, for a crime he says he did... Read more

Ghostface & Big Daddy Kane Have United To Take Hip-Hop Back (Audio)

Wu-Tang Clan swordsman Ghostface Killah has been open about his musical influences. The Staten Island, New Yorker grew up admiring Rap music from the likes of Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, Slick Rick, Divine Force, Ultramagnetic MC's, and others. Over the last 25 years, he has been able to... Read more

Happy Birthday Big Daddy Kane. King Asiatic Turns 50 Years Old (Video)

Earlier this year, LL Cool J and Rakim both celebrated their 50th birthdays. Today (September 10), another game-changing lyricist joins the party. Big Daddy Kane (aka Antonio Hardy) turns 50. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of Long Live The Kane. At 50, Kane's longevity is cemented. In terms... Read more

Black Thought Explains Why Kool G Rap’s “Road To The Riches” Is His Favorite Verse (Video)

In 2004, The Roots released their sixth album, The Tipping Point. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania group's final album for Geffen Records contained an Easter egg of sorts for Hip-Hop Heads. The Dice Raw-assisted "Boom!" featured band front-man Black Thought paying homage to two of his MC inspirations: Big Daddy Kane and... Read more

Tragedy Khadafi Says Marley Marl Did Him Dirty. His New Song Tells All (Audio Premiere)

Tragedy Khadafi (fka The Intelligent Hoodlum) has been releasing music steadily over the three decades but it's been nearly four years since he released his last solo album. That's all changing now though. The Queensbridge legend has been in the booth heavy since 2014's Pre Magnum Opus and is slated... Read more

Big Daddy Kane Freestyles Raw, Uncut & With A Chip On His Legendary Shoulders (Video)

This Wednesday (June 20), Big Daddy Kane is performing a free concert in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York. The living legend of the microphone is celebrating the 30th anniversary of his debut album, Long Live The Kane. In an era when records are shorter and appear to be more... Read more

Bumpy Knuckles & Biz Markie Team Up For A Video With A Purpose. Check It Out, Y’all.

Today (May 18), Bumpy Knuckles releases Pop Duke, Vol. 1. The 10-song concept project is produced by Nottz, and it features a cast of Rap O.G.'s such as Chuck D, Kool G Rap, and M.O.P.'s Lil Fame. It also includes a fellow Long Islander, Biz Markie, who makes a rare... Read more

Masta Ace & A Band Rock The House In A Personal & Emotional Tiny Desk Concert (Video)

NPR’s Tiny Desk is not only an intimate performance space, but the video segment has also become an apparent stamp of approval from National Public Radio that identifies an artist as high caliber and culturally significant. Following his Juice Crew band-mate Big Daddy Kane's February performance, Masta Ace hits the... Read more

Roxanne Shanté Describes How Real “The Roxanne Wars” Got In Concerts (Video)

This weekend, Roxanne, Roxanne is now available on Netflix. The biopic, written and directed by Michael Larnell, covers the life of MC Roxanne Shanté (aka Lolita Shanté Gooden). The Juice Crew rapper co-produced the film and worked with the likes of Pharrell Williams, Forrest Whitaker, and Mimi Valdes to tell... Read more

Craig G Returns To Battle Rap & He’s Ready To Juice The Competition

Much like many aspects of Hip-Hop, Battle Rap today looks (and sounds) a lot different than it did when it originated. With the help of some of the pioneers, like MC Craig G, Heads may get new glimpses at its past glory. The documented freestyle master and Juice Crew member... Read more

Roxanne Shanté’s Biopic Trailer Shows A True Survivor In The Rap Game (Video)

In just over one month, Roxanne, Roxanne will be available to the public via Netflix. On March 23, the film produced by Pharrell Williams and Forest Whitaker will tell the story of MC Roxanne Shanté. The first Rap star of Marley Marl and DJ Mr. Magic's Juice Crew (according to... Read more

Step Brothers Evidence & Alchemist Reunite To Salute Biz Markie & Fat Albert (Audio)

Paying homage to Biz Markie and "Fat Albert" at once, the Evidence/Alchemist Step Brothers duo makes a welcomed return with "Lay Some Treats On Us,” a new single that's tricky in the best possible way. Biz Markie’s 1989 sophomore album The Biz Never Sleeps contains a track called “Mudd Foot.”... Read more

Big Daddy Kane Details The Rich History Of How The Juice Crew Started (Video)

Big Daddy Kane is the latest guest on Drink Champs. The Brooklyn, New York lyrical legend is in a casual mood, often joking during the three-hour episode. N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN interview the Juice Crew MC about a number of highlights from his life and career. There are probing questions... 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

ScHoolboy Q Takes The Classic Symphony Beat & Makes It A Gangsta Party (Audio)

ScHoolboy Q is putting the finishing touches on his follow-up to the Grammy-nominated The Blank Face LP. In the meantime, Groovy Q makes a welcomed appearance care of longtime collaborator, Traffic. After the pair worked together on 2016 video single "Tookie Knows II," Q is featured on the just-released All... Read more

In 1992, Kool G Rap Teamed Up With Ice Cube & The Geto Boys On A Lethal Collabo (Audio)

One week after Ice Cube released The Predator, and three ahead of Dr. Dre's The Chronic, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo released their third LP, Live And Let Die. Following 1990's Wanted: Dead Or Alive, the Juice Crew MC still had a grim, survivalist's outlook and a penchant for... Read more

Large Professor Remixes Masta Ace’s Trip Down Memory Lane (Audio)

Nostalgia and looking back on teenage years is a recurring theme in Hip-Hop, inspiring some of the best work of artists such as Nas and Black Milk and now Masta Ace and Large Professor on this "Extra P Remix" of UK production collective, Son of Sam’s “Come A Long Way.”... Read more

This ’96 Freestyle From Tribe, Busta, The Roots & More Packs Lines That Truly Punch (Audio)

The City of Brotherly Love has undoubtedly produced some of Hip-Hop's best MCs to ever grip the mic, and equally, some of the greatest DJs to touch the turntables. Legendary Philadelphia DJ Cash Money has an extensive resumé with memorable mixtapes to prove the latter. After making seminal 1980s 12"... Read more

The NFL Boycott Is Working & Masta Ace Says It’s Bigger Than Colin Kaepernick (Video)

A week ago, the NFL began its first week of the 2017 regular season. Ratings show a serious decline in viewership, year over year. From week 1 kickoff on Thursday Night Football (a 14% decline) to Sunday numbers on FOX and CBS, many less people are watching. Meanwhile, big media seems... Read more

Large Professor & Craig G Put Hip-Hop On A Pedestal & Celebrate H.E.R. (Audio)

Belgian DJ and producer Koss has been linking with some of the most defiant MCs in the game for many years now. With inspiration from Soul, Funk, Jazz, and Psychedelic Rock from the 1960s and the '70s, he intertwines these musical genres with the infectious boom bap of Hip-Hop from... 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

Kool G Rap Is A 30-Year Lyrical Legend. Listen To A Sneak Preview Of His New Album (Audio)

Kool G Rap is frequently considered one of Hip-Hop's greatest MCs. For 31 years, the Queens, New Yorker has helped bring Rap out of an era of simpler deliveries to compound rhyme structures, fast paced flows, and an unrivaled use of cadence. Additionally, he is one of the pioneers of... Read more

Kool G Rap Details How He Helped Launch Nas’ Career & Releases New Cormega Collabo (Video)

In 1995, Kool G Rap released the highest-charting single of his career, "Fast Life." The song merged two Queens legends, as G Rap collaborated with the white-hot Nas, fresh on the heels of his Illmatic debut. While the world may not have known it at the time, the collaboration was... Read more

Kool G Rap Strikes With 1st Single In 6 Years. Lil Fame & Freeway Back Up The Bars (Audio)

Lyrical Rap legend Kool G Rap has released his first official solo single in more than six years. Approaching June 2's Return Of The Don album, G Rap prepares his first album with a single producer since his heralded 1989 Marley Marl-produced debut, Road To The Riches. This time around, the onetime mentor to... Read more

A Breakdown Of What Makes Big Daddy Kane A Superior MC (Video)

Big Daddy Kane has not released a solo album in nearly 20 years. However, when Antonio Hardy said "Nobody's Equal" in spelling out the acronym of K.A.N.E., the statement was (and remains) irrefutable to many. Big Daddy Kane is one of the greatest MCs to ever touch the microphone, and... Read more

Why Kool G Rap Is A True MC’s MC Who Is Criminally Underrated (Video)

Kool G Rap is currently gearing up for his first album in more than five years, The Return Of A Don. Said to be featuring Raekwon, the late Sean Price, and Saigon, this LP already promises to appeal to lovers of lyricism. 2017 marks 31 years of the Queens, New... Read more

DJ Red Alert Offers Some Deep History About Why The Bridge Wars Really Started (Video)

Hip-Hop's biggest story-line in March of 2017 is a Bronx MC apparently responding to an MC from Queens on the microphone in back-to-back disses. Thirty years ago today (March 3, 1987), that tactic was introduced by Boogie Down Productions' two-song arsenal on Criminal Minded used against MC Shan, producer Marley... Read more

Kool G Rap Announces First Solo Album In 6 Years & It Has Some Exciting Guests

Less than a week ago (February 17), Queens, New York veteran Kool G Rap and Juice Crew band-mate Big Daddy Kane performed a co-headlining event in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Billed as an "The Most Epic Hip-Hop Showdown," the Sherman Theater concert featured each legendary MC going song-for-song in a battle... Read more

Big Daddy Kane & Kool G Rap Battle Song-For-Song, In Concert (Video)

Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap go back together more than 30 years. Since the mid-1980s, these two New York City lyricists were some of the most legendary components in Marley Marl's Juice Crew. In 1986, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo let the world hear something special with... Read more

Production Pioneer Marley Marl Still Has The Juice. He Remixes At Least One Song A Day (Video)

In Marley Marl's 30-plus-year career, he has made the remix an exciting part of Hip-Hop. From Big Daddy Kane's "Raw (Remix)" to LL Cool J's "Jingling Baby (Remix)" to 3rd Bass' "Product Of The Environment," the Juice Crew figurehead made the kind of records that eclipse the originals. Many of... Read more

Roxanne’s Revenge: Roxanne Shanté’s Biopic Causes A Bidding War

More than one week ago (January 22), the biopic of MC Roxanne Shanté, Roxanne Roxanne, screened at the Sundance Film Festival. Produced by Shanté, Pharrell Williams, and Forest Whitaker, the film starring Mahershala Ali and Nia Long traces the story of the prodigious Juice Crew member born Lolita Gooden, and her... Read more

Marley Marl & Large Professor Supply M-Dot With Golden Sounds From 2 Legends (Audio)

This Friday, Boston, Massachusetts MC M-Dot is releasing his EgO anD The eneMy album. The follow-up to 2010's Run MPC features the E.M.S. crew member working with a who's who of Hip-Hop production giants. D.I.T.C.'s Buckwild, Reflection Eternal's Hi-Tek, 7L, and Marco Polo make up some of the sound providers... Read more

Finding The GOAT Producer: Marley Marl vs. Rick Rubin. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Producer” begins. The third installment of Ambrosia For Heads’s annual battle series features Hip-Hop’s greatest producers vying for the #1 spot. Thirty producers were pre-selected by a panel of experts, and two slots will be reserved for wild-card entries, including the possibility for write-in candidates, to ensure no deserving... Read more

Kool G Rap, Canibus & Chris Rivers Send An Omen That Real Lyricism Is Back (Audio)

One of 2016's most steadfast MCs, Chris Rivers is a clear disciple of that hard-nosed late '80s and 1990s lyricism. While the Bronx, New Yorker's greatest influence would appear to be his father (Big Pun), there are other clear connections. Pun, after all, was a student of Kool G Rap,... Read more

Eminem Shows Just How Much Juice Masta Ace Had In Influencing Him (Video)

Heads who have closely followed history know how influential Masta Ace is. The Brooklyn, New York MC whose career spans more than 30 years helped bring Rap cadence to its glory. This is the same man, tied to groups such as The Juice Crew, Masta Ace Incorporated, Crooklyn Dodgers, and... Read more

Masta Ace Reveals Why The Crooklyn Dodgers Lineup Changed (Video)

In conjunction with the Spike Lee Joint Crooklyn, A Tribe Called Quest and Q-Tip began assembling a Hip-Hop collaboration for the Geffen Records soundtrack. While the film was set in the 1970s, director Spike Lee has historically attached Hip-Hop to his films. According to Q-Tip, considerations were reportedly made for... Read more

Eric B. & Rakim Affiliate, MC and Manager Ant Live Has Passed Away

According to several sources, veteran Hip-Hop figure Ant Live (aka Anthony Barrier) has died. Stetsasonic co-founder Daddy-O and podcast host Combat Jack are among those who have confirmed the news on social media. While the details of Ant's passing are not clear at this time, Rakim spoke about Live's health... Read more

Craig Mack Kicked 10 Minutes Of Freestyle Flavor In This Just Released 2000 Video

By Y2K, Craig Mack appeared to be an illustrious MC who was on his way out of the game. Once one of the breakout acts of Puff Daddy's Bad Boy Records, Mack would drop his gold-certified Project: Funk Da World in 1994 and then mysteriously leave the label, and the... Read more

Big Daddy Kane Releases His Best Verse In A Decade. He Still Kills At Will (Video)

In February of this year, Joell Ortiz and producer Domingo released the song, "Kill At Will." The standout track, with its Big Daddy Kane "Set It Off" cut-in at the chorus, is included on the That's Hip Hop album. The single showcased a hungry, fresh-faced MC Token, who had previously... Read more

Masta Ace Traces His Roots In The Most Autobiographical Song Of His Career (Video)

Masta Ace has fashioned a career that has lasted 30 years. The Brooklyn, New York MC has history with the Juice Crew, Crooklyn Dodgers, DOOM, and Eminem—all in a series of years that have been met with label woes, crews breaking up, and more than a few rappers trying to... Read more

Redman Discusses His Battle Rap Days Spent Rolling With Biz Markie (Video)

To the Hip-Hop record-buying community, Redman's career would largely take shape in 1990, care of EPMD's Business As Usual album. On a Top 40 LP (Erick Sermon and Parrish Smith's first with Def Jam Records), Reggie Noble appeared twice, including single "Hardcore." However, that is not where the Newark, New Jersey... Read more

Ever See This 1990 Freestyle Session Between Kool G Rap & Biz Markie? (Video)

Back in 1988, Marley Marl's Juice Crew served the world with one of Hip-Hop's all-time great posse cuts. Featuring Big Daddy Kane, Masta Ace, Craig G and Kool G Rap, "The Symphony" was a lesson in lyrical dexterity that endures today. More than recording together, members of the crew often... Read more

Roxanne Shanté Discusses The Challenges She Faced As A Pioneering Woman In Hip-Hop

Growing up in the same Queensbridge Houses as Hip-Hop icons like MC Shan, Marley Marl, Nas, and Mobb Deep, Roxanne Shanté has a story that has often gone untold. Known for her role in the notorious "Roxanne Wars" during the mid-1980s, the MC had already developed an admirable Rap pedigree... Read more

Masta Ace’s Latest Video Resonates Through Time & Shows Why He’s A Top MC

Masta Ace's latest studio album, The Falling Season, is making noise for the 30-year Brooklyn, New York rhyme veteran. From the era of 12" singles and un-skippable albums, Ace has deliberately kept his latest artistic baby away from the popular streaming platforms. The latest in a series of a concept... Read more

Craig G Details The Making Of “The Symphony,” Including Who Wrote What (Video)

This month, Queens, New York MC Craig G released his seventh studio album, I Rap And Go Home. The Soulspazm Records effort features Buckshot, Ras Kass, and Jarobi of A Tribe Called Quest, among others. The battle-tested lyricist has enjoyed a professional recording career that has endured more than 30... Read more

The Juice Crew’s Craig G Remembers The Early Days Of Hip-Hop From East To West (Video)

In the late 1980s, Queens, New York's Craig G was one of the most vibrant members of Marley Marl's Juice Crew. Like MC Shan, Craig was a battle-ready teenager with a chip on his shoulder. Like Kool G Rap, the MC could make lethal, party-rocking songs that displayed his rapid-fire... 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

Masta Ace Says To KRS-One & MC Shan About Their New Battle: “Please, No More” (Video)

Last month, in a surprising move, MC Shan launched a full-scale verbal attack against KRS-One, re-igniting their 30-year old "Bridge Wars" rivalry that most thought had long been settled. Shan and KRS put what was one of Hip-Hop's earliest and most high profile battles to rest years ago, and have... Read more

Prince & Big Daddy Kane’s 1989 “Batdance Remix” Is Finally Released (Audio)

In 1989, the Batman franchise relaunched with the title film starring Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, and Kim Basinger. For the soundtrack, Warner Bros. Records tapped Prince for an entire album companion to the blockbuster film. Led by single "Batdance," Prince's 11th album (and a #1 on the charts) appeared to... Read more