Archives

Finding The GOAT Group: A Tribe Called Quest vs. Run-D.M.C. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’ 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

Rap Pioneer Jimmy Spicer Is Fighting Cancer & Needs Hip-Hop’s Help

Jimmy Spicer (born James Bromley Spicer) is one of the first Hip-Hop artists to release a record when “Adventures of Super Rhymes” dropped in 1980. This 15-plus-minute song is full of playful raps and zany storytelling, much of which has been interpolated or sampled over the decades. Not to mention,... Read more

Finding The GOAT Group: Run-D.M.C. vs. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. Who Is Better?

“Finding the GOAT Group,” the fourth installment of Ambrosia For Heads’ 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

Sean “Puffy” Combs Calls Out The Blatant Racism In The Entertainment Business

Sean "Puffy" Combs is a 25-plus-year symbol of Black entrepreneurship in the music and entertainment industries. While others like Quincy Jones, Russell Simmons, and Berry Gordy came before Puffy, his more modern, Hip Hop-specific prowess has placed him as one of the Rap business' elite and most enduring figures. The onetime... Read more

A Video Explains Why Larry Smith Remains 1 Of Hip-Hop’s Most Important Producers

For every household name producer, such as Rick Rubin or Dr. Dre, there are multiple innovators who languish in obscurity. Larry Smith is one of those musicians, and he does not deserve this place in history, especially for Hip-Hop. While Smith played instruments on as well as produced huge hits... Read more

Russell Simmons Steps Down From His Companies Amid More Sexual Misconduct Allegations

One of Hip-Hop's original moguls is stepping down. Moments ago reports confirmed that Russell Simmons is disassociating himself from his companies. The move comes after two accusations of rape. The first published earlier this month in The Los Angeles Times. Model Keri Claussen Khalighi alleges that Simmons had sex without... Read more

Russell Simmons Is The Latest To Be Accused In A Wave Of Sexual Misconduct

In recent weeks, celebrities, media moguls, and politicians have been accused of past sexual misconduct. Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and Louis C.K. are just some of the very public figures who have been named in these allegations. This weekend, Hip-Hop, fashion, and comedy mogul Russell Simmons is the latest to... Read more

9th Wonder Explains Why Soundbombing & Rawkus Kept His Hip-Hop Dreams Alive (Video)

Hip-Hop news and culture move fast, and it’s easy to miss significant developments. Every week, Ambrosia For Heads takes a look back at the LAST 7 days. This video series, hosted by Justin “The Company Man” Hunte examines the current issues with a colorful rundown of the what, where, and why. While the LAST... Read more

Russell Simmons To Make A Film About Def Jam’s Unsung Hero: T La Rock

Before LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys, a fledgling Def Jam Recordings had another MC in mind for its legendary path: T La Rock. Brother to Treacherous Three MCs member Special K, the Manhattan-born, Bronx—raised MC (aka Clarence Ronnie Keaton) would work with Rick Rubin and DJ Jazzy Jay (pioneering... 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

Some Of The Best Comedians Of All-Time Will Celebrate 25 Years Of Def Comedy Jam (Video)

Over the years, there have been a number of outlets showcasing the talents of Black comedians. Shows like In Living Color, Comic View, Chappelle's Show and even Saturday Night Live have served as platforms from which comedic greats were born. However, few, if any, have had greater impact than Russell... Read more

Def Jam Records May Soon Be The Gold Standard For Rap Once Again (Video)

This week, it was announced that Eminem's manager and Shady Records partner Paul Rosenberg will be Def Jam's next CEO. Twenty years ago, the Detroit-based attorney started handling the career of Marshall Mathers when the rapper was self-marketing Infinite. One hundred million units sold later (through Shady Records), and Paul... Read more

Slick Rick’s Most Cautionary Tale Was His Own, Told Over Warren G Funk (Video)

Slick Rick is a master storyteller with quite a tale to tell from his own life. The Ruler maintains a unique physical aesthetic which consists of Kangol caps, eye-patch, designer wardrobe, and enough gold jewelry to make Mr. T blush. His signature look was as magnetic as his laconic delivery,... Read more

Shaq Flagrantly Fouls Lavar Ball With A Rap, Masta Ace Stands Up For Kap & More (Video)

Hip-Hop news and culture move fast, and it's easy to miss significant developments. Every week, Ambrosia For Heads takes a look back at the Last 7 days. This video series, hosted by Justin "The Company Man" Hunte examines the current issues with a colorful rundown of the what, where, and why. While the Last... Read more

Def Comedy Jam Is Coming Back & Soon

Twenty-five years ago Russell Simmons' Def Comedy Jam became a leading platform for standup comedy. Bernie Mac, Mike Epps, Chris Tucker and Dave Chappelle used the HBO series to build audiences, and take crucial steps to Hollywood careers. Martin Lawrence and D.L. Hughley were among show hosts during its original... Read more

Hear How Warren G Saved Def Jam Records (Audio)

Warren Griffin, III is revered as a  Hip-Hop underdog. The MC/producer/DJ better known as Warren G came up as the shy half-brother of Dr. Dre. Raised in Long Beach, California Warren is the man many believe is responsible for the introduction of Snoop Dogg. Warren, keeping the music going at... Read more

Bill O’Reilly Has Been Fired By FOX News. Hip-Hop Responds.

UPDATE: On April 19, it was confirmed that Bill O'Reilly has been fired by FOX News following the latest sexual harassment reports. The top-ranking pundit and Conservative personality is said to return with an independent podcast. It appears to be the end of an era at one of the world's... Read more

An Oral History Of Yo! Bum Rush The Show Reveals How P.E. Launched A Revolution

Thirty years ago today, one of Hip-Hop's most consistent forces unleashed its game-changing first album. On February 10, 1987, Public Enemy debuted Yo! Bum Rush The Show. The story began half a decade before. Meanwhile, 30 calendars deeper, Heads are still learning interesting facts and anecdotes about the Def Jam... Read more

This Rare 1986 Documentary Is An Amazing Hip-Hop History Lesson (Video)

In 1986, one of the earliest documentaries on Hip-Hop was made by a Dutch TV company. Big Fun In The Big Town, directed by Bram van Splunteren, featured on air Belgian host, Marcel Vanthilt, traveling the streets of New York City to gain a better understanding of the burgeoning culture.... 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

Russell Simmons Has a Stern Warning About American Islamophobia (Video)

Yesterday (October 17), Russell Simmons was the special guest on The Daily Show, and the Def Jam cofounder took the opportunity to promote his work on behalf of social justice. As the chairman of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, Simmons has, for more than a decade, worked to establish healthier... Read more

Andre Harrell Explains How Heavy D Became The Foundation For Uptown Records (Video)

While record labels like Def Jam and Bad Boy are often celebrated for their contributions to music, and rightly so, the company that bridged the two is often overlooked. Uptown Records was founded in 1986 by Andre Harrell, one half of the Rap group Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, and... Read more

Run-DMC & Aerosmith Reveal Why They Didn’t Want To “Walk This Way”

Thirty years ago this month, Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith teamed for "Walk This Way." Eleven years after the Boston, Massachusetts band recorded the initial version of their single, its creators—Steven Tyler and Joe Perry would learn that the drums (courtesy of Joey Kramer) had been re-appropriated by the Hip-Hop community. As... Read more

Russell Simmons Reveals His Secret For Balancing Commercial Success With Maintaining Crediblity (Video)

Throughout Russell Simmons' founding tenure at Def Jam Records, the Hollis Queens, New York native developed a number of hugely successful artists and albums. The Beastie Boys' Licensed To Ill, DMX's It's Dark And Hell Is Hot and Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood, Method Man's Tical 2000:... Read more

Russell Simmons Crowns Def Jam’s Greatest Album & His Favorite Artist (Video)

Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin began releasing Def Jam Records singles in 1984. Started in a New York University dorm room (occupied by Rubin), the company would expand to become a reported $115 million property by the late 1990s. From original flagship artist LL Cool J, Def Jam would play... Read more

The Clothing Line That Sparked A Cultural Revolution Is Coming Back But It Needs Your Help

UPDATE: The Kickstarter campaign to re-launch the AACA brand ends at 9AM EST tomorrow (April 18). The campaign is seeking to raise $100K, and is currently at $84,253. To donate, click here. Before Phat Farm, FUBU, Rocawear or any of the other iconic urban fashion wear brands, there was an... Read more

Eric B. & Rakim’s Paid In Full vs. Run-D.M.C.’s Raising Hell. Which Is Better?

One year ago, Ambrosia For Heads launched a debate among its readers seeking to answer one of Hip-Hop’s most hotly-contested questions: who is the greatest MC of all time? “Finding The GOAT MC” lasted between September 2014 and May 2015, engaging millions of readers and ultimately producing its winner, as... Read more

Run-D.M.C.’s Raising Hell vs. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s Rock The House. Which Is Better?

One year ago, Ambrosia For Heads launched a debate among its readers seeking to answer one of Hip-Hop’s most hotly-contested questions: who is the greatest MC of all time? “Finding The GOAT MC” lasted between September 2014 and May 2015, engaging millions of readers and ultimately producing its winner, as... Read more

Kurtis Blow Recalls Opening For Bob Marley In Reggae Star’s Last Concerts (Audio)

Although the Sugarhill Gang had one of Hip-Hop's first massive hits in 1979's "Rapper's Delight," Kurtis Blow was among the genre's first stars. The Harlem, New York MC had Rap's first gold album, and was a critical messenger of the music from the 1970s into the mid-1980s. Afforded early star... Read more

A New Def Jam Biopic May Be in the Works. The Choices For Russell & Rick May Surprise You

By now, the news of Straight Outta Compton's success is common knowledge; the N.W.A. biopic soared into film history by becoming the highest-grossing music biopic ever, beating out films about superstars like Ray Charles and Johnny Cash. That success has opened up space for ongoing discussions about the Hip-Hop Biopic... Read more

Run-D.M.C.’s Run-D.M.C. vs. Ultramagnetic MC’s Critical Beatdown. Which Album is Better?

One year ago, Ambrosia For Heads launched a debate among its readers seeking to answer one of Hip-Hop’s most hotly-contested questions: who is the greatest MC of all time? “Finding The GOAT MC” lasted between September 2014 and May 2015, engaging millions of readers and ultimately producing its winner, as... Read more

DMC Attributes Run-DMC’s “Downfall” to Negative Music, Urges Rick Ross To Own His Past (Audio)

As Hip-Hop continues to rapidly evolve, many of the messages being delivered to its fans today may raise a few eyebrows. This week's The Library Podcast hosted by Tim Einenkel, features pioneering Rap star DMC. Speaking about contemporary Rap music as well as his own catalog with Run-DMC, the Queens,... Read more

Finding The GOAT (Round 3): LL Cool J vs. DMC…Who You Got?

We have reached the third round in the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). With 42 MCs remaining, we are asking you to help us rank who is the greatest MC to pick up a mic. We will take over 35 years of Hip-Hop into... Read more

Here’s the Inside Story of the Making of LL Cool J’s Classic Rock the Bells (Video)

In Ambrosia For Heads' ongoing GOAT ballot series to determine Hip-Hop's Greatest Of All Time MC, LL Cool J is facing off with Run (of Run-DMC) in Round 2. In this search to let fans decide the real winner, it is actually 30 years removed from a rivalry between the... Read more

Travel Back To 1983, The Exact Moment Hip-Hop Was Played On Daytime NYC Radio (Audio)

Thirty-two years ago, Hip-Hop was emerging on a host of record labels large and small. However, while these 12" singles and pioneering albums may have been party highlights, and closely examined in the clubs, the bedrooms, and the subsequent tapes made, they were not often heard on radio—especially at daytime.... Read more

Finding The GOAT (Round 2): LL Cool J vs. Run…Who You Got?

We have reached the second round in the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). We are asking you to help us rank who is the greatest MC to pick up a mic. We will take over 35 years of Hip-Hop into consideration, pairing special match-ups... Read more

Rest In Peace Larry Smith, Run-DMC & Whodini’s Iconic Producer

Hip-Hop has lost another pioneer. Yesterday (December 18), iconic producer and songwriter Larry Smith has been confirmed dead. Smith, who was 63 at the time of his death, produced early records for the likes of Run-DMC, Whodini, Jimmy Spicer, and Kurtis Blow. Smith's death comes more than six years following... Read more

Finding The GOAT: Run vs. Ecstasy…Who You Got?

As we continue the ultimate battle for the title of the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time), we are asking you to help us rank who is the greatest MC to pick up a mic. We will take over 35 years of Hip-Hop into consideration, pairing special match-ups in a sequence not... Read more

Rick Rubin Returns to the Dorm Room Where Def Jam Was Founded for the First Time in 30 Years (Video)

In a year of tributes to Def Jam, celebrating its 30th Anniversary, this might just be the best. Rolling Stone followed Rick Rubin to the NYU dorm room where he started the legendary record label and had not returned to since. Rather than just interviewing Rubin, RS used the journey... Read more

Russell Simmons & Rick Rubin Speak on Why Slick Rick is One of a Kind (Video)

From his flawless storytelling to his impeccable style, Slick Rick is truly one of a kind. In the final part of their Back & Forth conversation for Noisey, Def Jam co-founders Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons speak on the many attributes that make Rick the Ruler so unique. Check out... Read more

Rick Rubin Says Chuck D Thought Public Enemy Was Too Old To Sign To Def Jam In 1987 (Video)

In the third volume of Noisey's series on Def Jam Records' 30th anniversary, founders Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin devote their attentions on Public Enemy. Likely in conjunction with P.E.'s performance of "Public Enemy #1" with The Roots on Jimmy Fallon's "The Tonight Show" yesterday (September 16), the vignette pays... Read more

Rick Rubin & Russell Simmons Remember The Beastie Boys’ Beginnings (Video)

In the second (of four) installment of the 30th anniversary Def Jam Records vignettes, Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin sit down to remember Adam "MCA" Yauch. Interestingly enough, in recalling the pre-Licensed To Ill days of the New York City trio, Rick Rubin served as the Beasties' DJ, before DJ... Read more

Russell Simmons & Rick Rubin Discuss LL Cool J & T La Rock’s Impact (Video)

Def Jam Records is finishing its thirtieth year strong. The label worked with Noisey to gather thoughts from its founders in a four-part series. In the first vignette, Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin sit side-by-side on a couch to discuss the label's earliest days. The guys who started the imprint... Read more

Jermaine Dupri Discusses His Role With Kris Kross, TLC, & Fresh Fest ’84 (Audio)

Jermaine Dupri hits the Hot 97 studio for an in depth interview with Peter Rosenberg to introduce his new artist Rolls Royce Rizzy in which they discuss his latest single, "Hot Damn," and his upcoming EP. The interview quickly shifts focus from Rizzy to Jermaine as Rosenberg and his cohorts... Read more

Chris Lighty Speaks on How He Started Violator (Video)

As part of its Hip-Hop documentary, The Message, BET conducted the last ever televised interview with Chris Lighty, prior to his death in 2012. As part of that session, Lighty spoke on how he made the transition from working with Russell Simmons and Lyor Cohen at Def Jam/Rush Management to... Read more

Russell Simmons & Bill Adler Talk About Signing Public Enemy, The Logo & The Ramifications (Video)

Following LL Cool J and The Beastie Boys, Def Jam Records next breakthrough artist signing was Public Enemy. The Long Island, New York Hip-Hop collective including Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Terminator X, Professor Griff, The Bomb Squad, Johnny Juice and more would shake the earth with boisterous messages, social information,... Read more

Episode 1 of The Message Documentary Speaks on Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash, Run-D.M.C., LL Coo J & Much More (Full Video)

Episode 1 of BET's Hip-Hop documentary, The Message, covers roughly the first decade of Hip-Hop. It addresses pioneers like Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash, LL Cool J, Run-D.M.C., Cold Crush Brothers and more. It also features several luminaries including Doug E Fresh, Fab 5 Freddy, Ice Cube, DJ Premier,... Read more

Nas, RZA & More Discuss The Earliest Days of Hip-Hop in The Message Hip-Hop Documentary (Video)

BET's 4-part Hip-Hop documentary, The Message, premieres tonight at 10pm. Part 1 focuses on the early days of Hip-Hop and features Doug E Fresh, Fab 5 Freddy, Ice Cube, DJ Premier, Grand Wizard Theodore, Nas, MC Lyte, Questlove, Russell Simmons, Snoop, RZA, Sway, Talib Kweli, Kendrick Lamar, Eve, Swizz Beatz... Read more

Look Back To An Ill 1998 Future Flavas Freestyle From The Last Days Of A Tribe Called Quest (Audio)

Heads may remember the late '90s, early 2000s HOT 97 "Future Flavas" radio show hosted by Marley Marl and Pete Rock. In the glory days of underground Hip-Hop, this show bridged the gap between old school and emerging greats, with two legends on the boards, transmitting to the tri-state. This... Read more

Russell Simmons Explains Success Through Meditation, Recalls Some Vivid & Never Before Heard Def Jam Memories (Audio)

With his latest book hitting shelves (Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple), Russell Simmons stops by his former Def Jam Records employee, Combat Jack's show. Beginning at the 16-minute mark, Uncle Rush enters. In the lengthy and coherent interview, Russ speaks about his storied drug days and early era as... Read more