Ben Westhoff is the former L.A. Weekly music editor, author of Dirty South and a forthcoming book on classic L.A. gangsta rap, for Hachette. He's written for Rolling Stone, Vice, Village Voice and Deadspin, and is currently a columnist for the Guardian.
7 hours ago | Hip-Hop
Like the n-word and “queer” before it, “bitch” has been pretty thoroughly re-appropriated. Urban dictionary defines “bad bitch” as someone “mentally gifted and usually also fine as hell.” But don’t give credit to Iggy Azalea; give credit...
1 month ago | EDM
We all know kids die at raves. It happens all the time, including most recently at EDC last weekend in Las Vegas. Usually, the cause is drugs. But not everyone who takes drugs dies; those who know what they're actually taking, stay hydrated and ta...
2 months ago | G-Funk
Happy Dre Day! This Friday, June 19, at the Compton Community Center, gangsta rap fans will celebrate the glory of Dr. Dre. It’s the second annual such event, honoring “Compton’s First Black Billionaire,” following last year’s $3 bi...
3 months ago | Gangsta Is What That Is
No one wants to take credit for coining the term “gangsta rap.” At least, no rappers do. As noted in L.A. Weekly's story commemorating the 20th anniversary of Eazy-E’s death, during N.W.A’s time, artists preferred to call the genre “reality rap.” ...
5 months ago | Gangsta Is What That Is
For Eazy-E, the concept of gangsta rap was fully formed in his mind. By 1986, the genre, which nobody then called "gangsta rap" ("reality rap," please) had begun to sprout in L.A. by way of Ice-T's "6 'n the Mornin'," which was patterned after Ph...
5 months ago | Goodbye
Joe Fierro, a bodyguard for N.W.A. who was known as KJ Mustafa, died yesterday in Pleasanton, California. He was 61. Fierro was right in the thick of things during the Compton-based gangsta rap group’s most volatile years. As head of security for ...