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.
19 days ago | Hip-Hop
Back in September, on the set of the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, cameras rolled in the parking lot of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium as actors playing prudish protesters hoisted signs ("Crap Rap N.W.A") and ran over a pile of the group...
26 days 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...
2 months 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...
3 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...
4 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.” ...
6 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...