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.
3 months ago | Hip-Hop
Afeni Shakur, the mother of rapper Tupac Shakur and the subject of his song, “Dear Mama,” died yesterday, May 2, 2016, in Marin County, California, possibly from cardiac arrest. She was 69. Born Alice Williams and raised in Lumberton, North...
12 months 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...
1 year 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 year 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...
1 year 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...
1 year 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.” ...