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May 18 / admin

Library of Congress

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My essay about N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton has just been published by the Library of Congress, which selected the album for its registry owing to its “aesthetic, historic and cultural significance.” You can read the essay here and see more information about the registry here. I’m honored!

Apr 27 / admin

Original Gangstas now out in paperback

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Original Gangstas, complete with sleek new cover and new subtitle, is now available in paperback! It’s in local stores, chain stores, and only $11 on Amazon.

“Scrupulously researched with many incisive revelations, this may be the best book ever written about the hip hop world.”―S. Leigh Savidge, Academy Award nominee and co-writer of Straight Outta Compton

“An elaborately detailed, darkly surprising, definitive history of the LA gangsta rap era.”―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“An airtight and unflinching book. Original Gangstas is as resolute as the people and ideas it sets out to profile, and that is no small feat.”―Shea Serrano, New York Times bestselling author of The Rap Year Book

Jan 2 / admin

Original Gangstas on Year-End Best Lists

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Original Gangstas has been chosen for some best books of the year lists.

It was picked for the top 10 of the year by In The Margins Book Awards, which honors titles “of high-interest appeal to youth ages 9-21 living in poverty, on the streets, or in custody.” This makes me very proud.

It was also honored by ESPN’s site The Undefeated.

Meanwhile, Erich “Sermon” Donaldson of Sermons Domain has named it the best book of the year! Check out this video if you have a second.

Here’s more info about the book, and here’s a buy link. Thanks for your support!

 

Sep 18 / admin

Original Gangstas Readings in DC and Manhattan in December

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Original Gangstas is out and it’s doing great! The reviews have been amazing, and the feedback has been excellent.

You can come see me read in person:

Washington DC: Dec 7, 6:30 pm, East City Book Shop

New York City (Manhattan): Dec 8, 7 pm, McNally Jackson

If you can’t come, please buy the book!

TTYL, more updates soon.

Sep 7 / admin

Did Jerry Heller Actually Cheat N.W.A?

L to R: Arabian Prince, Jerry Heller, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella. (Courtesy of Juana Sperling.)

L to R: Arabian Prince, Jerry Heller, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella. (Courtesy of Juana Sperling.)

N.W.A’s controversial manager Jerry Heller died on Friday, at age 75. Here’s my obituary for Billboard. He was hated and loved in equal measure, and many N.W.A fans believe he cheated the group members financially, based on the allegations of Ice Cube and Dr. Dre.

But did he? I investigate that question in a new piece for Forbes, as part of their Hip-Hop Cash Kings 2016 package.

Thanks for reading! My book Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap comes out Tuesday, and you can pre-order it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local seller.

I’ve also got readings scheduled for Long Beach (Sept 14) and Atlanta (Sept 19) and St. Louis (Sept 20). The Atlanta reading will feature G-funk legend Rhythm D.

Aug 26 / admin

Original Gangstas “may be the best book ever written about the hip hop world”

My new book “Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap” comes out Sept. 13, and it’s getting some great reviews, including a starred review from Kirkus. S. Leigh Savidge, the Oscar-nominated co-writer of the film Straight Outta Compton, says: “Scrupulously researched with many incisive revelations, this may be the best book ever written about the hip hop world.”

The book also has a new trailer video, above. Thanks for your support, and please pre-order the book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local bookseller.

Aug 17 / admin

How to Buy My New Book Original Gangstas

Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap comes out September 13, 2016 but you can pre-order it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local bookseller. I’d love it if you bought it now, as strong pre-sale orders help the publishing companies decide which books they’re going to devote marketing dollars to.

The book recently made news when, in an interview I did on the Murder Master Music Show, I disclosed that Biggie Smalls, early in his career, asked Biggie Smalls to be his manager. This story went viral, appearing on Complex, Hip-Hop DX, MSN, and even World Star Hip-Hop.

Aug 15 / admin

Original Gangstas Receives a Starred Review From Kirkus

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My new book Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap has received a starred review from Kirkus, which means they thought it was super dope, or, in their words: “An elaborately detailed, darkly surprising, definitive history of the LA gangsta rap era.”

It’s my first ever starred review. I’m pumped.

The book comes out September 13, but you can pre-order it now, which I’d appreciate, as strong pre-sale orders help the publishing companies decide which books they’re going to push. To read short excerpts, follow Original GangstasFacebook page, which also has some great original photos, and also check out an excerpt I did for Tidal, about the brilliance and controversy of Ice Cube’s Death Certificate.

Jun 27 / admin

Original Gangstas Facebook Page

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My upcoming book Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap (Hachette Books) comes out September 13. But in the meantime on the book’s Facebook page I’ll be posting unseen photos and blog posts — crazy stories from my reporting, and little known facts about the rappers, producers, girlfriends, and other characters from the story.

Thanks to Juana Sperling from J.J. Fad for the above photo!

May 31 / admin

Original Gangstas Instagram Page

Check out my new book Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap on Instagram. Every day I’m posting rare and never-seen photos there, including Ruthless Records and Death Row Records artists both obscure and well known, including J.J. Fad, above. (Thanks to Juana Sperling for the photo.) You’ll see everything from Eazy-E’s mansion to the bus Snoop Dogg uses to drive around his pee-wee football players, to Tupac’s driver’s license.

A reminder that the book comes out September 13, 2016 and is available for pre-order on Barnes and Noble and Amazon.