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Sep 18 / admin

Original Gangstas Readings in Lawrence and St. Paul

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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:

 

LAWRENCE: Sept 25, 5 pm, Percolator.

ST. PAUL: Oct 13, 7 pm, Subtext Books.

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.

Apr 4 / admin

Pre-order Original Gangstas

My new book Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap is now available for pre-order on Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Release date is September 13, 2016. It features over 100 original interviews with the biggest and most important players from the era, including Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, Snoop Dogg, Ice-T, D.O.C., Michel’le, Warren G, Mopreme Shakur, Cold 187um, Greg Mack, Alonzo Williams, Sir Jinx, and many others. There are never-reported revelations about everything from Eazy-E’s death from AIDS and Tupac’s role in launching the East Coast/West Coast wars to Dr. Dre and Ice Cube’s first groups.

Here’s some more info.

Dec 19 / admin

Details on My Upcoming Book

My book has a title: Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur and the Birth of West Coast Rap.

It also has a release date: September 13, 2016, the twentieth anniversary of Tupac’s death.

It focuses on the heyday of Ruthless Records and Death Row Records, and tells the full story depicted in the Straight Outta Compton biopic. It kicks off with Eazy-E’s days as a drug dealer and Dr. Dre’s time with World Class Wreckin’ Cru, and then the formation of N.W.A. The narrative continues with Ice Cube leaving the group, forming Da Lench Mob, and releasing his classic solo albums. Meanwhile, Suge pries Dre away from N.W.A, Snoop joins the fold, and Death Row battles Ruthless and Bad Boy. The book concludes with the deaths of Tupac and Biggie. It features extensive investigative reporting, interviews with the principal players, and dozens of never-heard stories. I hope you will enjoy it! (Photo courtesy of J-Dee from Da Lench Mob)

Dec 11 / admin

New Book Coming…


…a long time from now. I have signed on with Hachette Book Group USA for a tome about the classic L.A. gangsta rap era, from World Class Wreckin’ Cru through the murder of Biggie, with a focus on N.W.A., Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Big Hutch from Above the Law (above), Snoop Dogg, Tupac, and others. Should be a great project. You can look for it in late 2016 or early 2017.