This event will be held at our 9th ave. location.
Ben Westhoff reads from his new book, Original Gangstas: Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube and the Birth of West Coast Rap in celebration of the paperback release.
Praise for Original Gangstas
"I trust Ben Westhoff. I trust him to report a story and I trust him to tell a story, and that's exactly what he's done here in Original Gangstas. He's taken what's always felt like an almost impossibly knotted string of storylines and plot points in gangsta rap, the most turbulent version of the most popular music on the planet, and turned them into 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, author of The Rap Year Book
"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
"Original Gangstas takes readers to the source, the battered communities and difficult lives that spawned an unlikely musical revolution. Eazy and Dre, Tupac and Snoop-Westhoff admires his subjects' music talent but isn't afraid to expose their darkest secrets. His research is exhaustive, while his prose is concise, and the result is an unforgettable history of the last time music was ever really dangerous."―Stephen Witt, author of How Music Got Free
About Original Gangstas
Amid rising gang violence, the crack epidemic, and police brutality, a group of unlikely voices cut through the chaos of late 1980s Los Angeles: N.W.A. Led by a drug dealer, a glammed-up producer, and a high school kid, N.W.A gave voice to disenfranchised African Americans across the country. And they quickly redefined pop culture across the world. Their names remain as popular as ever--Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube. Dre soon joined forces with Suge Knight to create the combustible Death Row Records, which in turn transformed Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur into superstars.
Ben Westhoff explores how this group of artists shifted the balance of hip-hop from New York to Los Angeles. He shows how N.W.A.'s shocking success lead to rivalries between members, record labels, and eventually a war between East Coast and West Coast factions. In the process, hip-hop burst into mainstream America at a time of immense social change, and became the most dominant musical movement of the last thirty years. At gangsta rap's peak, two of its biggest names--Tupac and Biggie Smalls--were murdered, leaving the surviving artists to forge peace before the genre annihilated itself.
Featuring extensive investigative reporting, interviews with the principal players, and dozens of never-before-told stories, Original Gangstas is a groundbreaking addition to the history of popular music.
"Raw, authoritative, and unflinching ... An elaborately detailed, darkly surprising, definitive history of the LA gangsta rap era."---Kirkus, starred reviewA monumental, revealing narrative history about the legendary group of artists at the forefront of West Coast hip-hop: Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur.