Music journalist Ben Westhoff on the birth of the West Coast rap sound

The Download

Music journalist Ben Westhoff and Justin Kaufmann

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Author and music journalist Ben Westhoff joins Justin to discuss his new book, “Original Gangstas: The Untold Story of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Tupac Shakur, and the Birth of West Coast Rap.” Ben talks about what compelled him to write this story, the influence of Eazy-E and the origin story of West Coast gangsta rap, the influence of N.W.A.’s “F*#k The Police and Ice-T’s “Cop Killer,” political leaders discounting hip hop, how the movie “Straight Outta Compton” glossed over some of the more controversial events in N.W.A.’s history, Dr. Dre’s groundbreaking record, “The Chronic,” the prominent role of Snoop Dogg, the death of Tupac Shakur and the rivalry between East Coast and West Coast hip hop.

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