I'm an award-winning investigative and cultural journalist whose books have been translated into multiple languages and are taught in classrooms around the country. My most recent book Original Gangstas: Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and the Birth of West Coast Rap has received numerous printings and overwhelmingly positive reviews, including from Rolling Stone and People, a starred review in Kirkus, and a five-star Amazon rating. My work has also appeared in the Library of Congress, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Vice, Oxford American, Pitchfork, and others. I have been interviewed as a hip-hop expert for CNN, BET, A&E, and ITV documentaries, and am the former L.A. Weekly music editor, where I edited my protégé, breakout author Shea Serrano, as well as columns written by Henry Rollins and Jeff Weiss. I’m a contributor to the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap, and my 2011 book on southern hip-hop, Dirty South: OutKast, Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, and the Southern Rappers Who Reinvented Hip-Hop was a Library Journal best seller.
ben.westhoff [at] gmail [dot] com