Ben Westhoff


Q: What do you write about? 

My new book Fentanyl Inc.: China, New Drugs, and the Third Wave of the Opioid Epidemic will be published in September, 2019 on Grove Atlantic. My reporting included going undercover in Chinese drug operations and interviewing darkweb fentanyl dealers. My previous book, on Tupac and N.W.A, is called Original Gangstas. Here are my best longform stories. I've done deep dives on everything from Native American tribal politics to urban apocalypse to dive bars. I came up in alt-weeklies, and have been a staff writer, music critic, and editor. 

Q: Do you have any cool videos? 

Q: Why can't I find you on social media?

I quit and you should too. Please sign up for my mailing list below, however.

Q: What are your favorite podcasts? 

My great bud and former colleague Amy Nicholson hosts Unspooled and The Canon; recently we debated whether Friday should be included among the greatest films of all-time. (Boo Amy, boo.) Those guys Hollywood Handbook are funny and smart and nice. Emil Amos' Drifter's Sympathy is incredible, listen to the one below. Most everything I know about baseball has come from Joe Posnanski. Shout to Rodney Carmichael for having me on All Songs Considered +1

Q: May I send you a story idea?


Q: Which N.W.A member is which Beatle? 

Dre is Paul, Cube is John, Ren is George, Yella is Ringo, Eazy-E is George Martin, and Jerry Heller is Yoko. 

Q: How many printings for Original Gangstas?

Four in paperback.

Q: That's it for the FAQ?! 

I'll add something more later. H/t to Amanda Lewis for the format. 

Q: Can't you at least leave us with a photo of you and Riff Raff?

I'd prefer not. I like to keep some journalistic distance with my subjects.

Q: C'mon. 

All right, fine. 

Horst and the 'Hoff

Horst and the 'Hoff