GRANTLAND

Follow the Leaders / July 20, 2015

Big Daddy Kane and Rakim were the alpha and omega of rap's golden era. Nearly 30 years since their prime, Kane has settled into the nostalgia circuit, while Rakim continues to move in the shadows, plotting a comeback. This is the story of how hip-hop grows old. 

Family Business / April 3, 2015

With the L.A. Lakers on the verge of completing their worst season ever, would team president and ultimate boss Jeanie Buss fire her brother Jim, VP of basketball operations, for failing to keep up his end of the bargain? The only thing thicker than blood is NBA championship gold. 

Can TNA Get Over? / September 16, 2014

Rumors have swirled about the demise of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Is this the end for the company? And will professional wrestling ever support two major promotions again? 

Say Hello to the Bad Guy / May 29, 2014

The life and times of Hollywood heavy Tommy 'Tiny' Lister, better known as Deebo

Billy Bob's Blues / April 3, 2014

Ron Lester came to fame as the oversized comic relief in movies like "Varsity Blues." But now that he's lost the girth that made him famous, can he still have a future in Hollywood? 

Bad Day in Buffalo / December 12, 2013

Two mysterious deaths in the shadow of one NFL game

The Menace That Missed / June 13, 2013

Twenty years ago, Menace II Society was supposed to make Tyrin Turner a star. So why have you never heard of him?

The Secret History of Kobe Bryant's Rap Career / April 12, 2013

Whatever happened to the Lakers superstar’s music dreams?

You Either Smoke or You Get Smoked / August 21, 2012

An oral history of White Men Can’t Jump

Kevin Nash's Next Angle / August 7, 2012

The controversial wrestling star has made a fortune in the ring and is making headway in Hollywood. So why can’t he sleep at night?

The 'Perfect Guy' for the Job / September 14, 2015

Why the screenwriter of 'Menace II Society' had to wait 22 years for his next hit

Before #BlackLivesMatter / September 4, 2015

Remembering 'Hip Hop for Respect' and rap's response to police brutality 

De'aundre Bonds Gets His Second Chance With 'Dope' / June 29, 2015

After serving nearly a decade in prison for manslaughter, the actor makes a comeback 

Messiah Music / April 28, 2015

Investigating the hidden meaning of Lupe Fiasco's "Tetsuo & Youth" 

John Singleton Reveals How Ja Rule Blew His Chance to Be in 2 Fast 2 Furious / April 3, 2015

Why did Ja Rule leave the blockbuster Fast and the Furious franchise? 

The Oral History of Jay Z's "Hard Knock Life" / December 19, 2014

The inside story on the creation of Jay-Z's Annie anthem 

Q&A: Jungle / December 17, 2014

Nas's brother, Jungle, on life in Queensbridge and the new doc Time Is Illmatic

 

The Ringer

The Dangerous Advocacy of Paul Heyman / November 16, 2017

As Brock Lesnar's spokesperson, Paul Heyman is one of WWE's most essential figures and one wrestling history's greatest mavericks. But how much longer can the Beast and his boisterous advocate dominate WWE? 

Wasted Talent / July 11, 2017

After his turns in 'A Bronx Tale' and 'The Sopranos,' Lillo Brancato had stardom at his fingertips and lost it all in a haze of drugs and a violent crime. Does he deserve a chance at a comeback? 

The Wonder of Ann Wolfe / June 6, 2017

Former boxer and trainer Ann Wolfe is finally on a big stage in the new 'Wonder Woman' film. But her journey to the spotlight has been as complicated as it has been heroic. 

The Wrestling Machine at Rest / March 30, 2017

Kurt Angle - gold-medal winner, wrestling icon, relentless ring general - is finally being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. But not before enduring five broken necks, family tragedy, and a devastating addiction to painkillers 

The Election That Really Is Like Professional Wrestling / October 28, 2016

Meet Terrance Guido Gerin, a.k.a. Rhyno, the hulking wrestler who just so happens to be running an unlikely campaign for the Michigan House of Representatives. Move over, Jesse Ventura, there's a new rasslin' politician 

Joe Budden Just Played His Last Show - But He's Not Retiring / June 17, 2016

Scenes from the cult rapper's not-quite-retirement tour

 

PLAYBOY

The Rise and Fall of Loon / September 2016

Puff Daddy's former hitmaker reflects on what led him to federal prison 

Life and Death on the Ropes / January-February 2016

The in-ring death of Hijo del Perro Aguayo sends Mexican wrestling to the mat

 

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Watch Kevin Hart Tell a Joke. See Fans Laugh. At the Movies / October 16, 2016

What works and what can wrong when shooting stand-up comedy for the big screen 

Deadpool: Meet the Prime Mover Behind the Mercenary / February 5, 2016

How Deadpool co-creator Rob Liefeld became the most interesting man in comics 

Pro Wrestlers Put a Headlock on Hollywood / December 27, 2015

How John Cena and other wrestlers are making their mark in the movie industry 

She Makes Sure Actors Step Up to the Plate / September 14, 2012

Aimee McDaniel oversees sports in “Trouble With the Curve”

Interpreters Help to Tell the Story Behind the Fight / January 8, 2012

In boxing, interpreters bring clarity to TV coverage

Healthy and Hungry Again After Three Lost Summers / August 29, 2010

A surprise finalist at the 2006 Australian Open, Marcos Baghdatis saw his ranking and income plummet as he struggled with injuries.

A Squandered Talent Claimed by the Street / March 6, 2010

In the Queensbridge housing project, where Michael Chatfield grew up, he was a playground legend, a measuring stick for other young players, among them Ron Artest

 

SB Nation

The Biggest Upset in NCAA Tournament History? / March 30, 2016

25 years later, UNLV players still feel the heartbreak of losing to Duke 

Good God Almighty, It's Jim Ross! / April 2, 2014

After a career that spanned four decades, wrestling's favorite voice moves on

 

THE NEW YORK OBSERVER

Skip Bayless, FTW?  / March 20, 2012

One-on-one with ESPN's Top Trash Talker

How Jay-Z Met H.P.: Blame Hip Hop Branding Wizard Steve Stoute / November 21, 2011

Former record exec Steve Stoute and the case of the secret chewing-gum jingle

How Dave Mays and Benzino Got Back in the Game with Hip Hop Weekly  / September 20, 2011

Step one: Take a page from the Bonnie Fuller playbook

Stewie Rah Rah, Pharma’s King of Fun / September 7, 2011

Meet the richest most well-connected New Yorker you have never heard of

 

Buzzfeed

Fuck That Gator! / February 4, 2017

Tommie Woodward yelled, 'Fuck that gator!" just before he was killed by one in Texas, and his death instantly became a national joke. For his family, grieving means having to rescue the person from the punchline. 

How Vince McMahon's Son Left the WWE Empire To Make It On His Own / April 6, 2014

What has Shane McMahon been up to in the four years since he left the family business - the $2.3 billion WWE juggernaut - to launch a video-on-demand company in China?

 

Complex

Complex Q&A: John Cena / April 1, 2016

On the eve of WrestleMania, a candid interview with the WWE's polarizing company man 

"The Life of Pablo," Album Review / February 16, 2016

Why Kanye West's 7th solo album is the first album made for Twitter Moments 

The Unhinged Madness Behind the Making of Any Given Sunday / December 21, 2015

Oliver Stone's set had partying, fighting, and general chaos, sixteen years later the film is as relevant as ever

The Missed Shot That Was Master P's NBA Career / August 6, 2015

How a rap mogul nearly made several professional basketball teams with a unique mixture of skill and fame

The Oral History of Hot 97's Summer Jam / June 5, 2015

Go behind the scenes of hip-hop's biggest concert, from its origins, to the epic beefs, and star-making (and star-breaking) performances

The Oral History of MTV's Rock N' Jock / February 26, 2015

The celebrity sports franchise rules the airwaves and pop culture for over a decade. This is the untold story of Rock N' Jock

No Love Lost / December 19, 2014

The public and private life of Joe Budden, hip-hop's most notorious oversharer 

The Bridge Is Over / November 25, 2014

The Queensbridge Houses were once at the center of the rap universe. What happened to hip-hop's most storied housing project? 

Freshman Adjustment / February 14, 2014

Why my first Kanye West cover story was such a fail 

Kanye West: The Lost Interview / February 14, 2014

Full transcript of my Kanye West interview from December 2003

 

THE CLASSICAL

The Indie Wrestler / Feb. 12, 2013

How one man’s hard-luck journey through the indie wrestling circuit ended behind a deli counter

 

The Hollywood Reporter

Mel Gibson, Taylor Lautner and the 20-Year Effort to Make a 'Stretch Armstrong' Movie / July 26, 2013

Disney, Universal, dozens of writers and a $10 million payday for Danny DeVito: The Hollywood Reporter presents the oral history of the superhero movie that just couldn't get off the ground 

 

THE AWL

All He Wanted April 13, 2011

Chris Kanyon's doomed quest to be wrestling's first openly gay star

A Tribe Called Quest: The Time They Nearly Kicked It  / July 14, 2011

Or, why you should never interview your idols

 

GOOD

How Not to Win the Presidency / November 2008

Bob Barr will not be the 44th president of the United States. Neither will Cynthia McKinney. But if 2000 taught us anything, it's that third-party candidates can influence the outcomes of elections. 

God, Without the Fuss / January 2008

Joel Osteen's new brand of self-help spirituality is sweeping the nation.   

 

SPIN

Jay Electronica: Man or Myth? July 2010

Jay Electronica, hip-hop’s greatest new MC, gives his music away, tweets his baby’s birth, and rhymes his name with Hanukkah. Is this guy for real?

Out of the Shadows  / August 2009

Having battled his demons on the mic before Slim got Shady, Cage tries to reinvent rap-rock and take you on the next downward spiral

The SPIN Interview: Q-Tip  / August 2008

After Q-Tip transformed hip-hop with A Tribe Called Quest, he endured solo exile and ran the celebrity gauntlet. Will he now be accepted back as an MC elder?

 

VIBE

The Vibe Q: Shaquille O’Neal (Pt. 1)  / Feb/Mar 2012

Shaquille O’Neal picks up a few flagrant fouls while addressing his legacy, his rapping and how he got whacked by a certain two-guard

The Vibe Q: Shaquille O’Neal (Pt. 2)  / Feb/Mar 2012

Oral History: Tupac's Acting Career (Pt. 1) / Oct/Nov 2011

Tupac Shakur's true Hollywood story

Oral History: Tupac's Acting Career (Pt. 2) / Oct/Nov 2011

The Eminem Cover Story: Dying To Live   / Aug/Sept 2010

With his mind right and his rhymes tight, hip-hop's biggest blockbuster rapper isn't ready for war anymore. Eminem is clean and sober and putting shattered pieces of his life back together again

 

KING

The Education of Ron Artest / January 2009

Ron Artest was a beast in grammar school. But if you went to class with dirty underwear and purple jeans, you might have anger issues too. Reunited with one of his schoolmates, Artest talks about his early days. 

Belly Up / September 2008 (co-written with Clover Hope)

Belly opens with a Hollywood cliche - the stickup. But here, the bad guys wore glow-in-the-dark contact lenses and robbed the Tunnel. It was original, it looked great, it all went downhill from there

Hard Times / July/August 2008 

Former wrestler Hardbody Harrison promised damaged women riches and stardom if they worked hard in the sqared circle. All he asked in return was sex and prostitution. 

KING Legacy Interview: Nas / April 2008

It ain't hard to tell. Nas. Escobar. God's Son is a legend. Fourteen years after Illmatic, Mr. Jones takes a moment to exhale on all topics, including the question that matters most: Is he the best?

The Life and Death of Lloyd Avery II / November 2007

Boyz N the Hood actor Lloyd Avery II answered the calls of thug life. What followed? Paranoia, a double homicide, and death at the hands of a Satanist

Killer Crossover / December 2005

Iverson may have the platinum chains, but Shaquille O'Neal has the plaque. KING documents the rap career of the only athlete to ever scan a million sold. 

 

XXL

Everything I Am / September 2013

In this XXL cover story, Drake talks Nothing Was the Same, Amanda Bynes, Kobe and what it's like exchanging subliminal disses with Kanye West. 

Mourn You 'Til I Join You / September 2011

The troubled life and tragic death of 2Pac's favorite producer, Johnny J 

DJ Premier: The XXL Icon Interview  / December 2010

Hip-hop’s most respected producer talks hit records, acid trips, his late friend Guru and one legendary screaming match with Puff Daddy.

Lost: The Last Days of Guru of Gang Starr / June 2010

The sad, mysterious end to Keith “Guru” Elam’s life has made clear just how far one of hip-hop’s most beloved MCs had gotten from his former friends, family and support system

All Falls Down / March 2010

Four years ago, superproducer Scott Storch’s beats dominated the charts, while he amassed a $70 million fortune. Today, he’s a survivor who’s overcome financial ruin and drug addiction. How did it all go wrong?

The Coolest / April 2008

He flaunts his association with a criminal organization and collects felony charges like baseball cards. But he’s a fixture at the top of the charts and a favorite on daytime talk shows. How does Snoop Dogg do it?

I'm Real, What Are You? / July 2007

He’s the King of the South, tip-top of the rap game. But is he happy? Does he want to retire? Every evening, he has a by-himself meeting, but still, T.I. is of two minds.

Like Me / May 2007

In today's tabloid-driven world, stars are supposed to have an "image," a "persona," and a marketable "story" the public can latch on to. Fabolous just wants to make hit records. What's a rapper to do? 

Weight / December 2006

He's been fighting for his career for near fifteen years. Never afraid of change, he's sticking and moving. Fat Joe has had his hits, but he's taken some, too


SLAM  

The Fighter / January 2011

One of the NBA's greatest shot-blockers, 7'7" Manute Bol made an even bigger impact off the court

 

VICE SPORTS

From Ring to Screen and Back / November 30, 2015

How Rocky's Real Life Boxers Fared in the Ring 

 

Genius

The Hip-Hop Musical That Hit NYC 25 Years Before Hamilton / June 14, 2016

Lauren Hill, Wyclef, and MC Lyte hit the stage in Club XII, the forgotten play that was way ahead of its time

 

Pitchfork

The Rap Pact / February 14, 2017

How Jay Z and Hot 97 combined forces to take over hip-hop