Find Out the Stories Behind Your Favorite Rap Albums by the Artists Who Created Them

Featuring conversations with Wiz Khalifa, Ja Rule, Bun B, Too $hort, and more.

Jackie Kolgraf
June 2, 2023

David Dennis Jr., senior muisc writer at ESPN’s Andscape, invites ground-breaking artists to deep-dive into one of their favorite albums from their own catalog in the new podcast Rap Stories. All 12 episodes — featuring conversations with artists like Wiz Khalifa, Ja Rule, Bun B, Too $hort, and more — are available to stream on the SXM App now in celebration of Black Music Month.

What You’ll Hear

David talks to groundbreaking artists about some of the most timeless yet underrated albums in hip-hop history. In each episode, David shares nostalgic stories about how these musicians have been the soundtrack of his life and so many others. Then, David and the guests break down one album — its backstory, cultural relevance, and lasting impact.

Episodes & Artists

Bun B: Bun B of the southern rap duo UGK looks back at the group’s 1992 debut studio album, Too Hard To Swallow, sharing little-known backstories about the tracks “Pocket Full of Stones” and “Murder.”

Ja Rule: Ja Rule goes way back to his 2000 album Rule 3:36 and flashes back to BET’s countdown music video show, 106 & Park.

Wiz Khalifa: Wiz Khalifa rewinds to 2010 with his classic mixtape Kush & OJ, discussing how it changed the music industry.

Freddie Gibbs: Freddie Gibbs discusses his 2019 classic Bandana and debates which track has aged best, also sharing stories about his youth, Nipsey Hussle, and fatherhood.

Young Guru: Young Guru goes back in time to 2007 with Jay-Z and American Gangster. Going down memory lane brings back surprising stories about Denzel Washington, Lil Wayne, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and Star Trek.

Curren$y: Curren$y digs into The Blog Era and his third studio album, Pilot Talk, from 2010. The artist looks back on his defining moments at SXSW, on YouTube, and with Mos Def.

The Lox: Styles P, Jadakiss, and Sheek Louch mark the 25th anniversary of their debut album, Money, Power & Respect, released in 1998. They share stories about Puff Daddy, Jay-Z and DMX, and Notorious B.I.G.

Goodie Mob: The artists bring us back to 1995 with Soul Food. Khujo, T-Mo, and Big Gipp look back on their start with OutKast and their influence on Organized Noize. T-Mo shows love for Atlanta and its party culture, reminiscing about Bobby Brown and Black Greek Life.

Little Brother: Phonte and Big Pooh celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut album, The Listening, from 2003. The artists look back on their careers, their college days, and some truly cringeworthy moments.

MC Lyte: MC Lyte reflects on her 1988 debut album, Lyte As a Rock. Along the way, she shares stories about her Brooklyn upbringing, the creation of “10% Diss,” and the myth surrounding her relationship with Antoinette.

Too $hort: Too $hort remembers his 1988 studio album, Life Is … Too $hort, sharing how he teamed up with engineer Al Eaton to create the bass-hitting beats on tracks like “City of Dope” and “Pimp the Ho.”

Big K.R.I.T.: Rapper and producer Big K.R.I.T. talks about his 2017 independent album, 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time. K.R.I.T. opens up about faith, family, and personal struggles behind the tracks “Drinking Sessions” and “Keep the Devil Off.”

About Andscape & David Dennis Jr.

Andscape is a Black-led media platform dedicated to creating, highlighting, and uplifting the diverse stories of Black identity. David Dennis Jr. has been a hip-hop writer for more than a decade as well a panelist on ESPN’s Around The Horn and Debatable. Dennis is the recipient of the American Mosaic Journalism Prize and author of the bestselling book The Movement Made Us.