HipHopDX – This week in Hip Hop, actor and comedian John Witherspoon, also known as “Pops,” passed away. Also, J. Cole teased a possible upcoming project during his Day N Vegas set. Lastly, DJ Premier releases Gang Starr‘s One Of The Best Yet album.

John Witherspoon Passes Away

The Hip Hop community mourned the passing away of actor-comedian John Witherspoon on Tuesday (October 29).

“It is with deepest sorrow that we can confirm our beloved husband and father, John Witherspoon, one of the hardest working men in show business, died today at his home in Sherman Oaks at the age of 77,” his family said in a statement. “He is survived by his wife Angela, and his sons JD, Alexander and a large family.”

Witherspoon was affectionately called “Pops” by everyone who loved him. He was known for his role in Friday as Ice Cube‘s father in the 1995 film Friday, as well as his role in comedy series The Wayans Bros. and the voice of “Grandad” in The Boondocks.

Read more about John Witherspoon passing away here.

J. Cole Teases The Fall Off

J. Cole hit the Day N Vegas stage Friday night (November 1) and seemingly confirmed his next album The Fall Off is coming in 2020.

Before Cole got into a performance of “Middle Child,” a mock 2020 presidential ad campaign was shown on the jumbotron promoting The Fall Off‘s coming.

Last year, Cole said he’d been working on the project and it seems he’s ready to unleash it.

Read more about J. Cole’s The Fall Off here.

Historic Gang Starr Album Drops

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DJ Premier released Gang Starr’s album One Of The Best Yet, this week.

The 16-track project features guest appearances from Q-Tip, Royce Da 5’9, Talib Kweli, M.O.P and apparently the last J. Cole guest verse ever.

Stream Gang Starr’s One Of The Best Yet here.

DX Reviews

Kanye West — Jesus Is King
D. Smoke — Inglewood High
Gucci Mane — Woptober II
Lil Kim — 9
Black Moon — Rise Of Da Moon
Nicole Bus — KAIROS
Radamiz — Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes
Casanova — Behind These Scars
Smoke DZA, Benny The Butcher & Pete Rock — Statue Of Limitations
Danny Brown — uknowhatimsayin¿
Jackson Wang — MIRRORS

#DXCLUSIVES: DJ Premier, Yelawolf & Rich Brian

DJ Premier Felt Guru’s Spirit “Every Day” While Crafting New Gang Starr Album

DJ Premier debuted Gang Starr’s new album One Of The Best Yet, and spoke with HipHopDX about what he did to prepare the making of this historic album.

“I did a ritual where I burned sage because that’s known to ward off evil energy,” he said. “Then, I would bless his ashes with the sage and bless his picture. If you saw the picture in The New York Times article that’s in that frame, that’s the picture that sits on top of our control board. I would let the smoke billow all throughout the picture and just kind of fog up the whole glass frame. I’d take his ashes and rub it against the picture and I would always say, ‘Get everybody evil away from us. Get everybody evil away from us. Get Solar away from us’ and not even to keep bringing him up because I don’t really want to speak of him like that, but that was one of the things I prayed for because the energy has always been bad. Bad energy.”

Read the full DJ Premier interview here.

Yelawolf Talks Eminem’s Label Lessons, Disses Hick Hop & Explains Failed Big K.R.I.T. Album

Speaking to DX, Yelawolf opened up about his first album since leaving Shady Records, Ghetto Cowboy, and what he learned from Eminem.

“There is Shady and then there is Interscope,” Wolf explained. “It’s big bank and then a blanketed promotional company to support that investment. That investment comes into Shady and Shady blankets that with the co-sign of Marshall and all that comes with that, which is a lot. That’s what I’m doing on a tiny scale. Introducing people to my circle, fanbase and brand. Just letting it be what it is. If you like it, you like it. If you pass on it, you pass on it. It’s not like spending payola to get radio spins. If your cardboard cutout is more noticeable than your music, then you need to rethink your music.”

Read the full Yelawolf interview here.

Rich Brian Wants You To Chase Your Wildest Hip Hop Dreams

From his viral hit “Dat $tick” to his latest album The Sailor, 88rising star Rich Brian spoke with DX about his Hip Hop dreams and the message he hopes is received by his fans.

“The whole message of this album is about somebody who’s not afraid to explore uncharted territory,” he revealed.

Read the full Rich Brian interview here.