Wash U undergraduate Philosophy alumnus, Ben Westhoff, has just published a new book with Hachette Books

From the author:

This is very exciting! I spent five years conducting the 100+ interviews used in the story -- rappers, producers, girlfriends, experts, gang members -- and spent countless hours digging through court files and examining microfiche.

The book has received great reviews, including from Kirkus ("An elaborately detailed, darkly surprising, definitive history of the L.A. gangsta rap era," starred review), NY Daily News("stunning and entertaining"), Booklist ("especially relevant amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement") best-selling author Shea Serrano ("airtight and unflinching"), and even Chuck D from Public Enemy ("shows how the rap West was won"). 

It's full of never-told revelations, about Dr. Dre's abusive past, Tupac and Biggie's friendship-turned-deadly-rivalry, Ice Cube's relationship with the Nation of Islam, and the last weeks of Eazy-E's life, when he contracted AIDS and married his girlfriend on his deathbed. Here are excerpts from Vice, the GuardianForbes, and a playlist I did for Tidal
You can order Original Gangstas at your favorite local bookstoreAmazonBarnes & Noble, or anywhere books are sold. 
If you wouldn't mind spreading the word on your social media, that would be amazing too.
My publisher has already ordered a second printing, so the pressure's on! Your support means the world to me. Writing books is a tough racket, but it's my dream come true, and I couldn't have done it without you. 
Plot summary: Amid rising gang violence, the crack epidemic, and police brutality, a group of unlikely voices cut through the chaos of late 1980s Los Angeles: N.W.A. Led by a drug dealer, a glammed-up producer, and a high school kid, N.W.A gave voice to disenfranchised African Americans across the country. And they quickly redefined pop culture across the world. Their names remain as popular as ever--Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube. Dre soon joined forces with Suge Knight to create the combustible Death Row Records, which in turn transformed Snoop Dogg and Tupac Shakur into superstars. In the process, hip-hop burst into mainstream America at a time of immense social change, and became the most dominant musical movement of the last thirty years. At gangsta rap's peak, two of its biggest names--Tupac and Biggie Smalls--were murdered, leaving the surviving artists to forge peace before the genre annihilated itself.  
Here's a trailer video, and here's a "scoop" video
Finally, come see me read! I'll be in Long Beach (Sept 13), Atlanta (Sept 19), and St. Louis (Sept 20).