When five men with black fitted caps and white jersey shirts strutted the streets of LA chanting “F**k Tha Police,” hip-hop changed, and probably for the better.
N.W.A. or the N**gaz Wit Attitudes has to be one of the most game-changing and controversial rap groups of the 90s. Their music highlighted the truth about violence, police brutality, street struggles, and according to the critics disrespected women and glorified drugs and crimes.
The original lineup of the crew included Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and Arabian Prince. MC Ren and DJ Yella joined in later. But the six-man group turned into a five-man group as Arabian Prince bid farewell before the release of their debut and the most iconic rap albums “Straight Outta Compton”.
Straight Outta Compton came out thirty years ago. It marked the beginning of a new era in hip-hop, the gangsta rap era. Surrounded by a lot of controversies, both good and bad reputation, N.W.A. changed the hip-hop culture forever.
And to mark 30 years of one of the most iconic rap bands and albums, here are 20 facts about N.W.A., and Straight Outta Compton.
1 N.W.A. started at a swap meet.
N.W.A., one of the most iconic hip-hop groups came into existence thanks to a swap meet.
A swap meet is a place similar to a flea market, but instead of things we normally get at a flea market, a swap meet is a place where musicians and artists sell their music and where music enthusiast go to find music that suits them at a bargain price.
In a similar case, Eazy came across a music made by Dr. Dre and was so impressed that he decided to reach out to him, and the rest is history.
2 Dr. Dre was in an Electro-Rap Band prior to N.W.A.
Now, we all know what level of musical genius Dr. Dre really is. And we are also familiar with all of his wonders.
But before blowing up as a n**ga with attitude, Dre was associated with a different band, an electro-rap band "World Class Wreckin’ Cru".
Even DJ Yella was a part of the ensemble who’d be wreckin’ you with those shiny suits.
3 N.W.A. was not a Gangsta-Rap Crew.
But their lyrics contained so much hatred, street violence, and gangster stuff. Boohoo, stop crying.
To be very very honest, N.W.A. was not actually a gangsta-rap crew. The only gangster in the crew was Eazy-E, yet he never let his gang-stuff affect his music career.
And the members hated when they were called gangsta-rappers as none of them were gang members and when it comes to the lyrics of their songs, it was more related to reality than a gang. So, they preferred the term “reality rap” rather than “gangsta rap”.
4 Eazy-E was the only one with a Criminal Record.
As we mentioned earlier, none of the members were gangsters or associated with any gangs whatsoever, except for Eazy-E. So, it’s obvious that he had trouble with the law a couple of times.
Out of the five members, only E was the one with criminal records.
5 Straight Outta Compton Cost only $12K.
Eazy-E founded Ruthless Records with Jerry Heller and everyone assumed that it was Eazy’s drug dealing background that was credible in pushing the crew forward in their music production.
But it was Jerry who invested $250,000 from his own pocket and N.W.A’s debut album just cost $12,000 to record.