Straight Outta Compton (1988)—N.W.A.
I’m not going to take all the credit for the gangsta style of Straight Outta Compton. Everybody contributed something. But there are certain moments that stand out. A song like “Fuck The Police” took N.W.A. from just being a hardcore group from L.A. to the world’s most dangerous group. That one song alone was just as political as anything that had come out before it. I don’t know if a song has ever peaked that kind of political vibe all over the world. It hit a chord with people globally who were sick of [unjust] authority. To me, that song is the essence of what the group had become.
To tell you truth, I wasn’t shook when the F.B.I. sent us that letter [condemning us for “Fuck The Police”]. I was naïve. Being that young, I didn’t really care about the F.B.I. [laughs]. They didn’t mean as much to me as the LAPD. I actually saw the cops in L.A. fuck with people for no reason. They would fuck with me and the homies for just doing nothing; We were used to putting our hands on the hood of a cop car and all that bullshit. That same year Eazy released Eazy-Duz-It. With Eazy’s record, a lot of people pitched in—the D.O.C., MC Ren, and myself. We all put a lot of effort to get that record done, but at the end of the day writers were not considered producers. No matter what you contributed to the record, style wise, you were not considered a producer unless you did beats. And to me, that was bullshit.
That’s when I started to have issues with the way business was being done. I was the one that told Dr. Dre to go ‘Gangsta, gangsta, that’s what they yelling, it’s not about a salary, it’s all about reality.’ Me bringing those records to the studio and telling Dre to use them is producing just as much as Yela rewinding the tape and making sure the drum machine is working. That was my main problem. I thought we should all get paid as producers. And Eazy didn’t see it that way.