As the release of the highly-anticipated N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton nears, Ice Cube is making his rounds to drop a few gems about the legendary West Coast rap group. Chopping it up with Rolling Stone, Cube discussed the streets of Compton and how his cohorts Dr. Dre , MC Ren, DJ Yella and Eazy-E turned their experiences into a new rap genre.
“Talking about what really led into the style that we ended up doing, which is now called hardcore gangster rap,” he said. “Back then we was calling it ‘reality rap’; ‘gangster rap’ is the name that the media coined.”
Detailing that he and Dre started relaying their Compton lifestyle on wax with mixtapes, Ice Cube shared that the late Eazy-E encouraged them to take things to the mainstream.
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“Me and Dre started off making the first mixtapes: He would do the mixes, and I would rap at the beginning of them,” he said. “We’d talk about shit you couldn’t talk about on a record, that we didn’t think you could until Eazy-E came into the picture and said, ‘No these are the kind of records I want to make, not just mixtapes, not just for the ‘hood. Let’s do these kinds of records for everybody.'”
Cube also recalled his favorite qualities about Eazy-E: “His sense of humor, his sense of marketing and just how he knew what people wanted all the time. He was just a smart cat,” he said.
Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times