N.W.A is set to perform live for the first time in 15 years this weekend at the BET Experience in Los Angeles. Of course, the reunion will sadly be without Eazy-E, the iconic rapper died in 1995. Ice Cube chatted with Noisey about the upcoming reunion.
“Getting on stage with those guys is going to be just like riding a bike,” Cube told Noisey. “We’re N.W.A. We’re going to make it as ferocious as we can.”
Cube also discussed the legendary group’s legacy in the interview, and how they altered culture.
“You know, I think we definitely changed the trajectory of music and a lot of things. We, to me, go beyond music,” he explained to Noisey. “We made it OK for you to say what you wanna say, be who you wanna be, and still be famous.
“We opened it up,” he explained. “To me, we gave freedom to a whole new side of entertainment. Without N.W.A, there’s no Eminem. Without N.W.A, there’s no shows like ’South Park.’ Without N.W.A, do we have any reality shows?”
Eminem – who was mentored by Dr. Dre – has given credit to N.W.A for their influence several times over the course of his career, in tracks “Rap God,” and “Renegade.” In 2010, Slim thanked a slew of rappers including Dr. Dre and N.W.A for inspiring him.
N.W.A members: Arabian Prince, DJ Yella, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, the late Eazy-E, and Ice Cube released their classic “Straight Outta Compton” album in 1988 and they quickly became figureheads for a movement of not only music but race and culture in America.
Despite tracks from “Straight Outta Compton” being banned from mainstream radio stations initially, the album still sold 10 million units.
“Would you be bleepin’ out the cuss words when you say ’Bitch, I[’ll] kick your ass?’” Cube said. “Those come off the N.W.A records. All that set that in motion to not be so scared of human nature, human interaction, human communication. Made it OK for all that to be accepted.”
Watch “NWA Straight Outta Compton” red band trailer: