3 out of 5 of the original members of N.W.A., just reunited for the first time in 15 years on BET’s “Experience” concert series. Ice Cube told Rolling Stone Magazine it would his first time on stage with fellow bandmate MC Ren & N.W.A. member DJ Yella in over a decade. Their reunion concert june 25th comes just before the “Straight Outta Compton,” semi-documentary due out in August.
The big question was whether or not Dr. Dre would show up at the reunion. “I hope he blesses us with his presence.”, said an optimistic Ice Cube in an interview a few weeks before the show. The pair last performed together during the 2000 “Up in Smoke Tour”. Dre, who went on to be the most successful of the legendary group ended up being a no-show at the Staples Center this time. The 5th member & founder who also had a thriving solo career, Eazy-E, died in 1995 at the age of 31.
Opening the set with 1999’s “Chin Check,” Cube appeared with MC Ren next to him and DJ Yella on the turntables. The trio performed “Express yourself” “Straight Outta Compton” “Check Yo Self,” & countless other classics. While the entire show was intense, The most controversial point of the performance was when they hopped out of the back of a cop car & performed the song “Fuck tha Police,”. The choreography was complete with grim videos of brutality & recent officer involved shootings playing on a huge screen in the background.
In between renditions of their hit songs & the crowd shouting all the lyrics, They stopped to pay tribute to Eazy, “It’s only right to give respect to the Godfather,” Ice Cube said while Yella spun classic Eazy -E records. N.W.A. (Niggaz Wit Attitudes) were pioneers in a revolutionary new style of rap in the late 1980’s. It was unapologetic, with hardcore tales of street life in South Central Los Angeles, Compton in particular.
This years BET Experience had many guests, including A Tribe Called Quest, Schoolboy Q, Erykah Badu & Snoop Dogg. Even Ice Cube’s son, who is named O’Shea Jackson Jr., performed “Dopeman” while looking like the spitting image of a late-’80s version of Ice Cube. Although accompanied by three backup vocalists, the biggest surprise of the four day event was a stunning performance by Lauryn Hill. Of course she performed her 1998 smash hit “Doo Wop (That Thing),” to the cheers of the packed crowd.