In the latest Billboard cover story, Kendrick Lamar interviewed the four surviving members of N.W.A. “As one of your offspring,” Lamar noted, “anything I do comes from what y’all have done before me.” The most famous N.W.A. alumnae, Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, did most of the talking, discussing their impact on popular music as a whole and the way their work introduced much of America to Compton.
“Rawness wasn’t in the world until N.W.A said it was OK for you to be yourself,” Cube notes. “There’s the world before N.W.A, and the world after… Now Compton means something to you. Now you pay attention. We were able to shed light on some of the bullshit that was going down.” Dre remembers, “We’d say, ‘We need more ‘fucks’ on this record.’”
Touchingly, the older rappers also shared their appreciation for Lamar’s music. Dre told the young MC, “You’re No. 1 on my list because of the care and attention you bring to your tracks and the precision you bring to your sound.” High praise. Watch video of the interview here, and check out the cover story.