Eazy-E

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Posted by kaori 03/08/2009 @ 21:12

Tags : eazy-e, rap and hip-hop, artists, music, entertainment

News headlines
Michel'le Files Child Support Charges Against Suge Knight - HipHopDX
In 1989, the singer went platinum for her self-titled debut, produced by Dr. Dre, DJ Yella and Eazy E. She last appeared publicly on 2003's Dysfunktional Soundtrack, released on Death Row. Toussaint is reportedly taking her spousal charge to bankruptcy...
Top 10 Songs That Should've Been Banned at Prom - LAist
Shortly after graduating Compton Medical School, Dr. Dre produced memorable beats for himself and pals (Eazy-E, MC Ren, and Ice Cube) on which to rhyme. NWA's catalog features such jams as “A Bitch Is a Bitch,” “Just Don't Bite It,” “I'd Rather Fuck...
Soulja Boy: 'I Done Ended A Lot Of N****s' Careers' - BallerStatus.com
But surprisingly, he names Eazy-E. My favorite old school rapper is Eazy-E. I used to listen to Eazy-E a lot when I was little," he revealed. "I get down with Snoop Dogg, Tupac, Dre, Notorious BIG, but just my favorite all-time, out of everybody,...
Notorious (Blu-ray) Collector's Edition - DVDTOWN.com
I am just dying to see a film about the life of Eric "Eazy-E" Wright, but I hope that when that film does get made it is more honest and more convincing than "Notorious." I feel the story of Eazy-E and NWA would make for a better film and at this point...
5 Ways The Republicans Can Party Again - Complex.com
Just in case the whole “raising the voting age” thing runs into a couple speed bumps, someone's got to remind the kids and “urban” audiences that the GOP is the party of Lincoln and Eazy-E. Daddy Yankee gave it a good shot last year when he endorsed...
Rapper Greydon Square Is an Atheist Icon - Phoenix New Times
Growing up in Compton, California, the same city that spawned Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, and The Game, Greydon grew up in group homes, a subject he addresses in his newer tracks. He's got a lot of other life experiences to write about if he wants...
Gang Gang Dance - Tiny Mix Tapes
I kind of grew up listening to a lot of rap; I grew up on Long Island with cars with big sound systems, like Eazy-E [laughs]…and at the same time, we would go see Fugazi shows. J: Trends are difficult because of the internet. Everyone can be doing the...
Nana besucht den Kosovo - rap.de
"kp" ich glaub der will nicht mehr da wohnen.... und wenn der aussortiert wurde geht nicht weil wie da schon steht hat bu selber die beats gemacht also (N)utten (W)ollen (K)ay NWK und kennt ihr Nwa mit eazy-e, ice cube usw? Mit diesen liddern ist Kay...

Eazy-E

Eazy-E32.jpg

Eric Lynn Wright (September 7, 1963 – March 26, 1995), better known by the stage name Eazy-E, was an American rapper, producer, and record executive from Compton, California.

Eazy-E was a Kelly Park Compton Crip during his teen years, and he openly associated himself with other Crips. He sold drugs during his early teen years and then invested the money he made into a hip hop enterprise. He is widely regarded as one of the founders of the gangsta rap subgenre and initially rose to fame as the founder and member of the group N.W.A, but later achieved critical and commercial success as a solo artist. Eazy-E's vocal style was marked by his youthful, high-pitched voice and his lyrics focusing on the elements of urban street life such as guns, drugs, relations between residents and the police, and sexual activity. He had also for some time hosted a hip-hop radio show on Los Angeles-based radio station KKBT.

Eric Wright, the son of Richard and Kathie Wright, dropped out of high school in the tenth grade and supported himself by selling drugs, later receiving a high school equivalency diploma. He used the profits from his drug sales to establish Ruthless Records. When Ruthless signees Dr. Dre and Ice Cube wrote "Boyz-n-the-Hood", Ahmed Saaoud and Eazy E formed the group N.W.A with Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. Later, DJ Yella and Arabian Prince were added.

In this period, Ruthless Records released the compilation N.W.A and the Posse (1987), N.W.A's proper debut Straight Outta Compton (1988), and one month later, Eazy-E's solo album, Eazy-Duz-It. The album sold two million copies, certifying it as a double platinum album, and spawned the hit singles "We Want Eazy" and "Eazy-Er Said Than Dunn" (a remix of "Boyz-n-the-Hood" was also included). The album was produced by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella and largely written by Ice Cube, with contributions from MC Ren and The D.O.C..

On the final N.W.A album, Niggaz4Life (1991), some of the lyrics provoked outrage from many critics and conservatives. Eazy-E included pistols and shotguns in videos for both "Alwayz into Somethin'" and "Appetite for Destruction".

Disputes about money caused the group to break up. It was thought that Eazy-E and Jerry Heller were stealing money from the group. Ice Cube is believed to have left N.W.A for this reason, which he later referenced in his diss song, "No Vaseline". Subsequently, Eazy-E and Dr. Dre started feuding - a feud that grew to embroil most of Ruthless Records and Dr. Dre's new label, Death Row Records with Merrill. Eazy-E released It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa and a posthumous album Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton which both went multi-platinum.

At the start of Dr. Dre's defection from Ruthless Records, executives Mike Klein and Jerry Heller sought assistance from the Jewish Defense League (JDL). Klein, former Ruthless Records director of business affairs said this provided Ruthless Records with muscle to enter into negotiations with Death Row Records over Dr. Dre's departure. While Suge Knight violently sought an outright release from Ruthless Records for Dr. Dre, the JDL and Ruthless Records management were able to sit down with Death Row and negotiate a release in which the record label would continue to receive money and publishing rights from future Dr. Dre projects. It was under these terms that Dr. Dre left Ruthless Records and formed Death Row with Suge Knight. The FBI launched a money laundering investigation, assuming that the JDL was extorting money from Ruthless Records to fight their extremist causes. This led to JDL spokesperson Irv Rubin issuing a press release stating "There was nothing but a close, tight relationship" between Eazy-E and the organization.

In March 1995, Eazy-E checked himself into Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with what he believed at the time was chronic asthma. Following comprehensive tests, it was discovered that he was suffering from AIDS, and his condition deteriorated rapidly. During the week of March 20, already having made amends with Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, Eazy-E drafted what would be his last message to his fans. On March 26, 1995, ten days after being admitted into the hospital, Eazy-E died at the age of 31. He was buried at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California.

Eric Wright, Jr., better known by his stage name Lil Eazy-E, is an American rapper and the eldest son of Eazy-E. Wright Jr. was born and raised in Compton, California, in the same house his father grew up in. He was 10 years old when his father died. He first appeared on the hip hop scene with Daz Dillinger, during which time an independent album release was expected. However, no contract was actually signed, and this led to an eventual feud between the two rappers. Lil Eazy-E left Virgin Records for a deal with Blackground and Universal Motown Records Group in 2006. He created the recording label Kings of L.A. Entertainment and released the mixtape Compton For Life.

He has performed duets with rappers such as Timbaland and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. His album The Prince of Compton, is set for release before the end of 2009. The release date of September 16 was scrapped, due to poor response to the single, "What We're Claiming". Lil Eazy-E was involved in a feud with rapper The Game, because he thought The Game was overusing his fathers name. He disses The Game on the track Coming From Compton on his mixtape Rebirth of Gangsta Rap. The Game shot back on the song 120 Bars. Lil Eazy-E retaliated on the song "They Know Me", in which he claims nobody even knows The Game the way they know Lil Eazy-E. Later the Game said he and Lil Eazy-E had ended their feud.

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Dr. Dre

Dr. Dre during his time in WCWC

Andre Romelle Young (born February 18, 1965), primarily known by his stage name Dr. Dre, is an American record producer, rapper, record executive, and actor. He is the founder and current CEO of Aftermath Entertainment and a former co-owner and artist of Death Row Records, also having produced albums for and overseeing the careers of many rappers signed to those record labels such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem. As a producer he is credited as a key figure in the popularization of West Coast G-funk, a style of rap music characterized as synthesizer-based with slow, heavy beats.

Dr. Dre began his career in music as a member of the World Class Wreckin' Cru and he later found fame with the influential gangsta rap group N.W.A with Eazy-E, which popularized the use of explicit lyrics in rap to detail the violence of street life.His 1992 solo debut The Chronic, released under Death Row Records, led him to become one of the best-selling American performing artists of 1993 and to win a Grammy Award for the single "Let Me Ride." In 1996, he left Death Row to found his own label Aftermath Entertainment, producing a compilation album, Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath, in 1996, and releasing a solo album titled 2001, in 1999, for which he won the Grammy producer's award the next year.

During the 2000s, he focused his career on production for other artists, while occasionally contributing vocals in other artists' songs. Rolling Stone named him among the highest-paid performers of 2001 and 2004. Dr. Dre also had acting roles in movies such as Set It Off, and the 2001 films The Wash and Training Day.

The first child of Verna and Theodore Young, Dr. Dre was born André Romelle Young on February 18, 1965, when his mother was 16. She married his father, Theodore Young, after he was born. Young's middle name, "Romelle," came from Theodore Young's unsigned, amateur R&B singing group The Romells. In 1968 his mother divorced Theodore Young and later married Curtis Crayon. They had 3 more children together, two sons named Jerome and Tyree (both deceased) and daughter Shameka.

In 1976 Young began attending Vanguard Junior High School but due to gang violence around Vanguard he transferred to the safer suburban Roosevelt Junior High School. Verna later married Warren Griffin, whom she met at her new job in Long Beach, which added three new stepsisters and one new stepbrother to the family. That stepbrother, Warren Griffin III, would eventually become a rapper under the stage name Warren G.

Young attended Centennial High School in Compton during his freshman year, in 1979, but transferred to Fremont High School due to poor grades. Young attempted to enroll at Northrop Aviation Company in an apprenticeship program, but poor grades at school made him ineligible. Thereafter, he focused on his social life and entertainment for the remainder of his high school years. Young fathered a son with Lisa Johnson, Curtis, born on December 15, 1981. Curtis Young was brought up by his mother and didn't meet his father until he had become a rapper about 20 years later, with his stage name being Hood Surgeon.

Inspired by the Grandmaster Flash song "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel", he often attended a club called The Eve After Dark to watch many DJs and rappers performing live. Thus, he became a DJ in the club, initially under the name "Dr. J" based on the nickname for Julius Erving, his favorite basketball player. At the club, he met aspiring rapper Antoine Carraby, later to become member DJ Yella of N.W.A. Soon afterwards he adopted the moniker Dr. Dre, a mix of previous alias Dr. J and his first name, referring to himself as the "Master of Mixology". He later joined the musical group World Class Wreckin' Cru under the independent Kru-Cut Records in 1984. The group would become stars of the electro-hop scene that dominated early 1980s West Coast hip hop, and their first hit "gangsta bois" would prominently feature Dr. Dre on the turntables and sell 50,000 copies within the Compton area. Dr. Dre and DJ Yella also performed mixes for local radio station KDAY, boosting ratings for its afternoon rush-hour show The Traffic Jam. Dr. Dre's earliest recordings were released in 1984 in a compilation titled Concrete Roots. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of the website Allmusic called the compiled music, released "several years before Dre developed a distinctive style", to be "surprisingly generic and unengaging" and "for dedicated fans only".

His frequent absences from school jeopardized his position as a diver on his school's swim team. After high school, he attended Chester Adult School in Compton following his mother's demands for him to get a job or continue his education. After brief attendance at a radio broadcasting school, he relocated to the residence of his father and residence of his grandparents before returning to his mother's house. He later dropped out of Chester to focus on performing at the Eve's After Dark nightclub.

In 1986 he met rapper Ice Cube, who collaborated with Dr. Dre to record songs for Ruthless Records, a rap record label run by local rapper and drug dealer Eazy-E. N.W.A however, along with fellow west coast rapper Ice T, debuted with rhymes including profanity and gritty depictions of crime and life on the street. No longer constricted to racially charged political issues pioneered by rap artists such as Public Enemy or Boogie Down Productions, N.W.A shot out with hardcore and realistic perspective of street violence and local black gangster lifestyle. Propelled by the hit "Fuck tha Police", the group's first full album Straight Outta Compton became a major success, despite an almost complete absence of radio airplay or major concert tours and warnings from the FBI. The FBI sent letters to Arabian Prince, Ice Cube and Eazy-E urging them to stop releasing their music as a response to the large number of complaints they had received about the group's lyrical content and use of expletives.

After Ice Cube left N.W.A over financial disputes, Dr. Dre produced and performed for much of the group's second album Efil4zaggin. He also produced tracks for a number of other rap acts on Ruthless Records, including Above the Law, and The D.O.C. for the album No One Can Do It Better. In 1991 at a music industry party in Hollywood, he assaulted television host Dee Barnes of the Fox television program Pump it Up, after he felt dissatisfied by a news report of hers on the feud between the remaining N.W.A members and Ice Cube. Thus, Dr. Dre was fined $2,500 and given two years' probation and 240 hours of community service, as well as a spot on an anti-violence public service announcement on television.

After a dispute with Eazy-E, Dre left the group at the peak of its popularity in 1991 under the advice of friend, and N.W.A lyricist, The D.O.C. and his bodyguard at the time, Suge Knight. Knight, a notorious strongman and intimidator, was able to have Wright release Young from his contract and, using Dr. Dre as his flagship artist, found Death Row Records. In 1992 Young released his first single, the title track to the film Deep Cover, a collaboration with rapper Snoop Dogg, whom he met through Warren G. Dr. Dre's debut solo album was The Chronic, released under Death Row Records. Young ushered in a new style of rap, both in terms of musical style and lyrical content.

On the strength of singles such as "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang", "Let Me Ride", and "Fuck wit Dre Day (and Everybody's Celebratin')" (known as "Dre Day" for radio and television play), all of which featured Snoop Dogg as guest vocalist, The Chronic became a cultural phenomenon, its G-funk sound dominating much of hip hop music for the early 1990s. In 1993 the Recording Industry Association of America certified the album multi-platinum, and Dr. Dre also won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance for his performance in "Let Me Ride". For that year, Billboard magazine also ranked Dr. Dre as the eighth best-selling musical artist, The Chronic as the sixth best-selling album, and "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" as the 11th best-selling single.

Besides working on his own material, Dr. Dre produced Snoop Dogg's debut album Doggystyle, which became the first debut album for an artist to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 album charts. In 1994 Dr. Dre produced the soundtracks to the films Above the Rim and Murder Was the Case. He collaborated with fellow N.W.A member Ice Cube for the song "Natural Born Killaz" in 1995. For the film Friday, Dre recorded "Keep Their Heads Ringin'", which reached #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on the Hot Rap Singles (now Hot Rap Tracks) charts.

In 1995, just as Death Row Records was signing rapper 2Pac and positioning him as their major star, Young left the label amidst a contract dispute and growing concerns that label boss Suge Knight was corrupt, financially dishonest and out of control. Thus, in 1996, he formed his own label Aftermath Entertainment directly underneath the distributor label for Death Row Records, Interscope Records. Consequently, Death Row Records suffered poor sales by 1997, especially following the death of 2Pac and the racketeering charges brought against Knight. Susan Berg, president of Global Music Group, bought Death Row Records for US$24 million in June 2008, making her the owner of all of Dr. Dre's recordings.

The Dr. Dre Presents the Aftermath album, released on November 26, 1996, featured songs by Dr. Dre himself as well as by newly signed Aftermath artists, and a solo track "Been There, Done That", intended as a symbolic farewell to gangsta rap. Despite being classified platinum by the RIAA, the album was not very popular among music fans. In October 1996 Dr. Dre appeared on the sketch comedy program Saturday Night Live, broadcast on the NBC television network in the United States, to perform "Been There, Done That". In 1997, Dr. Dre produced several tracks on The Firm's The Album; it was met with similarly negative reviews from critics. Rumors began to abound that Aftermath was facing financial difficulties. Aftermath Entertainment also faced a trademark infringement lawsuit by the underground thrash metal band Aftermath. First Round Knock Out, a compilation of various tracks produced and performed by Dr. Dre, was also released in 1996, ranging from World Class Wreckin' Cru to N.W.A to Death Row recordings.

The turning point for Aftermath came in 1998, when Jimmy Iovine, the head of Aftermath's parent label Interscope, suggested that Young sign Detroit rapper Marshall Mathers, artistically known as Eminem, to Aftermath. Young produced three songs and provided vocals for two on his controversial album, ("My Name Is", "Guilty Conscience" and "Role Model") in 1999.

Dr. Dre's second solo album, 2001, released in the fall of 1999, was considered an ostentatious return to his gangsta rap roots. It was initially titled The Chronic 2000 to imply being a sequel to his debut album The Chronic but was re-titled 2001 after Death Row Records released an unrelated compilation album earlier in 1999. Other tentative titles included The Chronic 2001 and Dr. Dre. The album featured numerous collaborators, including Devin the Dude, Hittman, Snoop Dogg, Xzibit, Nate Dogg and Eminem. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of the website Allmusic described the sound of the album as "adding ominous strings, soulful vocals, and reggae" to Dr. Dre's style. The album was highly successful, charting at number two on the Billboard 200 charts and has since been certified six times platinum, thus reaffirming a recurring theme featured in its lyrics, stating that Dr. Dre was still a force to be reckoned with, despite the lack of major releases in the previous few years. The album included popular hit singles "Still D.R.E." and "Forgot About Dre", both of which Dr. Dre performed on NBC's Saturday Night Live on October 23, 1999. Dr. Dre won the Grammy Award for Producer of the Year in 2000, and joined the Up in Smoke Tour with fellow rappers Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and Ice Cube that year as well.

During the course of the popularity of 2001, Dr. Dre was involved in several lawsuits. Lucasfilm Ltd., the film company behind the Star Wars film franchise, sued him over the use of the THX-trademarked "Deep Note". The Fatback Band also sued Dr. Dre over alleged infringement of its song "Backstrokin'" in his song "Let's Get High" from the 2001 album; Dr. Dre was ordered to pay $1.5 million to the band in 2003. The online music file-sharing company Napster also settled a lawsuit with him and heavy metal rock band Metallica in the summer of 2001, agreeing to block access to certain files that artists do not want to have shared on the network.

Following the success of 2001, Dr. Dre focused on producing songs and albums for other artists. He produced the single "Family Affair" by R&B singer Mary J. Blige for her album No More Drama in 2001. He also produced "Let Me Blow Ya Mind", a duet by rapper Eve and No Doubt lead singer Gwen Stefani and signed R&B singer Truth Hurts to Aftermath in 2001. Another copyright-related lawsuit came upon Dr. Dre in the fall of 2002, when Sa Re Ga Ma, a film and music company based in Calcutta, India, sued Aftermath Entertainment over an uncredited sample of the Lata Mangeshkar song "Thoda Resham Lagta Hai" on the Aftermath-produced song "Addictive" by singer Truth Hurts. In February 2003, a judge ruled that Aftermath would have to halt sales of Truth Hurts' album Truthfully Speaking if the company would not credit Mangeshkar.

Another successful album that Dre produced for Aftermath was Get Rich or Die Tryin', the 2003 major-label debut album by Queens, New York-based rapper 50 Cent. It featured the Dr. Dre-produced hit single "In da Club", a joint production between Aftermath, Eminem's boutique label Shady Records and Interscope. In April 2003, rapper Ja Rule released a mixtape of freestyle raps criticizing Dr. Dre and his associated artists 50 Cent and Eminem. In November 2004, at the Vibe magazine awards show in Los Angeles, Dr. Dre was attacked by a fan named Jimmy James Johnson, who was supposedly asking for an autograph. In the resulting scuffle, then-G-Unit rapper Young Buck stabbed the man. Johnson claimed that Suge Knight, president of Death Row Records, paid him $5,000 to assault Dre in order to humiliate him before receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award. Knight immediately went on CBS's The Late Late Show to deny involvement and insisted that he supported Dr. Dre and wanted Johnson charged. In September 2005, Johnson was sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to stay away from Dr. Dre until 2008.

Dr. Dre also produced "How We Do", a 2005 hit single from rapper The Game from his album The Documentary. For an issue of Rolling Stone magazine in April 2005, Kanye West praised Dr. Dre as among the greatest performing artists of all time.

In November 2006 Dr. Dre began working with Raekwon on his album Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II. He also produced tracks for the rap albums Buck the World by Young Buck, Curtis by 50 Cent,, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment by Snoop Dogg, and Kingdom Come by Jay-Z. Dre also appeared onTimbaland's track "Bounce", from his 2007 solo album, Timbaland Presents Shock Value along side, Missy Elliott, and Justin Timberlake..

Among planned but unreleased albums during Dr. Dre's tenure at Aftermath have included a full-length reunion with Snoop Dogg titled Breakup to Makeup, an album with fellow former N.W.A member Ice Cube which was to be titled Heltah Skeltah, an N.W.A reunion album, and a joint album with fellow producer Timbaland titled Chairmen of the Board.

Detox is to be Dr. Dre's final album. In 2002, Dre told Corey Moss of MTV News that he intended Detox to be a concept album. Work for the album dates back to early 2004, but later in that year he decided to stop working on the album to focus on producing for other artists but then changed his mind; the album had initially been set for a fall 2005 release. After several delays, the album was finally scheduled to be released sometime in 2009 by Interscope Records, which has not set a firm release date for the album as of February 2009. Producers confirmed to work on the album include Bernard "Focus" Edwards Jr., Hi-Tek, J.R. Rotem, RZA, Jay-Z, Warren G, and Boi-1da. Snoop Dogg claimed that Detox was finished, according to a June 2008 report by Rolling Stone magazine.

After another delay based on producing other artists' work, Detox is now scheduled for a 2009 release, coming after 50 Cent's Before I Self Destruct and Eminem's Relapse. Dre appeared in the remix of the song "Set It Off" by Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall (also with Pusha T); the remix debuted on DJ Skee's radio show in December 2008. At the beginning of 2009, Dre made a guest performance on the single "Crack a Bottle" by Eminem and the single sold a record 418,000 downloads in its first week. and reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart on the week of February 12, 2009.

Other upcoming albums for which he will produce include The Reformation by Bishop Lamont, The Nacirema Dream by Papoose, Here I Am by Eve, and an upcoming album by Queen Latifah. Dre was also rumored to produce tracks for The Game's 2008 album LAX.

In July 2008, Dr. Dre released his high-performance brand of headphones, Beats by Dr. Dre. The headphones are made by Monster. He is also planning on releasing an "Aftermath Cognac and vodka" around the same time he will release Detox.

Dr. Dre has said that his primary instrument in the studio is the Akai MPC3000, a drum machine and sampler, and that he uses as many as four or five to produce a single recording. He cites George Clinton, Isaac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield as primary musical influences. Unlike most rap producers, he tries to avoid samples as much as possible, preferring to have studio musicians re-play pieces of music he wants to use, because it allows him more flexibility to change the pieces in rhythm and tempo. In 2001 he told Time magazine, "I may hear something I like on an old record that may inspire me, but I'd rather use musicians to re-create the sound or elaborate on it. I can control it better." Other equipment he uses include the E-mu SP-1200 drum machine and other keyboards from such manufacturers as Korg, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Moog, and Roland.

After founding Aftermath Entertainment in 1996, Dr. Dre took on producer Mel-Man as a co-producer, and his music took on a more synthesizer-based sound, using fewer vocal samples (as he had used on "Lil' Ghetto Boy" and "Let Me Ride" on The Chronic, for example). Mel-Man has not shared co-production credits with Dr. Dre since approximately 2002, but fellow Aftermath producer Focus has credited Mel-Man as a key architect of the signature Aftermath sound. About.com ranked Dr. Dre #2 (tied with Pete Rock) on their "Top 50 Hip-Hop Producers" list.

In 1999 Dr. Dre started working with Mike Elizondo, a bassist, guitarist, and keyboardist who has also produced, written and played on records for female singers such as Poe, Fiona Apple and Alanis Morissette, In the past few years Elizondo has since worked for many of Dr. Dre's productions. Dr. Dre also told Scratch magazine in a 2004 interview that he has been studying piano and music theory formally, and that a major goal is to accumulate enough musical theory to score movies. In the same interview he stated that he has collaborated with famed 1960s songwriter Burt Bacharach by sending him hip hop beats to play over, and hopes to have an in-person collaboration with him in the future.

Dr. Dre has stated that he is a perfectionist and is known to pressure the artists with whom he records to give flawless performances. In 2006 Snoop Dogg told the website Dubcnn.com that Dr. Dre had made new artist Bishop Lamont re-record a single bar of vocals 107 times. Dr. Dre has also stated that Eminem is a fellow perfectionist, and attributes his success on Aftermath to his like-minded work ethic.

A consequence of this perfectionism is that some artists that initially sign deals with Dr. Dre's Aftermath label never release albums. In 2001, Aftermath released the soundtrack to the movie The Wash. featuring a number of Aftermath acts such as Shaunta, Daks, Joe Beast and Toi. To date, none have released full-length albums on Aftermath and have apparently ended their relationships with the label and Dr. Dre. Other noteworthy acts to leave Aftermath without releasing albums include King Tee, 2001 vocalist Hittman, 1980s rap icon Rakim.

However, over the years word of other collaborators has surfaced. During his tenure at Death Row Records, it was alleged that Dr. Dre's stepbrother Warren G and Tha Dogg Pound member Daz made many uncredited contributions to songs on his solo album The Chronic and Snoop Doggy Dogg's album Doggystyle (Daz received production credits on Snoop's similar-sounding, albeit less successful album Tha Doggfather after Young left Death Row Records).

Current collaborator Mike Elizondo, when speaking about his work with Young, describes their recording process as a collaborative effort involving several musicians. In 2004 he claimed to Songwriter Universe magazine that he had written the foundations of the hit Eminem song "The Real Slim Shady", stating, "I initially played a bass line on the song, and Dr. Dre, Tommy Coster Jr. and I built the track from there. Eminem then heard the track, and he wrote the rap to it." This account is essentially confirmed by Eminem in his book Angry Blonde, stating that the tune for the song was composed by a studio bassist and keyboardist while Dr. Dre was out of the studio but later programmed the song's beat after returning.

Furthermore, in the September 2003 issue of The Source, a group of disgruntled former associates of Dr. Dre complained that they had not received their full due for work on the label. A producer named Neff-U claimed to have produced the songs "Say What You Say" and "My Dad's Gone Crazy" on The Eminem Show, the songs "If I Can't" and "Back Down" on 50 Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin', and the beat featured on Dr. Dre's commercial for Coors beer.

Although Snoop Dogg retains working relationships with Warren G and Daz, who are alleged to be uncredited contributors on the hit albums The Chronic and Doggystyle, he states that Dr. Dre is capable of making beats without the help of collaborators, and that he is responsible for the success of his numerous albums. It should be noted that Dr. Dre's prominent studio collaborators, including Scott Storch, Elizondo, Mark Batson and Dawaun Parker, have shared co-writing, instrumental, and more recently co-production credits on the songs where he is credited as the producer.

It is also widely acknowledged that most of Dr. Dre's raps are written for him by others, though he retains ultimate control over his lyrics and the themes of his songs. As Aftermath Producer Mahogany told Scratch: "It's like a class room in . He'll have three writers in there. They'll bring in something, he'll recite it, then he'll say. 'Change this line, change this word,' like he's grading papers." As seen in the credits for tracks Young has appeared on, there are often multiple people who contribute to his songs (although it should be noted that often in hip hop many people are officially credited as a writer for a song, even the producer). As a member of N.W.A, The D.O.C. wrote lyrics for him while he stuck with producing. Popular New York City rapper Jay-Z ghostwrote lyrics for the single "Still D.R.E." from Dr. Dre's album 2001.

He had a second son, Andre Young Jr, with then-girlfriend Jenita Porter. Andre Young Jr. died at the age of 20 on August 23, 2008 at his Woodland Hills home. The coroner determined that he died from an overdose of heroin and morphine.

From 1990 to 1996 Dr. Dre dated singer Michel'le, who frequently contributed vocals to Death Row Records albums. In 1991 the couple had a son, Marcel. In May 1996 Dr. Dre married Nicole Threatt, the ex-wife of NBA player Sedale Threatt. Dr. Dre and Nicole have two children together: a son named Truth (born 1997) and a daughter named Truly (born 2001).

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West Coast hip hop

West Coast hip hop is a style of hip hop music that originated in California in the early 1980s. It has since grown into a sub-genre of hip hop and has developed several creative centers, most of which are in communities in California. Pioneers of the genre include Ice T, Too Short, Freestyle Fellowship and N.W.A, especially Aceyalone, PEACE, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, & Dr. Dre. It dominated the hip-hop air waves in the early and mid-1990s with the popularity of G-funk.

The two centers of West Coast hip hop are the Los Angeles area and the Bay Area, but can also include the Inland Empire, Sacramento, San Diego, Fresno, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle, and Denver. The Los Angeles area caught on early to the dance and graffiti elements of Hip Hop culture which began spreading from New York City in the late 1970's. Meanwhile in Northern California, the Bay Area bred independent musicians like Too Short, whose do-it-yourself marketing approach would affect the music industry for decades.

The origins of West Coast hip hop can be traced back to the late 1970s. After its invention in New York City, hip hop music started to spread across the country. It quickly jumped coasts to California, where a strong presence of African Americans embraced hip-hop, prominently in block parties and some clubs. However, the West Coast scene became truly established during the 1980s as hip hop music first gained national appeal, and established itself in California in general (and in Los Angeles in particular). Early hardcore rap performers included SF Bay Area's Too Short, who started rapping as early as 1983 and put out three independent albums beginning in 1985 before his 1987 major-label debut, Born to Mack, went gold. Too Short would release 2 more albums before 1991 that went platinum and double platinum respectively. In Los Angeles during the same period, artists like Ice T, Capitan Rapp, King Tee, Toddy Tee, Mixmaster Spade, and C.I.A. gained prominence, while LA Dream Team, World Class Wreckin' Cru, DJ Unknown, Egyptian Lover and the Arabian Prince innovated a style called electro hop (or simply electro), essentially a hybrid of dance music and rap - following the lead of Afrika Bambaataa, who had originally created hip hop by mixing together reggae, funk, and German techno. Electro hop was a less funky, more bass-heavy West Coast sound, similar to Florida rap group 2 Live Crew and the Miami bass scene. However, hip hop followers didn't fully accept electro hop in the long run, and it had all but disappeared by the mid-1990s.

The "gangsta rap" movement also originated in California in the 1980s, serving as a sharp contrast to electro hop and other lighter forms of hip hop. Ice-T's "6 In The Mornin'" (1987) received some national exposure while his 1987 recording Rhyme Pays was a landmark for the genre and could be considered one of the first purely gangsta rap albums. It managed to go gold. N.W.A.'s N.W.A. and the Posse came out shortly thereafter. The CD was a compilation album of loosely connected rappers under the name "N.W.A." ("Niggaz With Attitude"). While not proving to be popular nor having a major effect on hip hop, it set up N.W.A. for their follow up album, which is credited for popularizing gangsta rap to this day. It was about a year after their first album that the group was shortened to the members Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella and the addition of MC Ren; along with continued contributions from unofficial members The D.O.C. and Arabian Prince.

In 1988, the N.W.A. released their blockbuster, Straight Outta Compton, and put the West Coast on the hip hop map. Their sound was influenced by hardcore, metal-tinged rap performers like Ice-T, and 1970s soul music and p-funk. Straight Outta Compton united these sounds with minimalistic beats and blunt, hard-hitting lyrics filled with references to (and often promotions of) violence, hedonism, and the criminal lifestyle. Individual members also were able to write pages in hip-hop history. Shortly after Straight Outta Compton was released, Eazy-E released his wildly received debut album, Eazy-Duz-It, in 1988, with most of the production done by Dr. Dre. In 1989, unofficial member The D.O.C. (a Texas native) released his solo debut album No One Can Do It Better which managed to be released with critical acclaim, (including a 5 Mic rating from The Source) and sold over a million copies. When Ice Cube left the group in 1989 his lyrics and delivery earned him two platinum and widely acclaimed (both gaining the highest ratings from The Source) albums in AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted and Death Certificate released in 1990 and 1991 respectively. The remaining members of the group followed up by releasing Efil4zaggin which leaned more towards violent, criminal rap that became more growingly associated with hip-hop and became the first gangsta rap album to reach number 1 on the Billboard charts. After this the group would break up with Dr. Dre leaving the label to sign to Death Row Records.

However, like N.W.A., some of its individual members would go on to form moderate (ie. MC Eiht of Compton's Most Wanted) to successful (ie. 2Pac of Digital Underground) solo careers, and continue to build upon West Coast rap. During 2Pac's early career, he would rap about many social and political issues with the albums 2Pacalypse Now and Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. before his style began to lean towards gangsta/thug rap in the mid-1990s.

Latin rap also got its first start during this time. While previously being restricted to New York, West Coast artists like Kid Frost and Mellow Man Ace were pioneers in the sub-genre. Although not popular at the time, these artists paved the way for the most successful Latin rap group/artist to ever come out, the South Gate, CA natives, Cypress Hill.

West Coast hip hop also received early contributions from groups based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Oakland in particular. Too Short and Jamal Wright, for instance, were giants in the genre, and MC Hammer was one of the first "pop-rap" national superstars. Both artists began their rap careers on the streets of Oakland, and the radically different paths their careers have taken are indicative of the fracturing of hip hop culture into multiple sub-genres over the last twenty years. Its varied levels of success have never failed to make The Bay's music popular among its own people. Seattle, Washington, although primarily being known as the center of grunge rock, has also had an active scene from early on, including the artist Sir Mix-a-Lot.

With the almost worldwide success of N.W.A., the West Coast had finally established a style that matched the intensity and grit of the hip hop that was coming from the East Coast at the time. In gangsta rap, the West Coast scene had a voice that could compete with Public Enemy, KRS-One, and other East Coast powerhouses. Although N.W.A. would eventually split, its remaining members continued to build, popularize, and revolutionize on the foundation the group had laid.

Three of N.W.A.'s most prominent members, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, and Dr. Dre, launched successful solo careers after the group's dissolution. Ice Cube's style was more militant, angry, racially charged, and political, while Eazy-E's style was more violent gangsta rap mixed with some g-funk.

Above The Law's style, innovated with Dr. Dre, dubbed "g-funk" or "gangsta funk" (also known as "ghetto funk"), was slower and more melodic, with heavy basslines topped by flutes and p-funk samples, and finished with a slurring, often whimsical lyrical delivery. The genre was characterized by a generally hedonistic subject matter including violence, sex, and drug use, and a slurred "lazy drawl" that was said to sacrifice lyrical complexity for clarity and rhythmic cadence. Dr. Dre's debut album, The Chronic released in 1992, is widely considered to be a seminal work in the genre and not only established the dominant sound of hip hop music for years to come, but also launched the careers of several key West Coast hip hop artists, including, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Dat Nigga Daz, Kurupt, RBX, Nate Dogg and Warren G. Dr. Dre would continue to refine his work on Snoop Doggy Dogg's debut album Doggystyle, which launched Snoop Dogg into one of the most well known rap careers ever. Furthermore, the album's success established Death Row as a dominant force in gangsta rap. G-funk also became the dominant genre of West Coast rap for years to come for new and veteran artists alike easily put the West on the map.

After the release of The Chronic, many producers from the West Coast, and even some from the East Coast, began producing in the g-funk style or imitating it. Most notably, producers Warren G and DJ Quik produced their most well-known material in the g-funk era, Dr. Dre's fellow Death Row "inmate" Dat Nigga Daz produced Tha Dogg Pound's debut album, Dogg Food, in the same style.

Lasting influences in hip-hop that have carried on even to this day include heavy use of funk-style synthesizers, and hooks sung using a talk box in a style pioneered by funk singer Roger Troutman.

While the beginnings of the rivalry between coastlines can be tracked back to N.W.A, Tim Dog was a Bronx rapper to start and take shots at the West Coast scene plus many rappers including N.W.A, Jamal Wright, DJ Quik, Snoop Dogg and received response from not only them but also from other Compton natives, Tweedy Bird Loc and MC Eiht. While 2Pac was working on his third album Me Against the World in 1994, he was shot by muggers in the lobby of a New York City recording studio that friend The Notorious B.I.G. was recording at. While serving prison time for sexual assault, 2Pac accused The Notorious B.I.G. and Puff Daddy, amongst others, of having prior knowledge of the shooting. This series of events sparked an inter coastal war between Bad Boy Entertainment (owned by Puff Daddy) and Death Row Records (owned by Suge Knight).

The tension between Death Row and Bad Boy increased as both labels released a series of scathing tracks blatantly filled with insults, threats, and accusations targeted at the opposing labels. The rivalry ended when 2Pac was fatally shot in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1996, a slaying that The Notorious B.I.G. was suspected by the public to be involved in. The Notorious B.I.G. was also fatally shot in Los Angeles, California, in a similar fashion to 2Pac, six months later.

The coastal rivalry raised Death Row Records to notorious status. Combined with the rise of g-funk, West Coast artists like Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, 2Pac, and Tha Dogg Pound all released multi-platinum albums on Death Row Records. Although enjoying much success because of surrounding controversy, many critically acclaimed albums that are now considered classics in hip hop history were released during this time such as All Eyez on Me, The Chronic, Doggystyle, Dogg Food, and Tha Doggfather . At the height of its popularity, West Coast artists were selling three times more than their East Coast rivals. Meanwhile, other gangsta rap artists from California were also enjoying much success, if not as much as Death Row artists. Eazy-E amazed the hip hop scene with his outstanding 5x platinum album It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa which was actually a diss album towards to Dr. Dre. Warren G, DJ Quik, Ice Cube, and Westside Connection all debuted or continued to release gangsta rap/g-funk albums in the early and mid-1990s, which enjoyed at least moderate success.- Non Death Row artists were also rising to popularity. Coolio released his platinum selling album It Takes a Thief and his multi-platinum and world famous album Gangsta's Paradise in 1994 and 1995 respectively. Mack 10 released his self titled album in 1995 and managed to go gold. Too Short and newcomer E-40 pushed the Bay Area to a rare level of moderate success, with E-40 releasing his second album, In a Major Way in 1995, which went gold (and eventually went platinum 7 years after it was released). Too Short continued to release music about pimp lifestyle and drugs that helped him receive 4 platinum albums between 1992 and 1996 . Eazy-E's Ruthless Records held a string of artists on its roster matching the label's hardcore, violent style in artists such as MC Ren, B.G. Knocc Out, Dresta, Above The Law and Kokane. The earliest success of Latin rap also came from this time, as Cypress Hill released a string of platinum selling albums in the early and mid-1990s while at the same time continuing to pioneer Latin rap set forth by fellow West Coast rapper Kid Frost. Their style mixed Latin rap with gangsta rap and g-funk to create a seminal work in the genre and made them the first Latin rappers to have gold, platinum, and multi-platinum albums. Their first two albums (and to a lesser degree, their third) were met with great critical acclaim.

While not nearly as successful commercially, Bay Area rappers were also starting to emerge and contribute to West Coast hip hop. Spice 1, Keak Da Sneak, San Quinn, The Luniz, B-Legit, E-A-Ski, Ant Banks, Mac Dre, and many others began releasing a wide range of albums at this time. Though most of them were most popular in California.

Following incidents with the two Coasts, Death Row Records' success diminished as Dr. Dre departed to form Aftermath Entertainment, 2Pac had been murdered, and Snoop Dogg left to join No Limit Records. Gangsta rap disappeared from the national spotlight and the resulting void was filled by East Coast pop-rap acts such as Puff Daddy, Mase, and actor/musician Will Smith. However it stayed popular within California.

In the late 1990s, the West Coast's underground hip hop scene began to gain prominence as underground hip hop started to boom as artists tried to stray away from the negativity gangsta rap brought the Coast. Artists like Freestyle Fellowship, Blackalicious, Zion I, The Pharcyde, The BUMS, Tha Alkaholiks, Hieroglyphics, Jurassic 5, The Coup, Ozomatli, Spearhead, Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Souls of Mischief, Planet Asia, and others (most of whom self-identify as "conscious" artists, and all of whom include political, social, or insightful messages in their music) gained recognition without being signed to major labels. Other artists such as Dilated Peoples and The Black Eyed Peas while signed to major labels, failed to break out into the mainstream for lack of promotion or other reasons yet still had the same style and maintained an underground following. Eventually The Black Eyed Peas would later find success in the 2000s after releasing the album "Elephunk" with a more mainstream sound.

Despite the emergence of the underground movement as a factor at the turn of the century, gangsta rap was still the dominant genre of West Coast hip hop, although the sound and feel of the music had began to change since the g-funk era. Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre continued to be major players in the national mainstream, but other artists from the 1990s and local gangsta rap artists continued to struggle for name recognition, having enjoyed less commercial success than their East Coast and Southern counterparts. While the West Coast still got some exposure such as Dr. Dre's second album 2001, Xzibit's introduction to the mainstream, and Snoop Dogg's work with Tha Eastsidaz, most artists like Warren G, Kurupt, WC, Mack 10, DJ Quik, and Daz, and the remaining veteran artists of the 1990s continued to rapidly lose recognition among music fans. While newer rappers like The Game, Crooked I, U.N.D, Jayo Felony, and Ras Kass were able to begin strong leads in California and trying to bring gangsta rap to a new level.

Hyphy music also began to develop around this time, originating in the San Francisco Bay Area. While The Bay was an early contributor to hip hop, like the rest of West Coast rap, it was on the decline in the late 1990s. Around the turn of the millennium, a new sub-genre of hip hop emerged and flourished almost exclusively in The Bay. While Bay Area music was still considered new hip hop to some, (despite success from Yukmouth, Too Short and E-40) it was continually building up since the early 1990s. The earliest pioneers included Keak da Sneak (who coined the word "hyphy") and Mac Dre (the purveyor of thizz culture), with later push by E-40 (the "Ambassador of the Bay"). While some automatically associate The Bay with hyphy music and vice versa, the music from Bay Area isn't exclusively hyphy (although hyphy is almost exclusively in The Bay Area). The hyphy culture also grew with its music, creating a trend of dances, slang, and behaviour associated with it. Hyphy's style of exuberant energy, "going dumb" and excessive behaviour was a sharp contrast to the steryotypical Southern California's style of music of gangs, violence, low riders and having a serious/cool persona, which dominated rap; hyphy's style didn't overwhelmingly associate itself with these topics.

West Coast rap seems to be fighting to be part of the mainstream again as there is on going a third generation of artists. The Game's album The Documentary along with a well publicized argument with 50 Cent has received more attention to the West Coast, and he is said to be the driving force behind West Coast rap. The album sold 2.5 million copies in the USA and over 5 million records worldwide, becoming The Game's most successful album to date. It was also certified double platinum by the RIAA.

Since The Game released The Documentary, artists like Cashis, Glasses Malone, Bishop Lamont, Raje', Omar Cruz, Crooked I, JT the Bigga Figga, Lil Eazy-E, Eastwood, Down a.k.a. Kilo, Bailey, Clyde Carson (of The Team), Spider Loc, J. Wells' album Digital Smoke, The Fixxers, Hood Surgeon, and Ya Boy have all received increased attention with regard to future releases (as it should be since J.T. The Bigga Figga helped launch his star-studded career). The Bay Area is also picking up steam with their sub-genre of music hyphy music, promoted by long time veteran E-40. While other artists like Guerilla Black, Roscoe, Sly Boogey, Freaks, Mistah F.A.B., The Mob Figaz, and The Federation, and Mykestro are also trying to help re-introduce West Coast rap to the world, the West Coast still has to compete with a market dominated by Southern artists that even East Coast rappers have trouble competing with. Combined with the continued growth of Pop-rap or commercialism, this has led to a mystery regarding which direction the current generation of rappers will go. As of right now,and with all this going the Underdogs of the I.E which is always kept in the dark shadows of L.A had heavy hitter artist like Redloweyes & Classic, from MHEent who help devolpe artist like Tyga with south heavy hitter lil Wayne are trying to to add their own element. The Game, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, E-40, Too Short, Nate Dogg, and Ice Cube seem to be the only artist who both drop albums s in 2006 that have created strong leads in mainstream hip hop. After the success of his album R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece, Snoop Dogg convoked West Coast artists (about 65 people) into a meeting called the Western Conference on July 4, 2005. They agreed to join forces again and to end long standing arguments between each other in hopes of helping West Coast music back to its once reigning place through unity. It served as occasion for several members to announce cease-fires in their arguments including the reconciliation of Tha Dogg Pound, Jayo Felony and Snoop Dogg, and The Game and JT the Bigga Figga. Snoop Dogg offered his label Doggystyle Records and his CEO position at Koch Records to be an "engine" of the movement, and that he will promote with his name. Dr. Dre announced he will release his third and final album, Detox, in September 2007, later it got pushed back to mid-2008 and again pushed back to 2009. Currently the expected release date is 2009 Q1, after the release of Eminem's Relapse and 50 Cent's Before I Self Destruct.

However, for much of the 2000s, the West Coast continued losing its appeal to the (then growing) Dirty South. In particular, Southern rap experienced mainstream popularity in 2003. Since 2000, The Game remains the only rapper to sell a multi-platinum album on the West Coast (aside from The Black Eyed Peas, who do not follow traditional West Coast hip hop music and are often overlooked).

One of the popular underground styles of dancing called krumping has started to become more mainstream due to the popularity of the David LaChapelle film Rize. West coast Hip Hop Radio station B.Fuzz-40 South central stated in an online chat show on august 26th that the L.A.X album made By Cedar blocks The Game has yet to be certified platinum by the riaa.

In an effort to spark the West Coast Hip-Hop revival and showcase up and coming talent from the region, Yo! Raps Magazine teamed up with Comfortably Funkie Music (BMI) to release the West Coast Block Starz compilation album on February 3, 2009. West Coast Block Starz features "New West" artists collaborating with platinum producers like Dr. Dre and chart-topping superstars like Snoop Dogg and E-40.

More than a collection of obscure mixtape material, West Coast Block Starz is like taking a chest-thumping, hour-long drive down the Pacific Coast in a two-seater with the roof back. An instant classic, this forward-thinking selection of tracks by editors and journalists from leading music publications vividly illustrates the burgeoning, multicultural "New West" movement.

In the early 1980s, recorded hip hop from Los Angeles began in a kind of electronic dance music called electro hop; these included artist such as the LA Dream Team, Arabian Prince, Egyptian Lover and World Class Wreckin' Cru. The mid-to-late eighties would bring attention to the west coast, such as Ice-T "6'n da Mornin'" (1986), which was one of the first gangsta rap songs. N.W.A. broke through with the groundbreaking Straight Outta Compton and gave the West Coast it's first major record company, Ruthless Records. The departure of Ice Cube, marked the release of AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted. With N.W.A.'s break up, Dr. Dre and Suge Knight established Death Row Records, the most prominent West Coast record label. The Chronic served as the showcase for G-Funk era and the start of Snoop Dogg with Doggystyle. Other prominent Los Angeles artists are DJ Quik, The D.O.C., Mack 10, Freestyle Fellowship, The Pharcyde, Coolio, and Cypress Hill. 2Pac's All Eyez On Me showed the peak of West Coast hip hop going 9X platinum. Despite Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Xzibit's continued success into mainstream, and after the deaths of Eazy-E and 2Pac, West Coast soon fell out of the spot light. However recently the West Coast has made a comeback with Compton rapper The Game and Black Eyed Peas. Also underground artist such as MURS, Jurassic 5, Dilated Peoples, Glasses Malone, Cashis, Blu and Bishop Lamont has continued to make a buzz.

Though technically a part of L.A.'s hip hop scene, Long Beach has gained a name for itself. Led by Snoop Dogg, artists like Warren G, Nate Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound and Tha Eastsidaz have all seen major success. Though Long Beach hasn't produced any major new talent, Crooked I has made a buzz around the Los Angeles Area.

This area of California is part of the Greater Los Angeles Area but it includes both San Bernardino County and Riverside County. Most of the rappers from this area are still considered to be underground and are building their buzz on mixtapes. Some of the most famous rappers that have emerged from the area so far include Above The Law, Kokane, K. Real, Sugafree, Redloweyes(Redlow), A Lighter Shade of Brown, Dirty Red, 40 Glocc, and Sly Boogy.

The Bay Area has been a major stage for hip hop since the early eighties, with Too Short being the first hip hop artist to showcase Oakland with his album, Life Is...Too Short. In the early 90's, The Bay Area produced successful artists like Digital Underground and MC Hammer. Alternative acts such as Souls of Mischief, and Del tha Funkee Homosapien have also seen commercial success. Other rappers such as Spice 1, Paris, Sick YG, and The Luniz have also seen moderate commercial success. After the death of 2Pac, the West Coast had fallen out of major commercial success, until the recent resurgence of The Bay Area hip hop scene, which set the stage for the successful Hyphy Movement with its most recognized artist, Mac Dre, gaining widespread popularity until his untimely death in 2004. The Hyphy Movement has brought major success to artists like E-40, Keak da Sneak, and The Pack. Other Bay Area artist such as The Federation, Mistah F.A.B., Baby Bash, Ya Boy, JT the Bigga Figga, and San Quinn has had popular hits. In addition, The Bay Area has put out many successful alternative acts that include the likes of The Coup, Hieroglyphics, and Zion I.

Sacramento has brought out rappers like hardcore icon Brotha Lynch Hung. Or even currently inprisoned X-Raided and Sicx. Along with rappers Zigg Zagg, Jack paper, Ballin A$$ Dame, C-Bo, Young Meek, Doey Rock with North Highlands rappers Hollow Tip, P-Folks, Lunasicc and Tall Cann G. Most of sacramento rappers are independently signed artists.

San Diego has a small but active underground hip hop scene. The area has had some artists breakthrough to the mainstream with varying success. Veteran artist Jayo Felony is a prominent West Coast mainstay. Rapper/Actor Nick Cannon has enjoyed moderate success. Other hip hop performers such as Chicano rappers Lil Rob have seen great success with Latino and Chicano music outlets. Mitchy Slick is an underground hip hop artist who currently has a high level of popularity in the San Diego hip hop scene. DEEP ROOTED, Main Flow, and Grieves are several other Hip Hop artist receiving buzz. Many new San Diego hip hop artists have been labeled as part of the growing New West movement.

Phoenix has never had a large hip hop scene, many of the rappers from Phoenix are just stepping onto the national spotlight. Atllas has made a name for himself throughout the area. G-Unit rapper Young Hot Rod has had moderate success. Rapper Juice has signed to The Game's Black Wall Street Records. MC Magic & the NB Ridaz attained moderate success before disbanding in 2006. Also, Willy Northpole has found success with Ludacris' DTP.

Seattle I has seen a small hip hop scene since the late eighties. Rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot has seen success with hits such as "Posse on Broadway" and "Baby Got Back". Yet throughout the 90's, no major rapper has came out of Seattle. Other rappers, such as Criminal Nation, Blue Scholars, Optimus Rhyme Source of Labor, Common Market, Abyssinian Creole, Grayskul, and Boom Bap Project has seen moderate success. Also, Seattle-based rapper No Clue holds the Guinness Book record holder for the Fastest Rap MC.

Portland has had a quiet hip hop scene trying to breakthrough. However there are some local hip hop artists such as Lifesavas and Thai Ngo. Portland is also notable for generating horrorcore hip-hop and hyphy hip hop. World Rap Champion, ILLmacuLate, is also from the city of Portland.

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N.W.A

N.W.A circa 1990, DJ Yella, Dr. Dre, MC Ren and Eazy-E

N.W.A (also known as "Niggaz With Attitude") was a Compton, California-based hip hop group widely considered one of the seminal acts of the gangsta rap sub-genre. Active from 1986 to 1991, the group endured controversy due to the explicit nature of their lyrics. They were subsequently banned from many mainstream U.S. radio stations and even at times prevented from touring - yet the group has still sold over 9 million units in the U.S. alone. Their second album, Straight Outta Compton, marked the beginning of the new gangsta rap era as the production and the social commentary in their lyrics were revolutionary within the genre. Rolling Stone ranked N.W.A 83rd on their list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". Although largely unknown at the group's inception, rappers Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E and MC Ren would all go on to be platinum-selling stars as solo artists.

Compton-based former drug dealer Eazy-E began Ruthless Records with Jerry Heller. Ruthless released N.W.A. and the Posse in 1987 with Macola Records. N.W.A. was still in its developing stages, and only credited on four of the eleven tracks, notably the uncharacteristic electro hop record "Panic Zone", "8Ball", and "Dopeman", which first brought together (on wax) Ice Cube, Dr. Dre and Eazy-E. Also included was Eazy-E's solo record "Boyz-n-the Hood". In 1988, rapper MC Ren joined the group.

N.W.A. released Straight Outta Compton in 1988. With its famous opening salvo of three songs, the group reflected the rising anger of the urban youth. "Straight Outta Compton" introduced the group; "Fuck tha Police" protested police brutality and racial profiling, and "Gangsta Gangsta" painted the worldview of the inner-city youth. While the group was later credited with pioneering the burgeoning subgenre of gangsta rap, N.W.A in fact referred to their music as "reality rap".

Dr. Dre and DJ Yella, asHighPowered Productions, composed the beats for each song, with Dre making occasional rapping appearances. Ice Cube and MC Ren wrote the lyrics. "Fuck tha Police", perhaps the group's most notorious song, brought them into conflict with various law enforcement agencies. Under pressure from Focus on the Family, Milt Ahlerich, an assistant director of the FBI, sent a letter to Ruthless and its parent company Priority Records advising the rappers that "advocating violence and assault is wrong and we in the law enforcement community take exception to such action". This letter can still be seen at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Policemen refused to provide security for the group's concerts, hurting their plans to tour. Nonetheless, the FBI's letter only served to draw more publicity to the group. Straight Outta Compton was also one of the first albums to adhere to the new Parental Advisory label scheme, then in its early stages: the now-iconic label then only consisted of "WARNING: Moderate impact coarse language and/or themes". However, the taboo nature of N.W.A's music was the greatest part of its mass appeal. The media coverage compensated for N.W.A's virtual lack of airplay and their album eventually went double platinum.

One month after Straight Outta Compton, Eazy-E's solo debut was released. Eazy-Duz-It was dominated by Eazy's persona - MC Ren, appearing on two songs, was the only guest rapper - but behind the scenes it was a group effort. Music was handled by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella, and the lyrics were largely written by Ren, with contributions from Ice Cube and The D.O.C. The album was another platinum success for Ruthless (in addition to girl group J.J. Fad in 1988 and singer Michel'le in 1989), also going double. 1989 saw the re-issue of Straight Outta Compton on compact disc, and the release of The D.O.C.'s No One Can Do It Better. The album was essentially a collaboration between "The D.O.C. and The Doctor" and notably free of "gangsta rap content", but culminated in the N.W.A posse cut "The Grand Finalé". It would be another number one album for the group.

Ice Cube left in late-1989 over royalty disputes, having written 40% of the "Compton" album himself, he felt he was not getting a fair share. He wasted little time putting together his solo debut, 1990's AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, but avoided mentioning his former labelmates. The only possible exception is an interlude dubbed "A Message to the Oreo Cookie", in which samples of racist dialogue from Spike Lee's 1989 film Do The Right Thing are played, concluded by Ice Cube's "Think about it... fuckin' sell-out". While the ensuing song is a tirade against "house nigger"-type African Americans in general, in light of Ice Cube's grievances and later allegations, it could have been interpreted as a message to Eazy-E.

N.W.A's next release was some five months later, the EP 100 Miles and Runnin', but would not be equally diplomatic. They alluded to Ice Cube's departure in its eponymous single, stating the group "we started out with too much cargo/so I'm glad we got ridda Benedict Arnold". Also heard on the EP (which also found its way on Efil4zaggin) was "Real Niggaz", a full-blown diss on Cube where the remaining members accuse him of cowardice, and question his authenticity, longevity and originality: "How the fuck you think a rapper lasts/With your ass sayin shit, that was said in the past/Yo, be original, your shit is sloppy/Get off the dick, you motherfucking carbon-copy." The song "100 Miles and Runnin'" is also notable for being Dr. Dre's final uptempo record, which had been a common feature of late-80s hip hop.

N.W.A is referenced on Cube's 1990 EP, Kill at Will, where he name-checks his former group (likely in a mocking manner) on the song "Jackin' For Beats". On "I Gotta Say What Up!!!", Cube gives shout-outs to his rap peers at the time, among them Public Enemy, the Geto Boys, Sir Jinx, et cetera. At the end of the track, in what appears to be an on-the-phone interview, Ice Cube is asked, "Since you went solo, whatever happened to your crew?" and the interviewer is abruptly hung up on.

The group's second full-length release, 1991's Efil4zaggin ("Niggaz4Life" spelled backwards), re-established the group in the face of Ice Cube's continued solo success. The album is considered by many Dr. Dre's finest production work, and heralded the beginning of the "G-Funk era". It also showed a clear animosity towards their former member, and derogatory references to Ice Cube are found in several songs. The interlude "A Message to B.A." echoes the beginning of his song "Turn Off the Radio" from AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted: in it, Ice Cube is first addressed by the name "Benedict Arnold" (after the infamous traitor of the American Revolution) but then named outright in a torrent of abuse from both the group and its fans: "When we see yo' ass, we gon' cut yo' hair off and fuck you with a broomstick", promised MC Ren.

The N.W.A-Ice Cube feud escalated. AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted had avoided direct attacks on N.W.A, but on Death Certificate, Ice Cube’s second full-length released later that year, he fired back. He sampled and mocked the "Message to B.A." skit before embarking on a full-blown tirade, the infamous "No Vaseline". In a series of verses, Ice Cube addressed the group (and responded to "100 Miles and Runnin'", explaining "I started off with too much cargo, dropped four Niggaz now I'm makin' all the dough"), and then MC Ren, Dr. Dre and especially Eazy-E individually, using homosexual metaphors to describe their unequal business relationship with Jerry Heller, who becomes the target of very harsh criticism: "Get rid of that devil real simple, put a bullet in his temple." The song attracted controversy for its perceived anti-Semitism (the beginning of such allegations involving Ice Cube) for referencing Heller's religion; the track was omitted from the U.K. release, and later pressings have had the words edited. The alleged slurs used in lines such as "you let a Jew break up my crew" however, could be explained away as the results of writing in rhyme. "No Vaseline" is considered one of the greatest diss records of all time right next to the known diss track Hit 'Em Up by 2Pac and his rap group Tha Outlawz. The increasingly violent content was reflected in real life as well—on January 27, 1991, Dr. Dre assaulted Dee Barnes, host of the hip hop show Pump It Up, after its coverage of the N.W.A/Ice Cube beef.

In this time as well the demographic which were interested in the group also began to change. Although they still rapped about similar themes of the "gangster life" in Compton and South Central Los Angeles, without Ice Cube they were not as serious and hardly political at all, as they were on Straight Outta Compton.

1991's Efil4zaggin would be the group's final album. After Dr. Dre, The D.O.C. and Michel'le's departure from Ruthless for Death Row Records, in which Eazy-E was allegedly coerced into signing away their contracts (while however retaining a portion of their publishing rights), a bitter rivalry ensued. Dr. Dre began the exchange with Death Row's first release, 1992's "Fuck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody's Celebratin')", and its accompanying video featured a character named Sleazy-E who ran around desperately trying to get money. The insults continued on The Chronic with "Bitches Ain't Shit". Eazy-E responded in 1993 with the EP It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa and the tracks "Real Muthaphuckkin G's" and "It's On". Eazy-E accused Dr. Dre of homosexual tendencies, calling him a "she thang", and the music video for "Real Muthaphuckkin G's" shows promo pictures of him wearing make-up and a sequined jumpsuit. The photos were from Dr. Dre's World Class Wreckin' Cru days, when such fashions were the style of West Coast Electro hop prior to N.W.A.'s popularizing of gangsta rap.

After Eazy-E's AIDS-related death on March 26, 1995, all bad blood between the group ceased. Dr. Dre and Ice Cube would later express their re-evaluated feelings to their old friend on 1999's "What's The Difference" and "Chin Check", 2000's "Hello", and 2006's "Growin' Up".

Having both found themselves exploited by Ruthless Records, tensions eased between Ice Cube and Dr. Dre. The two recorded the hit song "Natural Born Killaz" for Snoop Doggy Dogg's 1994 short film and soundtrack Murder Was the Case. MC Ren appeared on Dre's 1999 album The Chronic 2001, and the three remaining N.W.A emcees would reunite for "Hello", from Ice Cube's 2000 album War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc), featuring the hook "I started this gangsta shit/And this the motherfucking thanks I get?". The West Coast and "gangsta" music scene had however fallen out of the spotlight since the death of Tupac Shakur in 1996, and it was only after Dr. Dre's successful patronage of Eminem and his ensuing comeback album 2001 would the genre and its artists regain the national spotlight. 2000's all-star Up In Smoke Tour would reunite much of the N.W.A and Death Row families, and during time spent on the road Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren, and honorary member Snoop Dogg began recording in a mobile studio. A comeback album entitled Not These Niggaz Again was planned (and would include DJ Yella, who had not been present on the tour). But due to busy and conflicting schedules, and the obstacles of coordinating three different record labels (Priority, No Limit and Interscope), obtaining the rights to the name "N.W.A.", and endorsing the whole project to gain exclusive rights, the album never materialized. Only two tracks from these sessions would be released - "Chin Check" (with Snoop Dogg as a member of N.W.A) from 1999's Next Friday soundtrack) and "Hello" from Ice Cube's 2000 album War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc) - both songs would appear on N.W.A's remastered and re-released Greatest Hits. There would also be partial reunions on "Set It Off", from Snoop Dogg's Tha Last Meal (2000), which featured MC Ren and Ice Cube as well as former Death Row "Inmates", and The D.O.C.'s "The Shit", from his 2003 album Deuce, which featured MC Ren, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg and Six-Two. Dr. Dre and DJ Yella have nothing to do with either song, however they were present in the studio for the latter. In addition to the Greatest Hits originally released by Priority in 1996, Capitol and Ruthless Records released The N.W.A Legacy, Vol. 1: 1988-1998 in 1998, an album that contained only three songs from the actual group but various solo tracks from the five members. The success of the album prompted a second volume, The N.W.A Legacy, Vol. 2, two years later. It followed the same format of the first album, containing only three "N.W.A" tracks and many songs from them as solo artists. In 2007, a new greatest hits package was released, The Best of N.W.A: The Strength of Street Knowledge.

Eric Wright was a former Compton drug dealer when he founded Ruthless Records with Jerry Heller, and the two would oversee numerous platinum-selling releases, most notably those of N.W.A. He was said to be the leader of the group until they split up.

After the group's break-up - while Death Row Records remade hip hop in its image - Eazy-E's solo career was largely dominated by his Hip hop rivalry Ruthless vs. Death Row feud with Dr. Dre, evidenced by records such as the 5x Platinum EP It's On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa which featured the famous 'diss' towards Dr. Dre in the song "Real Muthaphukkin G's". Nonetheless, he continued to run Ruthless Records, releasing albums by MC Ren, Above the Law, and in 1994, the four-times platinum debut of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.

Eazy was working on a come-back album, Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton which would have involved artists such as 2Pac, Guns N' Roses and Notorious B.I.G when he checked into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on March 16, 1995, believing he had strep throat. In a publicized statement on March 20, Eazy-E announced he had contracted HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Six days later, Eric Wright succumbed to the disease. He was 31. On his death bed days before, Eazy married long-term girlfriend and mother of his child Tomica Woods, and she inherited his share of Ruthless Records. She and her son are HIV-negative.

Andre Young began his career as a DJ for electro-hop group the World Class Wreckin' Cru, and was featured on their 1984 debut 12-inch single, "Surgery". The fashions of this period would later come back to haunt Dre several years later during a feud with Eazy-E. After two albums and allegations of mispayment, Dr. Dre and fellow World Class Wreckin' Cru member DJ Yella left Alonzo William's Kru-Cut Records for Eazy-E and Jerry Heller's Ruthless Records in 1986, where they would move into production.

After producing several platinum-selling albums for Ruthless, Dre found himself regarded as one of the top producers in hip hop but once again under-compensated for his work. Together with The D.O.C., he would leave to form Death Row Records, and embark on a solo career unmatched by any of the N.W.A alumni. Dr. Dre's 1992 solo The Chronic would introduce the world to the sounds of G-Funk and rapper Snoop Doggy Dogg, whose five-times platinum debut would be the last album entirely produced by Dre. While Death Row began its near-domination of hip hop, this marked the end of Dr. Dre's prolific era.

Dr. Dre left Death Row before its eventual self-destruction, and would form his own label, Aftermath Entertainment. After years of fruitless and failed projects, most notably that of the 1997 supergroup The Firm, Dr. Dre's reputation would be vindicated with the phenomenal success of Eminem in 1999, leading to the West Coast comeback album, 2001. Dre's success continued with that of Eminem, and in a joint-venture, the two signed 50 Cent in 2002, who would go on to sell over 20 million records. Dr. Dre meanwhile has developed into a master of the recording process, and maintains his status as one of hip hop's premier producers. A long delayed third solo album, Detox, has been anticipated for several years.

Ice Cube left N.W.A. at the peak of their popularity in late-1989 but would become a highly successful rapper in his own right. By 2008 he had released eight solo albums. Whereas N.W.A. rapped about gang life on the street, Ice Cube continued to include social commentary on his records on subjects such as gun control in the ghetto and the 1992 Los Angeles riots. His political albums are most remembered for referring to America as AmeriKKKa, as well as addressing hypocrisy and issues such as gang life and racism. All of his solo albums, except his first, debuted in the top five. His first three albums (AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, Death Certificate, and The Predator) were big hits; they all achieved platinum status, and were greeted with rave reviews by critics. His fourth solo effort, Lethal Injection, was recorded on the back of projects with his crew, Da Lench Mob, and starring in Boyz-N-The Hood. Ice Cube has experience as a film actor and director, starring in films such as Friday, Next Friday, Friday After Next, Three Kings, xXx: State of the Union, Barbershop, and Are We There Yet?. He has also released a reality TV series in March 2006, named Black. White.. He released the album, Laugh Now, Cry Later, in 2006 on his own record company, Da Lench Mob Records. Ice Cube's latest album entitled Raw Footage was released on August 19th, 2008.

As the N.W.A album Niggaz4Life reached the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 in 1991, financial conflict between Dr. Dre and Ruthless Records led to the group disbanding. Eazy-E, along with the group's manager Jerry Heller, was accused of skimming money. Dr. Dre left to form Death Row Records and MC Ren subsequently released his debut album with the help of Eazy-E in 1992, entitled Kizz My Black Azz. With little commercial promotion, the album went platinum. MC Ren's next album, Life Sentence, was scrapped due to the fact that he converted to Islam and changed a lot of his old views. Shock of the Hour was released the next year in 1993. It also features the single "Mayday on the Frontline" which appeared in the film CB4. Following this, there was the release 'Forget What Ya Heard'. Two years followed before an E.P. sampler for the 'Villain In Black' album hit the streets. This particular 12" is considered a collectors' item. Incidentally, during the 1992-94 period, Ren along with the likes of Dre, Warren G (Dre's half brother) Eazy-E and Snoop Doggy Dogg were instrumental in pioneering what would become known as 'G Funk' - a direct evolution from the N.W.A sound. This sound can actually be traced back as far as the 1987 N.W.A release 'Dopeman'. However it wasn't until the N.W.A group split that the likes of Ren, Dre and Eazy developed their own brand of G Funk. MC Ren's "Same Old Shit" and "Fuck What Ya Heard" being good examples of his own style. Soon after, tragedy struck MC Ren when DJ Train died in a house fire before the release of The Villain in Black (1996). Before leaving Ruthless Records, MC Ren released Ruthless for Life (1998) which proved a worthy comeback. He appeared on the posse cut "Some L.A. Niggaz" from Dr. Dre's 2001 album, but only took part in the intro, speaking. In 2000 he appeared on the song "Hello" which featured Dr. Dre and Ice Cube on Ice Cube's War & Peace Vol. 2 (The Peace Disc) album. He joined the Up In Smoke Tour that same year. MC Ren would go on to release the straight-to-DVD movie entitled Lost in the Game in 2004. His most recent work has appeared on more politically-oriented projects such as Paris' album Hard Truth Soldiers Vol. 1 as well as on Public Enemy's album Rebirth of a Nation (2006). MC Ren appeared on the 2006 edition of the VH1 Hip Hop Honors talking about Eazy-E in the tribute to him.

Currently, he hosts the weekly online based MC Ren Radio Show at 92.5 KYHY Burbank Radio (www.925burbank.com) and is in the process of finishing his next album titled RenIncarnated.

There was not much of a commercial solo career for DJ Yella to pursue, thus he was the lone member to remain loyal to Eazy-E after the breakup. He continued producing Eazy-E's records, including a couple of tracks for Eazy-E's protégés Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's debut EP Creepin on ah Come Up. He also claimed he was the lone member of N.W.A. to be at Eazy-E's deathbed when he died. After the death of his friend, DJ Yella released a solo album as a tribute to his former band-mate, but as with N.W.A., DJ Yella did not touch the mic; instead, he hired guest rappers such as Dirty Red, Dresta, Traci Nelson, Leicy Loc, B.G. Knocc Out, and Efil4zaggin lyricist Kokane to perform. DJ Yella has since retired from the music business and is now directing pornographic films.

The D.O.C. joined N.W.A in 1988. After the group's first album, N.W.A. and the Posse, he left the group. However, after Ice Cube briefly left the group in 1989, The D.O.C. joined the group as a writer. He impressed them so much that he was kept in the group as a writer even after Ice Cube returned. The D.O.C. wrote lyrics on all of N.W.A's albums, particularly on the album Efil4zaggin. In 1989, The D.O.C. released his Dr. Dre-produced debut album, No One Can Do It Better. Dr. Dre's production was similar to his production work for N.W.A at the time, but he also included one rap/rock song and a reggae-influenced track. At a time when virtually every well known California rapper was releasing gangsta rap albums, The D.O.C. released an LP with lyrics that more closely resembled the styling of East Coast lyricists. Shortly after the album's release, The D.O.C. was involved in a car accident which severed his larynx, reducing his voice to a raspy wheeze. He went on to introduce Dr. Dre to Suge Knight and help mold the career of Snoop Dogg. The D.O.C. split with Death Row after a dispute over money, and recorded an ill-advised comeback album, Helter Skelter in 1995. With his voice reduced to an ineffective rasp it didn't create the buzz his debut did. He returned to his hometown, Dallas, to form his record label and released his third album, Deuce. In 2007, he announced he may release another solo album after he and Dre put out Detox.

Arabian Prince found the going tough when he departed the group for a solo career in 1988. His debut Brother Arab barely scraped the bottom of the R&B and Pop Charts in 1989. His album credits include Where's My Bytches as well as work on N.W.A's Straight Outta Compton and production for various other West Coast hip-hop artists. He later released an album.

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Ruthless Records

Ruthless Records is a record label, co-founded by Gangsta rapper Eazy-E and N.W.A. manager Jerry Heller, in Eazy's hometown of Compton, California in 1987. The label is widely credited with helping to pioneer the gangsta rap genre of West Coast hip hop.

Ruthless Records was formed as a vehicle for releases by N.W.A., as well as member and founder Eric "Eazy-E" Wright; its first successful single was Eazy's "Boyz-n-the-Hood", followed by N.W.A.'s "Dopeman" and "8-Ball", introductory to the group's N.W.A. and the Posse, a compilation album released under the group's name, albeit not on Ruthless. It also put out singles by underground California acts such as Frost and J.J. Fad, but the label's first full-length release was N.W.A.'s Straight Outta Compton, catapulting both the group and the label to success.. Immediately following this was the release of Eazy's solo debut, Eazy-Duz-It, furthering the popularity of the N.W.A. brand.

The label also experienced outside pressure due to the group. The success of their single "Fuck tha Police" led to a threatening F.B.I. letter to distributor Priority Records. After coming off tour, group member Ice Cube voiced his opinions on the group's finances. Though Heller continually claims that everything was in order, and has even offered the to open the account books to prove his innocence, the ensuing confrontation ended in Cube leaving Ruthless without signing on as a solo artist, which the remaining members proceeded to do.

1988 also saw the release of J.J. Fad's gold-certified album Supersonic, singer Michel'le's epinonymous Michel'le, and The D.O.C.'s critically-acclaimed No One Can Do It Better, all produced by N.W.A. beatsmith Dr. Dre; following these efforts, Dre returned to N.W.A., producing the 100 Miles and Runnin' E.P. and the group's sophomore effort, Efil4Zaggin, which reached platinum status. Above the Law's Livin' Like Hustlers was also released during this period.

Though N.W.A. was highly successful, Dre was advised by The D.O.C. and the rapper's friend, Suge Knight, that he should leave the label to avoid any possible financial meddling by Heller and Eazy; offering to extricate Dre from his Ruthless contract, Suge became such a problem for the label-heads that at one point Eazy even suggested killing him, a move vetoed by Heller. Eventually, Suge succeeded in procuring Dre, D.O.C. and Michel'le's contracts--through reportedly illicit means--and proceeded to set up Death Row Records with the producer.

In 1995, Eazy-E was diagnosed with AIDS; he had just signed the five-member group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, whose debut 1994 E.P. Creepin on ah Come Up became wildly popular. While he executive-produced their first full-length album, E. 1999 Eternal, he died of AIDS-related pneumonia before the album's release. Their smash 1995 single "Crossroads" was dedicated to Wright, and helped push the album to multi-platinum success. After his death, the label was taken over by his wife, Tomica Wright; due to a shift in promotions and marketing, the label's artists began leaving for other recording homes--into 1996, only MC Ren and Bone Thugs remained, and even those acts eventually departed, though re-releases of previous projects have appeared since then. Ruthless Records is now a division of Epic Records.

The label has had several distributors simultaneously. Early Ruthless releases were distributed by Macola Records, but that deal was short lived and the rights reverted to Ruthless. All of N.W.A's releases and Eazy-E's first two solo releases on Ruthless were distributed by Priority Records, and the rights to these releases are now held by Priority's new owner, Capitol Records. Releases by The D.O.C, Michel'le, and JJ Fad were marketed through Atlantic Records or its subsidiary Atco Records. These master rights are still held by Atlantic's parent company, Warner Music Group, while Above The Law's releases were marketed through Epic Records. In the early 1990s, Ruthless found more exclusive distribution through Relativity Records, formerly a heavy metal label. Relativity was later folded into its parent company, Sony Music.

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Bone Thugs-n-Harmony

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony is an American hip hop group from the Glenville section of Cleveland, Ohio. They are best known for their fast-paced, aggressive rapping style and harmonizing vocals. The group was mainly produced by Los Angeles producer, DJ U-Neek. In 1997, the group was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance with their song "Tha Crossroads" from their E 1999 Eternal album. Since its conception in the early 1990s the group has been honored with numerous other awards. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony are also the only artists to do acts with 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., Big Pun, and Eazy-E while they were still alive.

Formed in the early 1990s,the group consisted of four members: Krayzie Bone, Bizzy Bone, Layzie Bone and Wish Bone. Their first album, Faces of Death, was recorded in 1993 under the name B.O.N.E. Enterpri$e. Their career took off after heading to Los Angeles in search of famous producer and N.W.A. member Eazy-E. In hopes of securing a record deal, the group was given an audition over the phone receiving an unfulfilled promise from Eazy-E to call them back. Discovering that Eazy-E was performing back in their hometown of Cleveland, the group took a charter bus back to their home turf to open Eazy-E's show and they were then signed to Ruthless Records on the spot.

Released in June 1994, the EP Creepin on ah Come Up, was Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's debut with Ruthless Records and their first introduction into super stardom. After a slow start that saw the album's success limited to gangsta rap audiences, it broke through to the mainstream with the release of the singles "Thuggish Ruggish Bone" and "Foe tha Love of $," the second of which featured a verse by Eazy-E. The sound was raw and explicit, while the lyrics were violent and aggressive. Songs poured out feelings of anger against society for growing up on the violent and economically oppressed streets of Cleveland. Videos for the mega hits "Foe tha Love of $" and "Thuggish Ruggish Bone" increased the group's reputation among audiences. Beats were supplied by Kenny McCloud, Rhythm D, DJ Yella, and newcomer DJ U-Neek. The album has been certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA.

While Creepin' On Ah Come Up's subject matter was focused almost entirely on violent criminal activity, E 1999 Eternal saw Bone diversify its content and musical stylings. It debuted at #1 with 307,000 copies sold in its first week. The G-Funk style beats were smoothed by DJ U-Neek (with co-production from Tony Cowan and Kenny McCloud). The singles 1st Of Tha Month and Tha Crossroads were both huge successes, the second of which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. A considerable portion of the album's concept was built upon violent subject matter, yet Bone proved their ability to incorporate deeper themes, as its songs dealt with more spirituality and occult mysticism. E 1999 Eternal also introduced Bone's trademark tracks devoted entirely to the use of marijuana. One of the group's more commercially successful albums, it has since been certified 4x Platinum by the RIAA.

In 1997, the group released the double-disc set The Art of War, backed by the single "Look into My Eyes", which also appeared on the soundtrack of the film Batman & Robin. The album saw Bone further explore a wide variety of subjects and styles, with even more focus on God and family and an overall more ambient, mellow sound. The group still incorporated violent lyrics, though, with a large portion of the album dedicated to what they labeled "clones" who claimed Bone had stolen their quick-tongued rapping style and vice-versa. The Chicago-based rap group Crucial Conflict was targeted by name, with indirect disses thought to be aimed at Twista, Three 6 Mafia, and Do or Die. The album also included "Thug Luv" with Tupac Shakur. The album is also influenced by the book of the same name by author Sun Tzu. The Art of War philosophy is littered throughout the album. While the album had initial success, debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200 (with 394,000 copies sold in the first week). "Look Into My Eyes" (which charted at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100), the only other single was "If I Could Teach the World", which won an American Music Award, but other songs on the album like "Body Rott" and "Thug Luv" received airplay from popularity. The group's efforts were though dampened by the absence of Bizzy Bone from the album's videos and large portions of the ensuing tour and public appearances. This absence fueled rumors of a break-up. The double album has been certified 4x Platinum by the RIAA.

In 2000, Bone delivered BTNHResurrection, their first group album to prominently feature Flesh-n-Bone, whose presence was limited on previous releases because he had never signed with the group's label Ruthless Records. With Flesh-n-Bone appearing on fourteen of the album's sixteen songs, Krayzie Bone and Wish Bone took a lesser role, appearing on nine and eight songs, respectively. The album's first half featured a slew of hardcore and dark tracks, with the second half being considerably more introspective and soft. The album also featured one of the group's biggest singles, "Resurrection (Paper, Paper) in which only reached Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles at #126.

Shortly before the album's release, Flesh-n-Bone was arrested and the group again began having public disputes with Bizzy Bone, having missed out on the promotional tour and appearances. The album debuted at #2 on the charts, selling 283,000 copies in its first week, but again the group ran into problems with staying power. The three singles from the album all failed to crack the Billboard Hot 100 and the big-budget video for "Change the World" failed to receive any rotation. The album has been certified Platinum by the RIAA.

On September 22, 2000, member Flesh-n-Bone was sentenced to eleven years in prison for threatening a neighbor with an AK-47.In late 2001, the group returned to the studio to record their next release, Thug World Order. By February 2002, the supposedly overly-violent and political album was complete. Ruthless Records, however, was unhappy with the end product and requested that a new batch of more mainstream-oriented songs be recorded. On October 29, 2002, a revamped version of the album was released to little fanfare. Again, a number of promotional problems had sprung up; the video for the album's lead single, "Money Money", was rejected by both BET and MTV for allegedly promoting robbery and problems with Bizzy Bone once again came to the forefront. The album debuted at #12 (selling 82,000 the first week) and quickly slipped off the charts, selling a total of 440,000 copies in the U.S.A.. The album would fare better overseas, with the single "Home" (sampling the song "Take Me Home" by Phil Collins) impacting the charts in a number of countries, most notably the United Kingdom. The Thug World Order album that hit stores saw a drastic change in subject matter and tone for the group. In contrast, several songs originally intended to be included on the album that were leaked after its release portray a much different album.

Thug Stories, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's sixth album, was recorded on Koch Records and released on September 19, 2006. It marked the first time Bone Thugs-n-Harmony recorded as a trio for a full album this album was the group's first full-release since 2002's Thug World Order. Thug Stories sold 38,000 in its first week and peaked at #25 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the Independent Chart. The album featured a slightly more mature style and the group leaned heavily towards its harmonic roots than its "thug" origins. It has since sold over 100,000 units despite having no singles, official videos or radio play.

T.H.U.G.S. is an album featuring previously unreleased Bone Thugs-n-Harmony songs that didn't make the final cut of BTNHResurrection and Thug World Order albums. It was released on November 13, 2007 by their former record label, Ruthless Records. The sole single off the album is entitled "Young Thugs", which is accompanied by a newly-filmed music video featuring Krayzie, Layzie, Bizzy and Wish.

Bone has also released a movie titled I Tried (directed by Rich Newey), which was originally named "What If..." The topic of the movie is how different the lives of Krayzie, Layzie and Wish would have been if they never have met Eazy E. The cover of the DVD is on their official website. The movie was released in stores on September 25th of 2007. All three current members did an interview with DJBooth.net to talk about the project.It has since became a platinum selling DVD.

In November 2007, Layzie Bone confirmed that he had completed the Bone Brothers III album with Bizzy Bone, spurring speculation of a full Bone reunion. In a video interview, Krayzie Bone stated that they all wanted to reunite but that record label issues may prevent an official reunion. Bizzy Bone had attended a Bone Thugs performance during the time and he and the three then-standing members had a "good conversation".

After nearly a decade of incarceration, Flesh-n-Bone was released from prison on July 13th of 2008 and was soon photographed with all four other members. The reunited Bone Thugs-n-Harmony have reportedly been seen in studio working together for the first time in many years. In an interview, Bizzy confirmed his return to the group, spurred by Flesh's release and Layzie Bone's diplomacy; the five are indeed now working on a new studio album, Uni5, having recorded 10-20 tracks out of a possible 100-200. Producers are set to include Krayzie Bone, Damon Elliott (son of Dionne Warwick), Anthony Cowan a.k.a. Tony C, Scott Storch, and possibly Dr. Dre and Akon.

In October 2008, a post on the official Bone Thugs message board, signed as Flesh-n-Bone, revealed that there is currently a direct line to the recording studio. Callers will have their voices recorded to serve as dialogue on the background of the unreleased track, "Thuggs n' Blood". The line will be open to the public until January 2009.

Known mostly for their flow rather than lyricism, Bone's style and technique can be described as melodic, yet dark, rapid-fire and aggressive. Their flow is often interwoven at a high speed melodic pace or slow harmonic pace. They also tend to ride the beat that they're rapping over. Sometimes there are very few choruses separating their verses from one another. In the beginning, circa Faces of Death, Bone used a pseudo-Jamaican patois delivery with their trademark style, though they rarely do this now. Bone's subject matter has both spiritual and occult undertones (e.g., "Hell Sent", "Intro", "Mr. Ouija", "Mr. Ouija 2" and "Da Introduction"). At first, their subject matter was almost always exclusively about violence and smoking marijuana. Today, however, their subject matter includes other topics such as urban socio-political issues, their old friend and mentor Eazy-E and religion. Besides minor changes to subject matter and sound, their lyrical style, locution, and overall methodology remain intact.

The group has become one of the most commercially successful rap acts, selling 20 million records in the United States, and over 40 million records worldwide.

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Source : Wikipedia