Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella caused a seismic shift in hip-hop when they form N.W.A in 1986. With its hard-core image, bombastic sound and lyrics that were equal parts poetic, lascivious, conscious and downright in-your-face, N.W.A spoke the truth about life on the streets of Compton, then a hotbed of poverty, drugs, gangs and unemployment. In “Parental Discretion Is Advised: The Rise of N.W.A and the Dawn of Gangsta Rap” (Atria: 288 pp., $26), Times music reporter Gerrick D. Kennedy traces the origins of the group that birthed the first major disruption of hip-hop during the genre’s infancy. Ice Cube once said, “Everything in the world came after this group.”
In an exclusive excerpt, Kennedy details the brash arrival of N.W.A.