For their new issue, which features the living members of N.W.A, Billboard took its cue from Kendrick Lamar’s “Mortal Man” track and tapped the Compton, California lyricist as interviewer for the group’s Billboard cover story.
“When Kendrick Lamar arrives this Friday evening at a cavernous photo studio in the flatlands of industrial Hollywood, he’s 30 minutes early,” Billboard writes as an intro to K-Dot’s interview with Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, and DJ Yella. “And the occasion has been nearly 25 years in the making: Lamar, 28, is here to interview the four living members of N.W.A for their first magazine cover together since Ice Cube went solo in 1991 and the group collapsed into a famously bitter feud.”
Kendrick expressed his excitement at the very start of the interview, stating “I’m tripping right now,” before asking the group when they knew they were more than just local stars.
The TDE lyricist later asked those in N.W.A, how the group changed the history of music.
“We not only changed music, we changed pop culture all over the world,” Ice Cube said in response to Kendrick’s question. “We did that by making it all right for artists to be themselves. You no longer had to be squeaky clean. We opened the floodgates for artists who wanted to work on this side, artists who wanted to be raw.”
During the interview, Dr. Dre expressed his shock at how far the group has come from making tracks for their neighborhood.
“We had no idea we’d blow up this major,” Dr. Dre said. “You see, every time we went into the studio we were only trying to make tracks that would rock our neighborhood. Our goal was to be local stars…Imagine this: We made Straight Outta Compton in six weeks, and that’s without working weekends. Twenty-five years later, and here’s a big-ass Hollywood movie carrying the same name. It’s unbelievable.”
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