In 1987, young Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, DJ Yella and MC Ren used brutally honest rhymes and hardcore beats to turn their anger about life in their inner-city L.A. neighborhood into the most powerful weapon they had: their music. In late ’80s, Compton’s streets were some of the most dangerous in the country. Crack cocaine use was escalating at a rate as alarming as the violent, gang-driven business that propelled it. The LAPD’s merciless war on drugs left residents shell-shocked, distrustful of authority and bitter. Charismatic, dope-selling Eazy-E saw a future in L.A.’s burgeoning rap scene and reached out to his friend Dr. Dre, a deejay who spun at Compton clubs with DJ Yella. The three wanted change and Eazy-E had the resources to make it happen. Along with young emcees MC Ren and Ice Cube they became N.W.A., turning their frustration into art and giving their people what they needed: a voice.
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