N.W.A re­unit­ing for BET fes­ti­val

Los Angeles Times - - POP & HISS - By Au­gust Brown au­gust.brown@la­times.com

Dr. Dre may be pre­oc­cu­pied with some other an­nounce­ments Mon­day con­cern­ing his com­pany, Beats, but his old rap group N.W.A has some news of its own.

Three sur­viv­ing mem­bers of the group, which de­fined West Coast gangsta rap and for­ever changed Amer­i­can mu­sic cul­ture, will re­unite for a per­for­mance at the BET Ex­pe­ri­ence in L.A. on June 27, ac­cord­ing to an in­ter­view in Rolling Stone with found­ing mem­ber Ice Cube.

Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella will per­form N.W.A ma­te­rial to­gether for the first time in 26 years. Cube and Ren most re­cently per­formed to­gether in 2000; Yella hasn’t joined them since 1989. The group’s other core mem­ber, Eazy-E, died in 1995 from com­pli­ca­tions of AIDS.

Dr. Dre, per­haps the group’s best-known fig­ure, isn’t sched­uled to per­form with them, but Cube didn’t rule it out.

“If you wish upon a star, you never know. ... I hope he blesses us with his pres­ence. But if not, I’ve been rockin’ for a long time with­out any­body. So who­ever shows up, I’m still gonna rock. Who­ever don’t show up, we still gonna rock.”

Cube also men­tioned that the N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Comp­ton” may fea­ture new mu­sic from the group.

“Our ex­pec­ta­tion level is so high, and if we meet our thresh­old, the world gets to hear what it is,” Cube said. “If we don’t, we still need more time to­gether to make it hap­pen.”

The BET Ex­pe­ri­ence also will fea­ture sets from mem­bers of Black Hippy, Ken­drick La­mar’s quar­tet of artists that in­cludes School­boy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul (Snoop Dogg is sched­uled to make a guest ap­pear­ance). The oc­ca­sion will mark a meet­ing be­tween two of the most inf lu­en­tial hip-hop groups to come out of L.A.

Eric Pop­ple­ton

THE GROUND­BREAK­ING AL­BUM from 1988 is now the ti­tle of the group’s up­com­ing biopic.

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