As one of the original members of legendary, Compton-based rap crew N.W.A, DJ Yella had a lot to share in regards to the group’s past during a recent interview with Montreality.
While speaking on N.W.A’s past, DJ Yella revealed that “Fuck Tha Police” was a record that almost didn’t make its way onto the group’s debut album, Straight Outta Compton. He says that despite the lack of enthusiasm there was for the record’s placement on Straight Outta Compton, he’s glad “Fuck Tha Police” did make its way onto the LP.
“I don’t think it was gonna make the album,” DJ Yella said. “It was kinda up in the air, so we just like ‘ehh.’ Then they harassed us. Harassed Dre a little bit more. So, it just—‘Okay, put it on there.’ First, we wasn’t really gonna put it on there because people back then just would not say that, but we just went ahead. And I’m glad we did too.”
DJ Yella also addressed N.W.A.’s fallout, attributing the group’s breakup to N.W.A being too perfect before stating that N.W.A is the only group he’s familiar with that broke up while they were at number one.
“The funny thing is when the group broke up we was #1 on the charts,” he said. “I’ve never heard to this day, I don’t know personally of a group that broke up at #1. They break up when they last or not selling, but we broke up at #1. And I don’t think—It might have been just too big to keep that group together. It was too perfect. So, it was just meant to be…Once we finished mixing Niggaz4Life album, the group was over. People didn’t know that, but the group was over.”
Although DJ Yella says he hasn’t spoken to MC Ren in years or Ice Cube since last year, he revealed that he’s still good friends with Dr. Dre. According to the West Coast deejay, he was with Dre in the studio while he was working on an Eminem record and has even heard the rapper-producer’s much-delayed Detox album.
“Me and Dre we go back to the beginning of all this stuff. Me and Dre as deejays,” DJ Yella said. “So, we had that chemistry from way back then, so when we got into doing the music, the Wreckin’ Cru music, we did that. You know? Kinda corny. Kinda wack, these days’ standards. And then we got into the Eazy-E album, J. J. Fad album. You know, The D.O.C., the N.W.A. I did Eazy’s last album. I mean, me and Dre were just—we was a team. So, he said ‘left,’ he said ‘right,’ we just did it. It was no big thing. We just made that music…I seen Dre a couple of months ago at a studio. He was working on Eminem’s new song. I just went there, hung out a little while. We supposed to hookup in Paris next month…Me and him are still cool.
“He let me hear songs from the album,” he added. “It’s a great album. From the ones I heard, but you know, he’s such a perfectionist, so it’s hard—I mean, to me he don’t have to come out with it. I wouldn’t. But if he want to it’s gon’ be perfect.”
Lastly, DJ Yella addressed the late Eazy-E and informed those watching that aside from one song, which happens to be a diss record, there are no unreleased Eazy-E songs left.
“There is no Eazy-E songs left. Trust me,” DJ Yella said. “No, actually I got one song, but it was a diss song. And I just said—And that’s why I didn’t put it on his album. I’m like ‘Nah, I’ll stay away from that.’ And no, I’m not gonna tell you who he’s dissing. So, I’ll just leave that dead. It’s dead. It’s gone.”
Along with Arabian Prince, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, and Ice Cube, DJ Yella was one of the original members of N.W.A. After releasing two studio albums, which included Straight Outta Compton and Niggaz4Life, the group disbanded in the early ‘90s.