These guys had attitude: just look up what “N.W.A” (just two periods) stands for. With their 1988 debut album Straight Outta Compton, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, MC Ren and DJ Yella put gangsta rap and south central Los Angeles on the map with hit songs like “F___ tha Police” and “Gangsta Gangsta.” But following its first and only headlining tour, the group began to fall apart. After claiming that he was being cheated out of royalty money, Ice Cube settled out of court with N.W.A manager Jerry Heller and embarked on a solo career in 1990. Dr. Dre soon followed, and the two achieved the most success — though the other three members continued recording hit songs individually as well. Some of those songs were personal attacks on one another: Eazy-E and Dr. Dre, in particular, had a heated back-and-forth, swapping lyrics that exposed their lingering ill will.
When Eazy-E dropped Heller as his manager in 1994, the relationships began improving and the former group members talked about reuniting. But a year later, Eazy-E died from AIDS-related complications, and except for a song recorded for Ice Cube’s album War & Peace Vol. 2 and a show featuring the remaining members plus Eminem and Snoop Dogg, a reunion never came to fruition.