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 re-unite for a performance at the BET Experience in downtown L.A. on June 27, according to an interview in Rolling Stone with founding member Ice Cube.
Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella will perform N.W.A material together for the first time in two decades. Cube and Ren most recently performed together in 2000, while Yella hasn’t joined them since 1989. The group’s other core member, Eazy-E, died in 1995 from complications from AIDS, though he was briefly onstage as a holographic projection during the Rock the Bells festival in 2013.
Dr Dre., perhaps the group’s best-known figure, is not scheduled to perform with them, but Cube didn’t rule it out during his interview.
“You know, if you wish upon a star, you never know. … It’s like, 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 will make a guest appearance). The occasion will mark a meeting between two of the most influential hip-hop groups to come out of Los Angeles.