See Kendrick Lamar Induct NWA Into Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame And Legendary Group Destroys Critics
The members of N.W.A. were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Friday night, and just like their groundbreaking music, they generated quite a buzz. At the ceremony held at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, fellow Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar gleefully and masterfully introduced the legendary gangsta rap group that inspired his own hip hop career.
“I felt like each and everyone of them was black superheroes from where I come from,” said Lamar. “The fact that a famous group can look just like one of us, dress like one of us, talk like one of us, proved to every single kid in the ghetto that you could be successful and still have your voice while doing it.”
“Chuck D once said rap was the black CNN,” said Lamar. “NWA represents that to the fullest. [They] proved to every single kid in the ghetto that you could be successful and still have your voice while you’re doing it.”
Lamar honored each member of N.W.A., starting with DJ Yella:
First off, DJ Yella Ye. Ah? Ah? Hip-hop, we in Compton. His personality, charisma not only poured out into the company that was around him, but it shown whenever he got behind the turntables in production, providing some of the illest breaks, cuts, scratching, that only the most elite – I said elite – Compton MCs can spit over, you dig that? Any time my boy Yella dropped that needle, you know it’s time to get busy, right? Right?
MC Ren, the motherfucking – can I cuss? MC Ren, the motherfucking villain! The name is just not self-proclaimed. It was proven every single time he stepped behind that microphone. Hardcore lyrics that not only made you jump out your seat, but feel like you’re getting your motherfucking head pushed through the speakers, you dig that? A true code red every time we heard a rhyme, you dig that, so it was nothing but honesty, spoken from a true tone of a Compton resident: MC Ren, believe that, boy. 100. Yessir.
Cube! Where y’all at? I said Ice Cube? Storytelling genius. Every bar had us hanging over our seats. Punchline, delivery, detailed imagery made you get just a small glimpse of how it was growing up in the city of Compton, you dig what I’m saying? Cube was always proving to be one of the greatest MCs to ever step behind the mic, and on a personal level, my debut album, you was the blueprint on how I went to approach it. That’s for real, you dig what I’m saying, so salute to that. That’s 100.
Doc Dre! Dr. Dre! The scientist! The perfectionist. The producer extraordinaire. My mentor, you dig what I’m saying? This dude here taught me a lot as far as never being satisfied with the work you do, on and off the record. Whether I’m on the mic, whether I’m out in life, in general, always taught me that. Number two, make sure you take care of your music and your family each and every single day. I never forget the words, you dig what I’m saying? Since the first day meeting me, you always gave me the energy, saying “Superstar!” You never called me Kendrick Lamar. So that gave me the belief in what I was doing, and also gave me the energy of knowing I was doing it right, and then I became. I appreciate you for that, every time.
With that being said, not only on a personal level, when I met Dre, it was way before I actually met him personally, it was on the music, you get what I’m saying? So let me say this. Dre has provided N.W.A with unapologetic production made on high-level soundtracks for hardcore lyrics. You could never press play without having an extra pair of Kenwood speakers. You know what I’m talking about, woofers! You know what I’m saying? Tweeters! You understand when I’m having ’em blown out. Every single hi-hat, snare make you break your neck! I believe Andre to be one of the greatest producers of our time, and still to this day. Believe that. That’s real.
Last but not least, the legendary, the late great Eric “Eazy-E” Wright. He was a true mastermind. A businessman, an incredible entertainer. His persona was unmatched. His confidence spoke with abundance. His high-pitched tone spoke to nations around the world, y’all. There was no better voice to put across than Eazy-E. He is the gatekeeper of reality rap. He’s the reason why I’m proud to stand on this stage and rep Compton. He’s the reason why we’re proud to have songs like “Dope Man,” “Express Yourself.” I said, “Fuck tha Police,” “Express Yourself”! “Boyz-n-the-Hood.” These are the records that made L.A. known all across the world. It was dubbed gangsta rap, but what it was for me was an intimate look at what was actually happening in our community in Los Angeles, and in Compton in particular.
Then Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella walked on to the stage while the late Eric “Eazy-E” Wright’s “Boyz-n-the-Hood” played. They were joined by Eazy-E’s mother, Kathie Wright, on stage in honor of the fallen member of the group who died in 1995. “This is my new mom,” DJ Yella said of Kathie. “I call her momma all the time.” Dr. Dre also thanked his own mother for keeping him on the “straight and narrow,” and his wife Tiffany Woodruff, “who saved my life.”
“This is proof to all the kids out there growing up in places like Compton that anything is possible,” said Dr. Dre. “You just have to find that thing that’s special about you and apply true passion, hard work and talent, and anything can happen.”
“To the man…Eazy muthafuckin’ E. This is his vision,” said Cube. “He wanted us to be honest. He wanted us to be truthful [and] say what we feel. All he cared about was for our story to get recognized and heard. We miss Eazy-E and we love him.”
They also used their stage time to dismantle critics who questioned them being in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
MC Ren addressed the comments by Gene Simmons of KISS, who recently told Rolling Stone that he was “looking forward to the death of rap.” Ren clapped back by saying, “I want to say to Mr. Gene Simmons, hip hop is here forever. Get used to it!”
Cube then poignantly refuted claims that N.W.A. doesn’t belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with this mic drop moment:
Now, the question is, are we rock & roll? And I say you goddamn right we rock & roll. Rock & roll is not an instrument, rock & roll is not even a style of music. Rock & roll is a spirit. It’s a spirit. It’s been going since the blues, jazz, bebop, soul, R&B, rock & roll, heavy metal, punk rock and yes, hip-hop. And what connects us all is that spirit. That’s what connects us all, that spirit. Rock & roll is not conforming to the people who came before you, but creating your own path in music and in life. That is rock & roll, and that is us.
So rock & roll is not conforming. Rock & roll is outside the box. And rock & roll is N.W.A. I want to thank everybody who helped induct us into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and I just want to tell the world, ‘Damn, that shit was dope.'”