Kendrick Lamar sat down with N.W.A. for an in-depth interview courtesy of Billboard magazine.
What makes this moment so special is that Kendrick Lamar is such a fan of Dr. Dre and N.W.A. that it makes for really great conversation.
Check out a few excerpts:
I’m tripping right now. Man, I’m bugging. So bear with me … When did you first know you were more than local stars?
Dr. Dre: When I saw Axl Rose wearing an N.W.A cap in one of his videos!
How did N.W.A change the history of music?
Ice Cube: We not only changed music, we changed pop culture all over the world. We did that by making it all right for artists to be themselves. You no longer had to be squeaky clean. We opened the floodgates for artists who wanted to work on this side, artists who wanted to be raw.
Dr. Dre: And not worry about being on the radio.
Ice Cube: Right. There were no other examples of artists not doing it the square way. We became examples for not only musicians, but for shows like South Park, even the reality shows where they’re bleeping out words. We started that on the radio — bleeping out words — but the rawness wasn’t in the world until N.W.A said it was OK for you to be yourself. There’s the world before N.W.A, and the world after.
How do you think your music changed the way the world viewed our culture and our community?
Ice Cube: Unless you come from Compton, it’s not a world you’re privy to. Our music let you visit Compton from a safe distance.
Dr. Dre: We gave the suburban kids an opportunity to get up close.
Ice Cube: Now you care. You heard what’s going on in the hood, and you’re interested. Now Compton means something to you. Now you pay attention. We were able to shed light on some of the bullshit that was going down. We presented it in a way that you could digest, comprehend and sympathize with what we were going through.
Dr. Dre: If we had done it softer, it wouldn’t have gotten the attention. It wouldn’t have worked.
DJ Yella: The truth is that there wasn’t much competition. There was the East and the West, but there was really no West before us. We came in so different, so real, that we were immediately heard.
You can read more of Billboard’s condensed transcript, or you can watch the entire interview below.
In related news, Dr. Dre opened up about accusations he physically abused ex-wife Michel’le in his new interview with Rolling Stone. He doesn’t straight up admit to it, but he does say he made some mistakes and that it’ll never happen again.
“I made some fucking horrible mistakes in my life,” says Dre. “I was young, fucking stupid. I would say all the allegations aren’t true – some of them are. Those are some of the things that I would like to take back. It was really fucked up. But I paid for those mistakes, and there’s no way in hell that I will ever make another mistake like that again.”
We’re always here for growth.