NWA was honored at the Indie Entertainment Summit in North Hollywood, California. The Compton, California-based rap group consisted of Eazy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren, Dr Dre, DJ Yella & was honored for the role it played in independent music.
"It was just so simple for us" DJ Yella said of NWA's initial material, which was released on Eazy-E's Ruthless Records through Macola Records before partnering with Priority Records. "We weren’t trying to make money, nothing like that. If we would have tried that, we wouldn’t be talking today. It was just about the music, the passion".
"When things really turned around is when the police came up to me & said the records I was making were causing them a lot of trouble" Donovan "The Dirt Biker" Smith, engineer of Ruthless Records' landmark releases, said. "Seriously they came up & said those records you’re making there, can't have that 'Fuck Tha Police' shit. That blew my mind".
As Ruthless Records became a powerful independent label whose roster also included JJ Fad & Michel'le, Eazy-E began recruiting other local talent, including Pomona, California rap group Above The Law. While working on a video for The DOC, Eazy-E took Above The Law into a room & explained his vision to them. "Eazy was like, yeah I’m going to try to make ya'll like NWA, a big group like NWA" Above The Law's Big Hutch aka Cold 187um said at the event. "His vision was crazy. We just wanted to stop selling dope. We just wanted to make some legal money & Eazy was talking all this other shit. Next thing I know, we’re on tour with these dudes, running around the world with these dudes".
Gold & platinum records from JJ Fad, Eazy-E, NWA, The DOC & Michel'le came in quick succession for Ruthless Records as the imprint became one of rap's most successful businesses, independent or otherwise. "If Eazy was here to see what seeds he planted, both him, Dre, Yella, Arabian Prince, Ren & Ice Cube, they started more than just a label" said DJ Quik. "They started an ideology. That music is for everybody & for generations after... Eric Wright will never die. He will always live in our hearts & souls & in his music".
"The Ruthless movement with us & The DOC & Michel'le & NWA & Eazy collectively, what happened was we were able to take it on a global scale as far as the business" added Big Hutch. "When it comes to impact on Hip Hop, Ruthless Records was definitely that powerhouse at the time that launched all those other labels & is the reason why a lot of music is here now".
Further information @ http://www.djyellaofnwa.com/