Straight outta Coachella: Gangsta rap icons NWA reunite after 27 years

  • AFP, Los Angeles
  • Updated: Apr 25, 2016 13:56 IST
Ice Cube, Dr Dre, MC Ren and DJ Yella performed in front of an ecstatic crowd. (Instagram)

The surviving members of gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A. reunited, albeit briefly, for their first performance in 27 years at the Coachella music festival.

The rappers -- who shocked much of white America with their 1988 protest song F*** tha Police -- came together during a set by N.W.A. member turned solo star Ice Cube on Saturday night during the second weekend of the festival in the California desert.

Listen to Straight Outta Compton here

After performing Straight Outta Compton, an ode to their rough hometown in Los Angeles County, Ice Cube teasingly asked the crowd whether there was “a doctor” in the house.

To an eruption of cheers from the crowd, Dr Dre -- who has gone on to become a multimillionaire executive at Apple and rarely puts on shows -- took the stage.

Sporting a simple black T-shirt and slacks, Dr Dre led his former group in rapping his self-referential 2001 solo track Still Dre, according to video footage.

N-N-Dub-Dub-Dub-Double-U-A-A-A-A #MCRen #DJYella #NWA #Coachella

A photo posted by The Game (@losangelesconfidential) on

The group -- also joined by fellow N.W.A. members MC Ren and DJ Yella -- also performed California Love by slain West Coast rap legend Tupac Shakur, but did not do any of the group’s own songs.

Listen to California Love here

The mini-reunion marked the first show by all living N.W.A. members since 1989.

Dr Dre and Ice Cube came together for a tour of top rappers in 2000, but DJ Yella did not joined his band mates from 1989 until last year.

Eazy-E, widely seen as the leader of N.W.A., died in 1995 from complications from AIDS but his son, Lil Eazy-E, joined at Coachella.

N.W.A., which stands for Niggaz Wit Attitudes -- were nicknamed the world’s most dangerous group in the 1980s as the rappers jolted the United States with unfiltered tales of street life and police brutality.

Read: NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton makes theatres battleground

The group returned to the spotlight last year with a Hollywood biopic, Straight Outta Compton, and earlier this month was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Dr Dre showed up for the induction but the group did not perform and he skipped a one-off reunion show timed for the movie.

#NWA #Coachella #straightouttacompton @icecube @mcrennwa @djyellaofnwa @drdre

A video posted by XZIBIT (@xzibit) on

Instead, Dr Dre marked the movie by releasing an album entitled Compton which the 51-year-old said would be his last.

Read: NWA’s Dr Dre to come out with first album in 16 years

Coachella, one of the most closely watched and lucrative musical festivals, takes place over two consecutive weekends with identical lineups although the surprises -- for which the event is known -- differ.

Listen to Alright by Kendrick Lamar here

For the second weekend, Ice Cube closed his set by bringing out younger-generation rapper Kendrick Lamar to perform his song Alright, which has become an unofficial anthem of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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