The release of N.W.A.’s debut album, Straight Outta Compton, was a watershed moment in hip-hop history. The record cemented Los Angeles as a hip-hop powerhouse on par with New York and pioneered a fledgling subgenre that would eventually become known as “gangsta rap.” It’s standout track, “Fuck tha Police,” is as relevant and impactful today as it was more than 30 years ago.
Unfortunately, Straight Outta Compton’s success didn’t keep N.W.A.’s members from feuding. Less than two years after its release, Ice Cube left the group over royalty disputes. He filed a lawsuit against the band’s manager, struck out on his own, and immediately found solo success with AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted, his 1990 solo debut.
Cube avoided taking shots at his former bandmates on Most Wanted, but N.W.A. was less kind. Their follow-up to Compton, 100 Miles and Runnin’, and their 1991 album, Efil4zaggin, both contained multiple disses. Cube responded the same year with “No Vaseline,” a five-minute tirade featured on his second full-length release, Death Certificate.
By 1993, the rest of N.W.A. had disbanded and the feud was over. Ice Cube appeared in the video for Dr. Dre’s “Let Me Ride,” and the next year they recorded “Natural Born Killaz” for the soundtrack of Snoop Dogg’s film Murder Was the Case. In 2000, Dre and fellow N.W.A. alum MC Ren appeared on Cube’s album War & Peace Vol. 2 and a song for the Next Friday soundtrack.