N.W.A. and the Posse

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N.W.A. and the Posse
Nwafirstalbum.jpg
(L-R) Top: DJ Train (obscured), Sir Jinx; Middle: MC Chip, MC Ren, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, K-Dee, Ice Cube, Arabian Prince, DJ Scratch; Bottom: Krazy Dee, Candyman.
Compilation album by
ReleasedNovember 6, 1987 (original)
November 13, 1989 (reissue)
Recorded1986–87
Genre
Length46:26
Label
ProducerAndre Young
N.W.A chronology
N.W.A. and the Posse
(1987)
Straight Outta Compton
(1988)
Singles from N.W.A. And The Posse
  1. "Boyz-n-the-Hood"
    Released: March 3, 1987
  2. "Panic Zone"
    Released: August 13, 1987
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[1]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[2]

N.W.A. and the Posse is a compilation album, re-releasing N.W.A and associated groups' underground rap songs from the Los Angeles area's rap scene on November 6, 1987.[3][4] It is regarded as American rap group N.W.A's first but neglected album;[5][1][6] N.W.A's authorized debut studio album, rather, is Straight Outta Compton, released in August 1988. Whereas the Straight album was certified platinum, one million copies sold, in July 1989, the Posse album was certified gold, half as many copies sold, in April 1994.[7]

Originally not N.W.A's intended album release, the Posse album was released by Macola Records—which was then the Los Angeles hip hop scene's main distributor—by collecting songs, mainly N.W.A's EP titled N.W.A, that Macola had distributed for N.W.A's record label, Ruthless Records.[1][8] Macola omitted the N.W.A EP's track "A Bitch iz a Bitch" to favor party, electro sounds, like the "Panic Zone" track, that led the Los Angeles rap scene until N.W.A's Straight album hit.[5][1][9] Months after Straight Outta Compton was released the new Ruthless distributor, Priority Records, re-issued the Posse album with the "Bitch" track included.[1]

Backstory[edit]

Six of the 11 tracks on the Posse album are from then-N.W.A members: Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Arabian Prince, and DJ Yella. MC Ren was not yet in N.W.A, and does not appear on the record though is on the cover photograph. One track is of Microphone Mike, later called Myka 9, along with Rappinstine, a traveling faction of the DJ crew World Class Wreckin' Cru, whose core had yielded N.W.A's Dr. Dre and DJ Yella.

Four of the Posse album's tracks are from the Fila Fresh Crew,[4] a rap crew including Doc-T, who soon renamed himself The D.O.C.[1] Dr. Dre discovered them in Texas, where a DJ friend of his, Dr. Rock, had invited him to perform at a nightclub, where the Fila Fresh Crew was performing.[4][9] These four tracks had previously been released by Ruthless Records.

Macola[edit]

The World Class Wreckin' Cru', including Dr. Dre and DJ Yella, led by Grandmaster Lonzo, were signed to Lonzo's label Kru-Cut Records, a sublabel of Macola Records, the area's leading distributor of rap records.[10] The success of N.W.A's first three releases—"Boyz-n-the-Hood," "Dope Man," and "8 Ball"—prompted Eazy's call for an EP, distributed by Macola.[9] The EP's five songs included Dre and Cube on "A Bitch iz a Bitch," Eazy on "Fat Girl," and Arabian's production "Panic Zone."[9]

Cover photo[edit]

For the EP's cover photo, Eazy summoned N.W.A's members to pose for the camera in a Hollywood alleyway near Macola's office.[11][9] Reportedly, some who were photographed wound up there by merely driving or accompanying another.[11] And future N.W.A rapper MC Ren, living near Eazy, although photographed, was not yet in N.W.A.[11] On the other hand, DJ Yella, although already active within N.W.A, is absent.[12]

Track list[edit]

All songs produced by Dr. Dre

No.TitleWriter(s)PerformersLength
1."Boyz-n-the-Hood"O'Shea Jackson[13][14]Eazy-E5:37
2."8 Ball" N.W.A.4:26
3."Dunk the Funk" Fila Fresh Crew5:01
4."Scream" M. "Microphone Mike" Troy, Rappinstine3:18
5."Drink It Up" Fila Fresh Crew4:45
6."Panic Zone" N.W.A., Krazy Dee3:33
7."L.A. Is the Place" Eazy-E, Ron-De-Vu4:31
8."Dope Man" N.W.A., Krazy Dee6:16
9."Tuffest Man Alive" Fila Fresh Crew2:16
10."Fat Girl" Eazy-E, Ron-De-Vu2:45
11."3 the Hard Way" Fila Fresh Crew4:10
Total length:46:26

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[15] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Alex Henderson, "N.W.A: N.W.A and the Posse", AllMusic.com, Netaktion LLC, visited 26 Apr 2020.
  2. ^ The Rolling Stone Album Guide. Random House. 1992. pp. 512–513.
  3. ^ Robin D. G. Kelley, "Kickin' reality, kickin' ballistics: Gangsta rap and postindustrial Los Angeles", in William Eric Perkins, ed., Droppin' Science: Critical Essays on Rap Music and Hip Hop Culture (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996), p 128.
  4. ^ a b c Roni Sarig, Third Coast: Outkast, Timbaland, and How Hip-hop Became a Southern Thing (Philadelphia: Da Capo Press, 2007), indexing "Fila Fresh Crew".
  5. ^ a b Stephen Thomas Erlewine, "N.W.A: Biography", AllMusic.com, Netaktion LLC, visited 26 Apr 2020.
  6. ^ Jerry Heller with Gil Reavill, Ruthless: A Memoir (New York: Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2007).
  7. ^ Gold & Platinum search, "N.W.A. & the Posse", Recording Industry Association of America website, visited 26 Apr 2020.
  8. ^ David Diallo, "Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg", in Mickey Hess, ed., Icons of Hip Hop: An Encyclopedia of the Movement, Music, and Culture (Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press, 2007), pp 321322.
  9. ^ a b c d e Gerrick D. Kennedy, Parental Discretion Is Advised: The Rise of N.W.A and the Dawn of Gangsta Rap (New York: Atria Books, 2017), pp 85–86.
  10. ^ David Diallo, ch 10 "From electro-rap to G-funk: A social history of rap music in Los Angeles and Compton, California", in Mickey Hess, ed., Hip Hop in America: A Regional Guide, Volume 1: East Coast and West Coast (Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press, 2010), p 233 on World Class Wreckin' Cru, pp 234–238 on N.W.A.
  11. ^ a b c Martin Cizmar, "Whatever happened to N.W.A's posse?", LA Weekly, 6 May 2010.
  12. ^ In the photo, the five, eventual N.W.A members are side by side in the center: Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Arabian Prince, and MC Ren. Otherwise, there are seven others. Two of them had already formed, with Ice Cube, the rap trio C.I.A.: Anthony "Sir Jinx" Wheaton and Darryll "Kid Disaster" or "K-Dee" Johnson. Another two were in another rap group, CPO: Clarence "DJ Train" Lars and Granville "MC Chip" Moton. Also, there are LaMont "DJ Scratch" or "King Scratch" Burnett, Candell "Candyman" Manson, and Damon "Krazy D" Trujillo. For backstory and developments on each, see Martin Cizmar, "N.W.A. and the Posse: Where are the 12 guys from N.W.A's first album cover now?", Phoenix New Times, 15 Mar 2010.
  13. ^ Hot New Hip Hop (2020-01-31). "Why John Singleton Wanted the 'Z' in Boyz n the Hood". Hot New Hip Hop. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  14. ^ Andres Tardio (2015-08-04). "Ice Cube: 'I Respect Rappers More When They Write Their Own Lyrics". MTV. Retrieved 2021-05-06.
  15. ^ "American album certifications – N.W.A. & The Posse – N.W.A. and the Posse". Recording Industry Association of America.