The Return of The Legends 13 tour, 2016, was a party; a celebration of the 28th anniversary of N.W.A.s 1988 debut album Straight Outta Compton, their March 2016 induction into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, the hugely successful 2015 movie Straight Outta Compton depicting the story of N.W.A. & the life of former member Eric Lynn Wright, aka Eazy E. This tour featured N.W.A.’s Ice Cube, DJ Yella & MC Ren, The D.O.C., MC Eight. DJ Quick & Ice Cube’s son O’Shea Jackson Jr.
N.W.A. originated with Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, MC Ren, DJ Yella & Arabian Prince & were originally managed by the late Jerry Heller, who passed away due to a car accident & subsequent heart attack on 9/3/16, which happened to be the final show date of The Legends tour. Ice Cube spoke briefly about Heller’s death during an interview earlier that day on Detroit’s 107.5. Vizion Magazine covered this event at Chene Park Amphitheater in Detroit, MI in an up close & personal way.
N.W.A., along with Ice-T, are considered to be the Godfathers of West Coast Hip Hop. N.W.A shook the nation with their underground sound, which depicted gang life & police brutality; relatable subject matter to the societal issues of today. Along with Ice-T & E40, N.W.A. introduced the world to gansta rap, with songs such as Dope Man, F*** The Police & Express Yourself. Their lyrics were so hardcore that they were banned from mainstream radio stations. Fans found N.W.A.’s lyrics so relatable, though, that have supported them by buying & playing their music for 30 years & counting.
N.W.A. was comprised of extremely talented, business-savvy hip hop artists. Ruthless Records released N.W.A.’s albums and as the members had disagreements their empire broke out into 3 different entities. Eazy-E’s uthless Records signed artists such as JJ Fad, H.W.A. & The D.O.C. who’s debut album The Formula proved to be the biggest album that Ruthless Records ever released. Dr. Dre developed Death Row Records which released Dr. Dre’s 1st solo album The Chronic & signed Nate Dogg, Warren G, Tupac, Above The Law, Snoop Dogg & more. Ice Cube developed Lynch Mobb Records which signed the Lynch Mobb, MC Ren, Dubb C, The Westside Connection & more.
The world awaited the release of Straight Outta Compton; finally, the story of N.W.A. & I can remember the anticipation of buying my 1st N.W.A. cassette tape; my friends & I playing it so many times that the tape warped & then snapped. Memories were re-lived & new ones made for thousands of fans while The Return of the Legends 13 tour filled Chene park that night. Outside we saw west coast representations everywhere; classic cars jumping down the streets & N.W.A. t-shirts reppin album covers & quoting Ice Cube’s famous “YAY YAY!”
-Jeff Woods & Donia Collier