Eminem Slated To Take Eazy-E’s Spot As Honorary N.W.A. Member On Tour.
UPDATE: One day later (July 23), an unnamed Eminem and Dr. Dre representative has told Rolling Stone magazine that the reports regarding Eminem and an N.W.A. are not true.
The original report:
For the most part, attentions surrounding August 14’s Straight Outta Compton are focused on the film. The F. Gary Gray-directed work tells the story of N.W.A., the pioneering Gangsta Rap outfit started by Eazy-E, also including Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, and DJ Yella. Cube and Dre, both Hollywood veterans (to varying degrees) are among the producers on the Universal film.
A soundtrack has been discussed, first by Dr. Dre. Since, F. Gary Gray (who directed Friday, starring Cube, 20 years ago) alluded that Kendrick Lamar and Eminem are involved with a corresponding musical release, reportedly chronicling Dr. Dre’s musical evolution, spanning several genre fusions. Now, a Universal Pictures Chairwoman Donna Langley has spilled the beans, that a tour will follow. What’s more, Eminem will reportedly be an honorary N.W.A. member, symbolically taking the place of band-leader Eazy-E.
“Langley is so gung ho about the film that her studio is planning on doing something nobody in the rap world thought was possible — reuniting N.W.A for a European tour to promote the movie, with Eminem (who performs on the film’s soundtrack, along with Dre and Kendrick Lamar) sitting in as an honorary member. ‘We don’t have anything settled yet with everyone’s schedules,” she says. “But we think it can create a lot of buzz.,'” wrote and reported Tatiana Siegel for The Hollywood Reporter.
This is the second time in 15 years such a replacement was discussed. In 1999 and 2000, amidst the Up In Smoke Tour and two songs billed as N.W.A. reunions (featuring Dre, Cube, and Ren; DJ Yella was not involved), Snoop Dogg was reportedly in consideration to take on the fifth spot. At the time, Snoop was signed to No Limit Records, Master P’s imprint, distributed by Priority Records. Then Cube’s label, the Los Angeles, California-based imprint was also responsible for distributing much of Eazy-E and Ruthless Records’ releases during the height of N.W.A. DJ Quik, a Compton, California native was reportedly also on a very short list. Snoop would appear on one of the two unofficial reunions, 1999’s “Chin Check,” the lone official N.W.A.-billed song, which appeared on The Next Friday soundtrack, coincidentally released by Priority.
The same label politics may apply, should Straight Outta Compton‘s soundtrack release through Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment. This label signed Eminem circa 1997. On early single “Guilty Conscience,” from 1999’s The Slim Shady LP, featured Em and Dre alluding to his “N.W.A. days.”
Throughout the last 17 years, Eminem has also worked with Cube and Ren. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Marshall Mathers was 22 years old when Eazy-E died from complications of the HIV AIDs virus in 1995.
Notably, MC Ren has called out Universal’s decision-making up to this point. The Compton, California MC criticized the studio’s marketing team, for failing to accurately include him in the film’s trailers, rather giving emphasis to more mainstream band-mates.
Do you think this move, clearly a draw for concert-goers, is accurate to the legacy of Eazy and N.W.A.?