John Singleton Reveals He Wanted N.W.A. To Star In Boyz N The Hood
Thirty years ago today, on August 8, 1988, the N.W.A. released its proper debut album, Straight Outta Compton. Bursting onto the scene with rawness and aggression fueled by the Reagan-era Compton climate and lifestyle, Ni**az Wit’ Attitudes presented an LP that would shape the sound and narrative in Rap for years to come. Decorated with profane lyrics, sensational stories, and direct criticism of racist law enforcement, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, DJ Yella, and Arabian Prince influenced and challenged the direction of Rap music. The album would find the mainstream (and Middle America) even without radio or video support. Joining the efforts of Ice-T, Schoolly-D, Just-Ice, and Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, Straight Outta Compton help launch an era where Gangsta Rap dominated the charts.
To celebrate the event Ice Cube is appearing on DJ Pooh and Xzibit’s The Pharmacy radio show on Apple Music’s Beats 1 Radio tonight (August 8). Pooh, who produced many songs and co-wrote Friday with Cube, is also going to be playing new music from the N.W.A. member. Director John Singleton will also appear on the program, and according to AllHipHop, he makes an interesting revelation.
On the Straight Outta Compton 30th anniversary, Singleton reveals that his breakthrough 1991 film Boyz N’ The Hood was written with all of N.W.A. in mind. “[N.W.A.] broke up, and [Ice Cube] was the only person that would talk to me. [Dr.] Dre always laughs about this ’cause he said, ‘You should have talked to me too.'” The director of Poetic Justice, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and the creator/executive producer of Snowfall says the other MCs in N.W.A. appeared less interested. “I met Eazy. I met [MC] Ren at the time. They were just partying, trying to chase girls, and do whatever.” He goes on to describe how Ice Cube seemed to be the only one taking his endeavor seriously, “Cube was so serious-minded. He was like, ‘Here’s my number.’ He was just about to leave the group, and he gave me a ride to my dorm. He was playing the beats from basically AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted that he got from The Bomb Squad, and he’s like, ‘This is going to be my first solo album.’ And I say, ‘Yeah, remember that script I told you about. I’m working on it right now.’ That was like in January 1990, and by summer we were shooting the movie.”
While the members of N.W.A. did not appear, Yo-Yo, one of Cube’s own proteges, did make a cameo in the film. Notably, in one sequence of the film, a man wearing a “We Want Eazy” sweatshirt attempts to steal a necklace and is viciously beaten:
Cube has become a blockbuster actor, writer, and producer. In 2015, Cube joined Dre and Eazy-E’s widow, Tomica Woods-Wright, in producing the Academy Award-nominated film, Straight Outta Compton. Dre, who acted in The Wash, Training Day, and Set It Off, has also worked behind the cameras. With Fab Five Freddy, he co-directed 1994’s short film, Murder Was The Case in addition to a host of music videos.
Boyz N The Hood (“Best Director,” “Best Original Screenplay”) takes its name from a 1987 single by Eazy-E called “Boyz-N-The-Hood.” Produced by Dre and Yella, the song was an inclusion on that year’s N.W.A. And The Posse compilation. A remix appeared on 1988’s Eazy-Duz-It LP, released five weeks after Straight Outta Compton. That version reached Top 50 on the charts.
In another statement, Cube reflects on the 1988 classic album he made with N.W.A., before leaving the group. “It’s just a blessing that that record made the noise that it did. When we first recorded it, we just felt like it was going to be an underground record,” Cube says in the statement. Cube, who made a solo demo of the controversial song “F*ck Tha Police” before recording with the group says the Ruthless Records squad never imagined the success. “We never anticipated the record doing what it’s doing now, just being this staple. When you get something like that under your belt, you just feel blessed to be a part of it. As an artist, you want as many classics under your belt as possible, so you can stay in the hearts and minds of people throughout your whole career. It was a jump off to my career. No doubt it’s something that I’m extremely proud of.”
The album has since been certified triple-platinum by the RIAA, and by 2016 inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame and chosen to be included in the Library Of Congress’ archives.
Cube is presently in pre-production of the final Friday film. Last year he released a special 25th anniversary edition of Death Certificate, containing some new songs.