King T Names His Five Favorite N.W.A Songs
On Friday (April 8), N.W.A officially became just the fifth rap group -- yes, they're all groups -- inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, and they did it the same way they broke down the doors to the mainstream: by taking on all haters. After Kiss frontman Gene Simmons made headlines earlier last week by saying he was "looking forward to the death of rap," the group's surviving members -- Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, MC Ren and DJ Yella alongside Eazy-E's mother Kathie Wright -- accepted their induction by aiming right back at Simmons. "I want to say to Mr. Gene Simmons that hip-hop is here forever," Ren said. "We're supposed to be here."
That's the type of spirit that the pioneering hip-hop crew that rose straight outta Compton, Calif. embodied during their ascent in the late-1980s and early-1990s, bringing gangsta rap to the attention of the mainstream. Another MC that rose from the same neighborhood during that era was King T (formerly King Tee), whose influence on the era led him to major label record deals (Capitol, MCA) and a slot on Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment label after its formation in 1996. In honor of N.W.A's Rock Hall induction, Billboard asked King T to name his five favorite N.W.A songs of all time.
1. "F--- The Police"
"One of the most thought-provoking rap songs made."
"Because it was one-of-a-kind, unique and told a whole story."
3. "100 Miles and Runnin'"
"When I heard it at that time I felt like running. Really got to hear how lyrical the group was."
4. "Gangsta Gangsta"
"Showed [Ice Cube]'s lyrical content and painted the picture of a typical day in the hood."
"Gave the point of view of the drug dealer and the drug user. The samples were everything. Groundbreaking."