DJ Yella admits NWA knew they lost in their battle with Ice Cube
(Credit: N.W.A.)

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DJ Yella admits NWA knew they lost in their battle with Ice Cube

The dissipation of NWA is a compelling yet tragic story. The way the group splintered was fascinating, and each member embarked on different journies were interesting. Ice Cube was the first emcee to break away from the group. However, his exit was messy. 

The LA rapper (real name O’Shea Jackson) felt the collective’s manager had taken advantage of him and deprived him of his rightful earnings. As a result, the ‘It Was A Good Day’ musician released a scathing diss track and, in an interview on VLADTV,  former NWA member DJ Yella admitted that, upon hearing it, the group knew they had lost the battle. 

DJ Yella (real name Antoine Carraby) was a World Class Wreckin’ Cru member alongside Dr Dre in the early-1980s and was one of the legend’s first musical counterparts. Together they made records in a hidden, puny studio behind the LA nightclub Eve After Dark. As one of Dre’s affiliates, he became part of N.W.A. and was present when the crew heard Ice Cube’s ‘No Vaseline’ for the first time. 

Released in 1991, ‘No Vaseline’ made some significant allegations. Cube’s diss track aimed at his former bandmates, Eazy-E, Dr Dre, MC Ren, DJ Yella and their manager, Jerry Heller. In the song, he told Dr Dre to stop rapping and “stick to producing.” Furthermore, on multiple occasions, Jackson accused the crew members of sodomy. ‘No Vaseline’ was a ruthless and vicious diss track. Its main line was, “You’re gettin’ fucked out your green (money) by a white boy with no Vaseline”.

In his conversation with DJ Vlad about the money members were receiving from Jerry Heller, the co-founder of Ruthless Records, Carraby revealed, “Nobody had contracts, not until the album came out, but you got young kids who don’t know no better. We was young we didn’t know about contracts and all this stuff. Publishing and producers writers all this stuff.”

During the interview, Yella confirmed that following the release of Straight Out Of Compton in 1987, everybody signed a contract except for Jackson. When asked about how the group felt following Ice Cube’s exit, Carraby disclosed, “We never talked about it. We didn’t. We wasn’t mad. It just happened. He left…the group didn’t fizzle away.”

After admitting that they took some shots at Ice Cube on the track ‘Real N*ggaz,’ when asked about the crew’s reaction to ‘No Vaseline’ in 1991, Yella divulged, ‘Nobody really got mad. It was like, ‘He got us on that one. We all knew he had won’. You can watch Yell’s interview in the video below.