N.W.A reunite at BET Experience 2015

As hinted at by founding members Ice Cube and MC Ren earlier this year, N.W.A, or at least three of the original members, held a reunion of sorts at 2015’s BET Experience.

On a night including performances from Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg, every gangsta rap fan’s wildest dreams were brought to life at around the halfway point of Ice Cube’s set. There isn’t a whole lot of footage from the show online yet, but one excellent person filmed it from the stands of Los Angeles’ Staples Center.

Sans Dr. Dre, who was evidently too busy billionaire-ing elsewhere, the ruthless villain MC Ren joined Cube onstage with DJ Yella (make it a capella) spinning the decks for a run-through of some of the group’s biggest hits. Having not played with Ren since the Up In Smoke tour of 2000 and with Yella since 1989 (!!!), they started off with a pair of songs from previous reunions, Chin Check and Hello, but it was the familiar strains of the seminal hit Straight Outta Compton that got the LA crowd pumping. Cube lighting the fire to kick it off and Ren the smoke that follows.

They followed that up with Gangsta Gangsta before ducking offstage for a breather, allowing Yella to pay tribute to fallen founder Eazy-E by running his solo hits Real Muthaphucckin G’s and Boyz-N-The-Hood, as well as an extended trailer for the upcoming Cube-produced biopic, Straight Outta Compton.

Ice Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson Jr., playing the role of his father in the aforementioned film, then took the stage to give his own rendition of Dopeman,. Angry, jheri-curled, Raiders-capped and looking and sounding spookily like his old man of three decades ago.

The big finale was still to come and fans weren’t disappointed. Cube and Ren storming back onstage in a police car to deliver their incendiary classic, Fuck Tha Police. Scarily still as relevant today as it was when it first shocked the world three decades ago.

A magic, albeit abbreviated, moment of nostalgia for hip hop. Nice to see N.W.A can still fuck up a program all these years later.