Where Are The Members of N.W.A. Now?

NWA Portrait
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N.W.A. is the 1980s rap group comprised of original members Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson), Dr. Dre (Andre Young), Eazy-E (Eric Wright), DJ Yella (Antoine Carraby), and MC Ren (Lorenzo Jerald Patterson).

The group's first album raged against police brutality, racism, and injustice. You've probably seen Straight Outta Compton, the namesake biopic of N.W.A. It arrived on a weekend when protesters took to the streets of Ferguson, MO, to mark the anniversary of the fatal shooting of a Black teenager by a White cop.

Following the movie's success, now is a good time to check in on the surviving members of the world's most dangerous crew.

As you might suspect, some have flourished into some of the most successful artists in the game. Others have faded out of the spotlight.

Let's catch up with the members of the seminal rap group N.W.A. to see where they've been and where they are now. Peep game.

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Dr. Dre (Then)

Image of Dr. Dre

Then: Dr. Dre started as the DJ for the World Class Wreckin' Cru in the 1980s. He stepped up to the mic in N.W.A., juggling rhymes and production duties. Aside from NWA, Dre also produced for other Ruthless artists. He later feuded with Eazy-E and Ice Cube. After falling out with the group, Dre left N.W.A. and co-founded Death Row Records with Suge Knight.

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Dr. Dre (Now)

Older Dr. Dre

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 Now: Dre left Death Row to form his own music empire, Aftermath Entertainment. There, he signed Eminem and helped launch the careers of 50 Cent, The Game and, more recently, Kendrick Lamar. Dre also co-founded Beats by Dre with Jimmy Iovine. The music streaming service, Beats Music, followed. In 2015, Dre sold Beats Electronics to Apple for a reported $3 billion. Dre banked an estimated 600 million from the sale. The deal instantly positioned Dre as the richest rapper alive.

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Ice Cube (Then)

Ice Cube

Then: Ice Cube got his start in a group called C.I.A. He went on to become a founding member of N.W.A.. (Cube has a thing for acronyms, it seems). Despite that suspect Jheri curl, Cube was dropping heat. He wrote rhymes for other group members. He penned Eazy-E's "Boyz-N-the-Hood" and contributed to a majority of Eazy-Duz-It.

After leaving NWA, Cube embarked on a remarkable solo run. His first two solo albums, 1990's AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted and 1991's Death Certificate, are considered two of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time. He also teamed up with WC and Mack 10 to form Westside Connection in the mid-90s. The group produced two albums: Bow Down (1996) and Terrorist Threats (2003).

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Ice Cube (Now)

 Now: If you discovered Ice Cube in the 2000s you probably know him as an actor first. Cube has always had one foot in the studio and one on the movie set. He's starred in a number of major films, including Boyz n the Hood (1991), Barbershop (2002), Are We There Yet? (2005) and 21 Jump Street (2011).

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DJ Yella (Then)

DJ Yella
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Then: Yella came up with Dr. Dre in the World Class Wreckin' Cru days. He joined NWA and shared production duties with Dre. He also produced records for several Ruthless rappers. Yella went solo in 1996. Shortly after, he retired from music.

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DJ Yella (Now)

DJ Yella with Shay Diddy

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Now: Yella had a stint directing adult movies. He's since unretired and is working on a new album.

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MC Ren (Then)

MC Ren
(Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Then: MC Ren (aka the Ruthless Villain aka The Villain in Black) was a member of NWA from 1987 until the group's collapse in 1991. After Cube and Arabian Prince left, Ren stepped up and played a bigger writing role in the group. He featured prominently on Eazy-Duz-It, appearing on more than half the songs. Following NWA's messy breakup, Ren stuck with Eazy-E and released several mildly successful solo albums on Ruthless Records.

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MC Ren (Now)

MC Ren

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 Now: Post-NWA, Ren took a stab at film production. In 2004, he released an independent, straight-to-DVD movie, Lost in the Game. Ren has since retired from music, although he still drops cameos from time to time.

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Arabian Prince (Then)

Then: Arabian Prince is one of the lesser-known members of N.W.A. It's probably because he played a background role and left the group early. Prince, a capable producer, and DJ was there from the start. He left shortly after the group's full-length debut, Straight Outta Compton (1988). Following Ice Cube's return from the Phoenix Institute of Technology in 1988, Prince knew he would be reduced to a bit player. He went on to pursue a solo career, starting with 1989's Brother Arab.

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Arabian Prince (Now)

Arabian Prince Professor X

 Now: Following his departure, Arabian Prince fought N.W.A. in courts for years to claim his royalties. Today, he performs under the moniker Professor X. He's a mainstay in electro-rap and regularly deejays at local clubs in Los Angeles.

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Eazy E

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Then: Born and raised in Compton, Eazy-E used the money he saved from selling dope to launch Ruthless Records. In the end, Eazy had a beef with Ice Cube and Dr. Dre. The other founding members accused Eazy of misappropriating the group's funds. His solo career wasn't too shabby—his first solo outing, 1988's Eazy-Duz-It went double platinum.

After N.W.A.: Eazy had a short-lived solo career before succumbing to AIDs-related complications in 1995. He's been memorialized in many rap songs by peers.

April 7 is Eazy-E Day in Compton, California.