By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
In the photo: Sir Jinx is on the top right, wearing all black. "All that writing on the picture? I did all that," Jinx tells me. "Eric went and bought a bunch of neon spray cans. He knew I did graffiti, so I did as much as I could. If you look at the picture, and you look at me, my name is right next to me, you see 'J-I-N.' Everybody then kinda grabbed a spray can and the neon cans and wrote on the wall behind us."
After the photo: Sir Jinx produced songs for all Ice Cube's early albums, including AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, Death Certificate, The Predator and Lethal Injection. Included in his credits are two of Cube's most controversial songs, the diss track "No Vaseline" and the Korean shopkeeper bashing "Black Korea." Jinx also produced Xzibit's 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz.
AKA: LaMont Burnett, King Scratch
Before the photo: Scratch was part of a tight-knit clique that included Sir Jinx, Candyman (bottom right in the Posse photo) and Tupac's future producer, the late Johnny "J."
In the photo: Scratch didn't want to have his photo taken because he hadn't had his hair done properly but was persuaded to jump into the shot by Eazy-E, who said Scratch looked like part of the Ruthless Records gang. "The picture was going to be taken later in the day, and we all had to get Jheri curls done and all that. Dre called early and said, 'We're gonna take the picture,' so I wasn't even going to get in the picture at all. I jumped in the car and I took Jinx and Candyman down there," Scratch tells me. "We went up there, and I wasn't in the picture. I actually had another camera, and I was just snapping them. And Eazy was like, 'Come on, get in the picture. You look Ruthless. Get in the picture.'"
After the photo: Scratch says Eazy-E once asked him to be his DJ, but he refused, out of loyalty to Candyman. Candyman had a huge hit with "Knockin' Boots," but he proved to be a one-hit wonder. Scratch has no regrets though: "Everything happens for a reason."
Now: Scratch lives in Barstow, California. He says it's a place where he has a house that's "nice and cheap and big." He's a family man with children and grandchildren. Scratch has recorded some new music and has also started a company that does merch for other musicians.
AKA: Lorenzo Jerald Patterson, The Villain in Black
Before the photo: Though he's lined up right next to Eazy, Cube, Dre and Arabian Prince — rounding out the so-called classic lineup of N.W.A — Ren was not actually a member of the group when this record cover was shot, he says. Rather, he was just another solo rapper signed to Eazy-E's record label. "I was with Ruthless, signed right out of high school as a solo artist, so I was with Eric every day," Ren tells me. "I was going to do a song for Eric, but I wasn't in the group at that time. He just told me to come up there and get in the picture with him because everybody was having their homies hooked up."
In the photo: MC Ren, like his friend MC Chip, is wearing the traditional N.W.A uniform, which is a black baseball hat, T-shirt and jeans. "If you look at the picture, it don't even look how N.W.A look, you know what I mean?" Ren says. "If you look on that album cover, you'll see that me and my homie Chip got on the Raiders hats. That was my thing — the Raiders hats and all that. That was before I even got in the group."
After the photo: MC Ren has released six solo records, the most recent coming out in 2009. His first solo record, Kizz My Black Azz, went platinum and peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Top 200. He's also done verses on solo records released by both Dr. Dre and Ice Cube.
Now: In addition to having a new EP in the works, Ren is rumored to be part of the N.W.A movie project that Cube and Dre are working on.
AKA: Clarence Lars
Before the photo: DJ Train was a childhood friend of MC Ren and Eazy-E who became one of Ruthless Records' top DJs, working with J.J. Fad and other acts on the label.
In the photo: Train is blocked out by the letters Macola stamped on the front.
After the photo: Train went on to start a group called C.P.O. (Capital Punishment Organization) with rapper Lil' Nation (aka Boss Hogg) and producer Young D. The group's debut, To Hell and Black, peaked at No. 33 on Billboard's hip-hop chart.
Now: DJ Train was killed in a house fire on July 26, 1994. His brother, Jesse "Tootie" Lars — who produced MC Ren's single, "Same Ol' Shit" — tells me Train saved the lives of several family members. "He went back in because he thought some of our family was still in there. He passed out in the living room, right in front of the TV, and they found him right there when they went back in," Lars says. "Train was a big man — over 6 feet, over 200 pounds — but he was a peaceful man, a spiritual man," [said Rebecca Morfin, the mother of his son Sean, at the time of his death]. "He was courageous, too. When the paramedics were putting him into the ambulance and we were all screaming that we loved him, he signaled to us that it was all right."