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
After the photo: Krazy D is probably best known for his very memorable singing part in "Dopeman," where he plays the part of an overdosed junkie's angry brother, threatening Eazy-E: "Yo, Mr. Dopeman, you think you're slick." Unlike Arabian Prince, Krazy D never sued to collect royalties. "I wrote half of 'Eazy-Duz-It,' I wrote my little thing on 'Dopeman,' I never got credit for it ... I read little things on the Internet, people trying to say that was Eazy trying to sound like a Mexican. No, that was me," he says.
Now: Krazy D lives in Las Vegas and does real estate appraisals for a living. He's been working on a wide variety of new music but hasn't released anything lately. He also says he's working on a documentary about his time in N.W.A called Ghetto Godz.
AKA: O'Shea Jackson, Purple Ice
Before the photo: The product of a middle-class nuclear family, Ice Cube started rapping in high school and formed a group called C.I.A. (Cru' In Action!) with Sir Jinx and Kid Disaster. He was tapped by Eric "Eazy-E" Wright to write rhymes for Ruthless Records' acts and wrote classics like "Boyz-n-the-Hood" before leaving Los Angeles to attend technical school in Phoenix for a year. Cube earned a degree in architectural drafting at the Phoenix Institute of Technology, which closed in 1993. "The rap game wasn't looking too solid at that time, so I decided to go ahead and go to school," he once said.
In the photo: Details about Cube's early career are hard enough to come by without adding on the extra challenge of sorting out the minutia involved in an old record cover. Even Joel McIver, author of Ice Cube's book-length biography, has many details about the photo wrong. That's less a reflection of McIver's work, which is very good, than of the difficulty of tracking these guys down, and of the myths developed around N.W.A in the following years. No one has more to gain from those myths than Ice Cube, who is probably N.W.A's most image-conscious member.
After the photo: After returning from school, Cube stuck with N.W.A through Straight Outta Compton before leaving over a financial dispute with the group's manager, Jerry Heller, and with Eazy-E. Cube of course quickly established himself as a huge solo star. His first four solo records became classics, as he dropped tracks like the intensely controversial "Cave Bitch," the famous N.W.A diss track "No Vaseline" and "It Was a Good Day," arguably the greatest rap song ever recorded.
Now: Ice Cube's career could be a series in itself. Though his music career has fallen off over the years, he wrote the classic Friday films and has starred in flicks like Higher Learning, Three Kings and Barbershop. Cube recently announced he'll be releasing a new album, I Am the West, in July. Interestingly, he's said to be using beats from fellow Posse photo veteran Sir Jinx for the first time in nearly 20 years.
Before the photo: Chip was one of MC Ren's best friends and also hung out with Eric "Eazy-E" Wright, who grew up around the corner from him.
In the photo: Along with Ren, Chip actually looks like he's part of N.W.A as the group later looked — Kings hat, white T-shirt, jeans, black sneakers. Within a few months Chip and Ren's style became the group's style. "Early, early West Coast hip-hop, before it became gangsta, we were looking for an identity," Chip tells me. "That was just how we, Ren and I, dressed. We were from the C.P.T. so that's how we dressed — T-shirt, khakis — we dressed like the G's. That's how the G's did it, so that's how we did it."
After the photo: Chip went on to record a couple verses for Ren's solo records, including a spot on "One False Move" from Ren's 1993 debut, Shock of the Hour. He's also appeared on "In Da Ghetto" and "Bang Wit Me." He was name-checked in the first verse of Ren's "Olden Times," which is probably the best solo track Ren has released recently.
Now: Chip isn't doing anything with music and keeps a low profile online. His only Web presence is a BlackPlanet account. He lives in L.A. and works in transportation for an aerospace company. "I still write a little bit, but I'm just working, man, just basically taking care of wifey. I can still do it, I'm still sick with it, but the reality of life, it didn't crack the way it was supposed to crack."
AKA: Andre Romelle Young, Dr. J
Before the photo: Dr. Dre was already a notable musician, at least in Los Angeles. As "Dr. J," the house DJ at Eve's After Dark (Compton's answer to the Cavern Club) and a member of World Class Wreckin' Cru, Dre had already established himself, landing a regular radio gig and selling an estimated 50,000 copies of the Cru's records through unofficial channels.