N.W.A. was a groundbreaking rap group that inarguably helped propel the genre into the mainstream. However, the truth about N.W.A.'s rise to fame includes some pretty nasty Dr. Dre stories (well, really all the group members sound pretty rough).
Despite what the group's biopic, Straight Outta Compton (2015), would like you to believe, N.W.A.'s early years were littered with incriminating allegations involving sex and violence.
Looking closely at some of these other N.W.A. stories, including the ones involving Suge Knight and Straight Outta Compton, their double-platinum album, offer insight into the real N.W.A.
Suge Knight Threatened To Kill A Photographer In 1995
Simone Green, former photographer for Death Row Records, worked with Dr. Dre and Suge Knight through the 1990s. Green insists that she never saw Dr. Dre hit anyone, but did personally suffer violence at the hands of Suge Knight.
Knight, convinced that Green was working with his competitors, called her to his office without warning. When he asked her to hand him the pencil in her hand, his girlfriend took a swing at her. She managed to escape and hid in the bathroom down the hall while Knight and one of his bodyguards banged on the door.
When she finally emerged and went to leave, "they had someone waiting in the garage for me to let me know I had five minutes to get off Death Row property or they were going to have me killed."
Dr. Dre Beat His Girlfriend Michel’le, Sending Her Into The Arms Of Suge Knight
Dr. Dre had a violent, tumultuous relationship with fellow musician Michel'le that lasted for six fury-filled years.
By her own account, "When he gave me my very first black eye, we laid in the bed and cried... I was in shock, hurt and in pain. I don’t know why he was crying, but he said 'I’m really sorry.' That was the only time he ever said he was really sorry. And he said, 'I’ll never hit you in that eye again, okay?"
At one point, Dr. Dre fired a gun at her, leaving holes in the door of their bathroom.
Dr. Dre Started An All-Out Riot In New Orleans
When Dr. Dre and his entourage entered the lobby of a New Orleans hotel in 1992, a fight broke out among hotel staff, patrons, and the group. Accounts of how the altercation began vary; Dr. Dre and his companions had either been denied entrance to a movie down the street or they didn't have passes to get into a convention at the hotel.
However it started, 50 out of the 300 people in the lobby ended up involved in the fight. Two men were stabbed, both of whom identified Dr. Dre as their attacker, and it took 80 police officers to quell the incident.
Dr. Dre and his group, including Suge Knight, left the hotel, and a warrant was soon issued for Dre's arrest. Andre Young, AKA Dr. Dre, later returned to New Orleans to face three misdemeanor charges.
Suge Knight May Have Dangled Vanilla Ice Over A Balcony
While Suge Knight was building up his music empire, he was said to have convinced Vanilla Ice to hand over the royalties for his music by hanging him over a balcony.
Vanilla Ice has since said that Knight merely threatened him while the two were standing on a balcony, but in the end, Robert Van Winkle (Vanilla Ice's real name) signed over songwriting credits to Knight. The revenue from Ice's music was essential to the growth of Death Row Records.