The N.W.A Flowchart
The comprehensive family tree of the world’s most dangerous group
Before the Wu-Tang Clan or the Native Tongues, rap’s most extensive dysfunctional family was Compton’s N.W.A. Gracing the cover of its debut album, N.W.A. & The Posse, are twelve gentlemen. Among them are each of the group’s core members — Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, DJ Yella, and MC Ren — along with a handful of guys that aren’t even on the album, yet would go on to build careers for themselves off of the strength of one powerful photo bomb (I see you Candyman.) Ironically, the album cover photo does not include several other contributors to the album, such as Microphone Mike — known better to most as Freestyle Fellowship’s Myka N9ne — or The D.O.C.
This is indicative of the larger scope of N.W.A’s influence as a whole, as the core members — Eazy, Dre, and Cube — would each go on to build their own separate, successful brands. These labels, Ruthless, Death Row, Aftermath, and Lench Mob each stood on their own, grandfathering multiple offspring, such as Bone Thugs ‘N Harmony, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and Hieroglyphics. Stranger yet, those acts would in turn would give birth to their own artists, inadvertently making people like Fergie and Petey Pablo the stepchildren of the group that said “Fuck The Police.”
Given that N.W.A received a letter from the FBI in 1989, it is highly likely that a flowchart like the one below exists in a federal building storage vault somewhere. But the purpose of this flowchart is to demonstrate the incestuous nature of the L.A. hip-hop scene and to show how many careers were birthed by the original “Boyz ‘N The Hood.” One could surmise that without N.W.A, many of the over 150 artists on this chart may have never broken into the music industry.
This chart does acknowledge some acts that were not introduced by members of N.W.A directly, but became later affiliated, such as 2Pac, who entered via Digital Underground, or Rakim, who had a brief stint on Aftermath late in his career. It also does not discriminate between the successful collaborators and unsuccessful ones. So while 50 Cent and Kendrick are here, so are each of the one-off acts from Dr. Dre Presents The Aftermath. And who can forget Snoop Dogg’s female trio, Doggy’s Angels? However this chart does not list every artist that the individual members of N.W.A ever worked with, such as DJ Quik or Xzibit, who both were collaborators that were not directly affiliated and entered the rap game through other channels. Note: This chart was built before the announcement of the Compton album, and therefore does not include new artists like Anderson .Paak or King Mez.
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