I recently had the chance to chop it up with DJ Yella of the world’s most dangerous group, N.W.A. about his new book Straight Outta Compton: My Untold Story. The book told many great stories of Yella’s time with Eazy and N.W.A but also gives the fans rare insight into his personal life. This is his story and it’s filled with many, highs and lows. I was shocked to find out that he was homeless many years after the chart-topping success of N.W.A. He definitely hit some rough patches, but eventually, things started to look up for him again, and since he was inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame and before Covid has toured the world with Eazy-E’s Sons Lil Eazy and E3.

Did you have plans of writing the book before the pandemic?

No, I never wanted to write a book. I never planned it, God just gave it to me to do it. I never wanted to do it. I never even read a book before. The Bible, and nothing else, I never opened up a manuscript or something like that. 

You have been through a lot but always remained humble.

I just try to stay humble. Even back in the music days when we were number 1. I didn’t realize I went through that much life, and amazing how I remembered it. 

I was shocked to learn that you were homeless for over 3 years…

I call it homeless because I didn’t have my own place. I had to be on my sister’s couch or somebody’s couch. I wasn’t on the street, but I was like a breath…one breath from it. 

How did you get through it? 

When I was going through those three and a half years, I wasn’t mad at nobody, I wasn’t mad at the world, I wasn’t mad at God, I was just, ‘It is what it is”, and I never had any thoughts of how to get out of it. I never thought about it. God had to humble me and take everything away.  

When Eazy-E passed away you said in your book that he came to you in a dream that night. What was it about? 

“ It’s crazy, I knew he was gonna visit me and I did not wanna stay there by myself. That night he definitely came and visited me. It was so real, I mean really real! He was talking and I didn’t hear too much of what he had to say, but he said “I gotta go” and I looked at him and he was gone. That’s the last time I seen him. “

You didn’t make anything else out that he was trying to tell you?

He was just telling me “I’m ok, I’m going wherever I’m going!” I knew it was so real, I knew he was gonna visit me, I just knew it. There was something else he said with it but I didn’t put it in the book. And I won’t say it. There was something else said, but I was like “Nah, I don’t wanna say it!” He accepted it whatever it is, he was just telling me he was gonna be ok.

When Dre left Ruthless you reveal he asked you to come with. What did you tell him? 

When he (Dr. Dre) called me that morning I didn’t know what he was talking about because all he said was “I’m gone!” So I’m thinking in my mind “Gone where?”, so I never answered him.

Did you and Dre ever talk about it later in life? 

I never answered him until 2019 when me and him talked by ourselves about it. I didn’t address it in the book, I kept it private. I did not answer him until 2019, the last time I seen him. I was caught in the middle. Leave with Dre, or stay with Eric. By the time I knew he was leaving he was gone already. 

The book has some funny stories as well. Eazy-E liked to prank people, tell us about the time he gave you a $90,000 check that was signed to Mickey Mouse.

He came up there to give me a check and me being a dummy I didn’t look at the check or think about it. When I get to the bank the lady goes “Do you know this guy?” I said “Who?” she said “Mickey Mouse!” I had to hunt him down for a day.

In the book you said that MC Ren had the strongest voice in the group, I agree but Eazy-E had the most unique voice.

He had the strongest voice definitely! Cube had a sound, but E had the best sound with that little voice. Ren had a strong, strong voice! 

What broke up the group? 

We was like a family! There was never no arguments. There was never nothing. People don’t realize what broke up the group was the outsiders, not the insiders. What can they gain? Think about it, we broke up at number 1 in the world. Groups don’t break up at the top, they break up at the bottom. We was at number 1! 

Make sure to get DJ Yella’s book Straight Outta Compton: My Untold Story at

IG @Djyellaofnwa

Interview By Scott “Prez” Bejda of 1 World Magazine & Murder Master Music Show

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