Because, like, it was written by black people. It takes itself pretty seriously. There’s a difference between being conscious to what it means to be conscious and being conscious of what it means to be conscious.”
The word rap began as a reference to a song by RZA titled “Rap City,” which was recorded in 1996 in L.A. during the early days of hip-hop and rapped in a manner which made it sound like his music was being made by a white man. It became popular because of an argument between N.W.A and Ice Cube, with a man wearing a “Fuck Yawn” T-shirt, and an argument between the group and fellow New York MC MCs LL Cool J and MC Ren.
In 1996, N.W.A were in their mid-twenties and were known mostly for their work on the “Straight Outta Compton,” a collaborative album with Eazy-E. It was a controversial album, largely because the group was using the gangsta rap style that was so popular in the 1990s.
“You know why it’s called rap?” N.W.A’s member Cee-Lo Green said. “Because all of these rappers got guns in the movie. Some of them had guns on them. You know what? I don’t appreciate rap, because rap is so damn bad and a waste of money. If you wanna get down and really go down to business, you gonna get like all these rappers, and they doing drugs, they going to the movies. ‘Let’s go do this. Let’s go get stoned. I’m doing the guns for you.’ The way we were saying a little bit of, ‘What we gonna do about it? What we doing? Are you still listening to us?’ It’s so not hip-hop. It doesn’t belong, man. It doesn’t belong here. It’s just a bad word to people.”
N.W.A were forced out of the group when their father was killed in an accident. For the next three years, N.W.A were living in the streets of New York City while waiting to find out what would happen to their father. The group was ultimately forced to leave because of a dispute with their record label over the release of the group’s next release. The group’s former manager, Russell Simmons, has said that the rap group’s relationship with Simmons and the record label was an example of black empowerment during the 1990s