This past weekend it was announced that Dr. Dre will release new music for the first time in over 15 years on Saturday, August 8. Dre’s new album was inspired by the upcoming film Straight Outta Compton. The story of N.W.A. is a well documented one but the combination of new music from Dr. Dre, the film being directed by legendary filmmaker F. Gary Gray, and the buzz of a possible reunited tour for “The World’s Most Dangerous Group” has sparked a level of interest in gangster rap that hasn’t been seen in quite some time.
In fact, with the exception of Kendrick Lamar (and his new Reeboks) and a few others, there really hasn’t been this kind of attention on on west coast hip hop at all in at least a decade. Being from California and an age where N.W.A. was one of my early experiences of hip hop, I couldn’t be more excited for the movie and potential new energy surrounding the music I loved growing up. There is one thing that has long gone overlooked and that’s NWA’s sneaker legacy.
While N.W.A. is known for their game-changing music and the legacy that has unfolded over the last 30 years, something became apparent to me from the comments on a recent Instagram post about my only pair of Air Force 1s. Many people in the hip hop and sneaker community outside of California don’t really understand that back in the day, on the west coast, it wasn’t about Air Force 1s. In fact, one of the things I always admired about the Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and Yella, the members of NWA, is that they always rocked an extremely diverse group of brands and styles when it came to footwear.
Take a stroll down memory lane with Straight Outta Compton: NWA’s Sneaker Legacy