DJ YELLA (N.W.A, Compton) w/ DJ Pump, DJ C-Sik, Ivan Rankic & Beni Johnson

  • The Hifi Club 219 10 Avenue Southwest Calgary, AB, T2R 0A4 Canada

Antoine Carraby went on to become the least vocal but longest-lasting member of the controversial rap group known as N.W.A. Calling himself DJ Yella (from the Tom Tom Club's "Mr. Yellow"), he was the sole member of the group to stay loyal to Eazy-E while the other members threw around accusations of missing money and bad business deals. Maintaining a quiet dignity about the situation, he remained the one member to not choose sides and avoided any of their solo attacks on one another. Born and raised in Compton, CA, DJ Yella grew up listening to funk music and learned to play the drums. DJing in Los Angeles clubs as a teenager, he soon met Dr. Dre and the two became fast friends. Influenced by Grandmaster Flash, Dre and Yella formed the World Class Wreckin' Cru in the early '80s to try and capitalize on the new form of music. After watching Run-D.M.C. perform in California for the first time, the two DJs were amazed to see them on-stage with nothing more than a DJ scratching records. They attempted to make a few records with the World Class Wreckin' Cru, but financial problems resulted in Dre contacting high school friend Eazy-E about starting a group. Eazy-E was a successful drug dealer who had money to burn and an enthusiastic mind for business, and the two soon left Yella back in the Wreckin' Cru. Dre brought Yella into the group when a track they had produced and written for another group, "Boyz in the Hood," was turned down by the rappers who were originally going to do it. They convinced Eazy-E to rap it and suddenly they had their first single. MC Ren came into the picture soon after and Wreckin' Cru associate/lyricist Ice Cube was also drafted into the situation. They called themselves N.W.A. and crafted a hard-edged, angry sound that was highly influenced by Public Enemy, among others. Between their original singles and the recording of the classic Straight Outta Compton album, DJ Yella and the others worked on the single-promotions angle of the group while Ice Cube attended college. Dre and Yella also worked on beats together, while they continued to try and convince Eazy-E to keep rapping because they liked his image.