Thursday, November 20
DJ Yella (b. Antoine Carraby) was a founding member of N.W.A something that is suddenly of interest what with the movie to ride on. Cue: DJ Yella back on stage as a DJ (where previously he has made his beans – and, er, blown them – as a pornographer).
This was the laziest kind of DJ set – he looked at the laptop screen as if searching for a friendly email from Dr. Dre. He dropped the fader down so he could mumble-yell the ends of chorus lines and do some mild crowd-hyping. His on-stage hype-guy showed off a t-shirt he was very proud of, holding up the corners of the oversized item to become living poster frame. He offered shots to the crowd through the nip-pourer on the bottle of vodka and announced that the pics he was taken of Yella would be on Instagram!
So far, so hip-hyped DJ set.
He played a bunch of bangers from the 90s. Stuff from Dre’s 2001 album, as well as earliers chestnuts like Snoop singing Gin & Juice and a bit of Eminem here, a bit more Dre (of course) there.
And then a brace of traces from the N.W.A. album that started it all. Straight Outta Compton and Fuck tha Police, the opening pair from the classic 1998 record.
Soon after it was back to anything else. A wee stab at authenticity, a wee nod to the legend. Then back to the bangers that made people extra happy.
An hour on the stage and then it was the walk-off and the walk back on, some bullshit about “I can’t leave” and he played on “all night” – ie: another 15 minutes or so…
It was pretty atrocious. But I kinda fucking loved it. Great songs, man. Great, great songs. And the right party-vibe from the crowd, there to celebrate a guy who – whatever else he did – was closer to greatness than we ever got.