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N.W.A Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award at Special Merit Grammys

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Ice Cube and N.W.A received a prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award ahead of the Grammys, marking a momentous occasion where all living members of the groundbreaking group attended — with the exception of Dr. Dre.

The Special Merit Awards Grammys acknowledged N.W.A’s unparalleled contributions to the recording industry. According to the Recording Academy, these awards are granted to artists who have made “significant contributions, other than performance, to the field of recording.”

N.W.A became the fifth Hip Hop group in the past eight years to receive this honor, following the footsteps of Run-DMC, Public Enemy, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, and Salt-N-Pepa. Eazy-E, a key member of the group, received the posthumous honor, joining the ranks of Donna Summer and Tammy Wynette.

Ice Cube accepted the award on behalf of the group, sharing insights at the podium on Saturday (February 3). He explained Dr. Dre’s absence and conveyed a special message to the audience.

“My man, Dr. Dre, is not here. He wanted to make sure I let you know he’s not hating. He’s a billionaire. He’s got things to do,” Cube stated. “This is actually Eazy-E’s vision. He’s the one who allowed us to do this type of music.”

He continued, expressing the group’s early challenges in the music industry, stating, “We knew when we started to do music in 1985, ’86, ’87 that a Grammy was not in the cards for us, with the type of music we were doing. We actually didn’t think we would ever even get on the radio. We were cool with that.”

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Despite not possessing vocal prowess like other artists, Cube emphasized their dedication to expressing themselves and making sense of the world through their music. The pioneering group played a crucial role in depicting the realities of life in areas such as L.A., Compton, South Central, Long Beach, and Watts.

In recent years, N.W.A has earned recognition as revered elders in the Hip Hop community. This was exemplified when Nick Cannon shared a video of his children, Moroccan and Monroe, being introduced to N.W.A’s artistry. The video showcased Cannon energetically rapping along to Ice Cube’s opening verse of N.W.A’s classic song “Gangsta Gangsta,” creating an amusing family moment.

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