When we last found NWA, they were left at the table by their key penman Ice Cube who wrote much of the Ruthless camp’s greatest hits, but wouldn’t sign his name on a contract that, he felt, was not going to give him his due. He bolted to the East Coast to work with the Bomb Squad, released Amerikkka’s Most Wanted and never turned back. This left NWA a bit exposed. You have to realize that Cube’s contributions on Straight Outta Compton were bigger than anyone would give him credit for. His lyrics were woven through verse after verse. He was the silent assassin and, without him, NWA would have to do the heavy lifting themselves.
100 Miles and Runnin’ would be their first attempt to maintain the momentum from 1988’s Compton.
This is like the Beatles going on without McCartney, Floyd going on without Gilmour. It would be the first group to go on after a key member jumps ship and goes solo. Contracts were splitting groups, legal business was getting in the way, rappers were taking matters into their own hands, and the landscape was shifting.
Needless to say, NWA was pissed about Ice Cube leaving…especially when he would use his first solo record as a platform for making public disses. Now, it was NWA’s turn and 100 Miles was that EP. Though only five songs long and really only intended to keep the brand relevant, it would quickly achieve Gold status and prove that NWA still had plenty of legs.
It’s the hot summer of 1990. We runnin’.