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Dr. Dre and Ice Cube: From N.W.A. to King Makers

Since Ice Cube and Dr. Dre have evolved into two huge industry names, it’s easy to forget their humble beginnings. Before Ice Cube and Dr. Dre were household names, they were simply members of N.W.A., a rap group known for its controversial messages and explicit lyrics. The group of five entered the business world together, but only two would be left standing on top. Newsone explored the key elements that would separate the temporary kings from the timeless king makers.

The rap group began in the crime ridden city of Compton. All five of the men lived in an area from which few escaped the drugs and violence that swirled around them. Ice Cube and Dr. Dre realized this and decided to do whatever it took to escape the city, taking them far away from the influences that would later get their comrades in serious trouble.

The two future king makers also took the time the perfect their craft and educate themselves on the industry they were in. Instead of falling for tricks and scams that promised quick success, the two men shunned the get rich quick schemes. For several years Ice Cube would have the highest net worth of all the members of N.W.A because early on he walked away from a tempting deal. Jerry Heller presented the group of rappers with contracts to sign and placed $80,000 right beside the paperwork. Ice Cube would be the only one to reject the deal. Later it was discovered that the contracts were designed to give Heller all the benefits of N.W.A while keeping him free of any downsides that might have occurred later down the road.

The biggest difference between the two entrepreneurs and their former co-artists was the fact that they didn’t want to settle for just being a popular hip hop star. Being a king in the music industry was a reign that was often short lived. Instead, the two launched their own careers, diversifying throughout the business world. This gave them the power to not only be successful themselves, but to give success to others as well. In other words, they would now make kings instead of just being one. “A king makes money by working. A King-Maker gets money when other people are working,” Newsone explained.

Ice Cube launched his career in film with major movies such as Friday, Barbershop and Are We There Yet? Dr. Dre would become a record producing icon as he engineered the careers of Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent, and many other powerful artists.

According to, in 2011 Ice Cube’s net worth was $100 million, trailing behind Dr. Dre’s net worth of $125 million.

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