Los Angeles, CA – Much has been rumored, whispered and speculated on when it comes to the true origins of the west coast rap scene and the roots of gangsta’ rap. A hotbed of activity, spawning the likes of NWA, Easy E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and most recently the Game, the chart topping contributions from the west dominated the hip hop scene. The west once ruled.
There is a story behind every story, however, and Lonzo Williams, long recognized as the Godfather of West Coast Rap is now, for the first time revealing his. Lonzo was the creator of the World Class Wreckin’ Crew, the group that directly preceded the birth of N.W.A., and gave us such eternal hits as “Turn Off The Lights,” “Cabbage Patch” and “Dr. Dre to Surgery.” He is now unveiling his storehouse of flyers, photos, and original VHS footage in the Dub-Kris Media DVD release, “Once Upon A Time In Compton.”
“Once Upon A Time In Compton” proves to be the ultimate rapper’s delight, chock full of historical anecdotes, unforgettable vintage footage and throwback rap classics as Lonzo recaps his own version of the ‘wild, wild, west.’ In true Godfather fashion, he spins an often humorous tale that holds the audience spellbound. Forget what you heard or read he admonishes as he takes us back, way back, to the very beginning of it all when he first got his start as a DJ in high school. Parlaying that experience into promoting, Lonzo eventually created the group that launched the careers of hip hop’s most famous emcees, Easy E, Dr. Dre and Ice Cube.
Hip hip heads and trivia buffs will revel in the highlights that include:
-never before scene footage of a young Dr. Dre, draped in purple satin, when he first rocked the turntables, magically mixing “Planet Rock” with “Mr. Postman.” Lonzo acknowledges, “I don’t know how he got on the turntables, but we all knew then, he had something special.”
-a live performance of the Wreckin’ Cru covering Morris Day and the Time’s hit single, “The Bird.”
-a young Dr. Dre on lead vocals as the group performs their club hit, “Housecalls.”
Reminiscing down hip hop memory lane, Lonzo drops gems detailing what the pioneers of hip hop had to endure and how the foundation was really laid for a genre that now sets trends around the globe. “Hip hop is an urban musical tree that has spawned branches from grafiti to gangsta rap and is still growing,” Lonzo asserts, “and it is not only important, but also relevant, that its beginnings be truthfully documented. When I realized what I had in my vaults, I knew I had to share it.”
“Once Upon a Time in Compton” is Lonzo’s autobiographical account of himself as a determined young man overcoming the odds to succeed in the predator-laden music business. It is also the story of the personalities, the players, the haters and the beat that emerged from the threadbare streets of Compton to explode across the globe.
From his nightclub, the Eve After Dark, that became the nexus of this burgeoning hip hop scene where seminal rap figures Dr. Dre (Andre Young), Eazy E (Eric Wright), and Ice Cube (Oshay Jackson) would congregate, to putting together the World Class Wreckin’ Cru, Lonzo weaves a story that is compelling and captivating. He shares how Eazy E used profits from his drug sales to do his first rap tapes in the studio that Lonzo built and how he and others, not recognized in hip hop’s history, were there when Dre, Eazy and Cube began N.W.A., the group that was a prairie fire introducing the hardcore, blistering sound and lyrics now known as gangsta’ rap.
Lonzo shocks the house in this unflinching portrait of his life and times and continuing presence and influence in the hip hop game. A genuine survivor and Godfather of the game, Lonzo Williams’ “Once Upon A Time in Compton” will become a true underground classic of the west coast story that was never told.