They used the opportunity to pay tribute to one of their departed members and strike back at their critics

By Chancellor Agard
Updated April 09, 2016 10:00 AM
Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

When the members of N.W.A. were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Friday night, they used the opportunity to pay tribute to one of their departed members and strike back at their critics.

Fellow Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar delivered a heartfelt introduction before Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, D.J. Yella and MC Ren took the stage to accept their induction. They were the only inductees of the night who didn’t perform.

“I felt like each and everyone of them was black superhereoes from where I come from,” said the “King Kunta” artist at the ceremony held at the Barclay Center in New York City. “The fact that a famous group can look just like one of us, dress like one of us, talk like one of us, proved to every single kid in the ghetto that you could be successful and still have your voice while doing it.”

N.W.A.’s induction into the Hall of Fame was somewhat bittersweet because they were missing Eric "Eazy-E" Wright, who died in 1995. Wright’s mother Kathie Wright joined the group on stage in her son’s place.

“This is my new mom,” said DJ Yella. “I call her momma all the time.”

“There’s no way we’d be on this stage right now with N.W.A. being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame without him,” said Dr. Dre, who also thanked his own mother for keeping him on the “straight and narrow” and his wife, “who saved my life.”

When it was Ice Cube’s turn at the mic, he also thanked his wife Tiffany Woodruff and their four children. “You guys make everything normal for me,” he said.

N.W.A.’s rise to fame was chronicled in the box office hit Straight Outta Compton, which starred O’Shea Jackson Jr. as his real-father, Ice Cube. The biopic received one Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay.

The group’s members also used their time onstage to acknowledge the perception of them. Ice Cube acknowledged that the group has come a long way from “being hated in the industry,” and MC Ren called out Kiss’ Gene Simmons, who recently told Rolling Stone that he was “looking forward to the death of rap.”

“I want to say to Mr. Gene Simmons: Hip-hop is here forever. Get used to it,” said MC Ren.

Before leaving the stage, the group all gathered around for a selfie, which was later posted to Ice Cube’s Instagram.

The other 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees included Chicago, Deep Purple, Steve Miller, and Cheap Trick. The ceremony will air April 30 (at 8 p.m. ET) on HBO.