Ice Cube’s “No Vaseline” is well-known as one of the most scathing diss records in Hip Hop history. The former N.W.A member aired out his crew, but there was never a significant response from the remaining four members of the World’s Most Dangerous Group.
In an interview with Unique Access Entertainment, MC Ren explains why they never recorded a response diss track to Cube. Before “No Vaseline,” they creatively wove the first strikes into their 100 Miles and Runnin’ EP and second studio album, Efil4Zaggin, also known as Niggaz 4 Life. They painted their foe as Benedict Arnold with the EP’s title track, “Real Niggaz,” “Message to B.A.” skit and Dr. Dre directly calling O’Shea Jackson a “bitch” on “Alwayz Into Somethin.” But they left it at that.
“We never was like, ‘We gonna do a record on him,’” Ren says. “We was doing the Niggaz 4 Life album and Dre came up with the idea to do a commercial, like a skit or whatever. We did that skit or whatever and that was it. But it was like, nah, we wasn’t in there like ‘We finna do a diss record.’”
He shares that the group was on shaky ground for the LP that became the first rap album to top the Billboard 200. The commercial success proved N.W.A didn’t need Cube to stay relevant. But Dr. Dre’s departure shortly after wasn’t as easily weathered.
“After Cube left, we did 100 Miles and Runnin’ and everybody was like wondering if we could still do a record or whatever without Cube,” he shares. “100 Miles and Runnin’ was alright, but we did Niggaz 4 Life, it was like yeah they can do an album without him. Shortly after that, when Dre left, that was it. I knew when Dre left, we can’t do a record without Dre. He wanted to bring in like other producers to try to, I was like, man, that’s not gonna work.”
After all the ups and downs, when N.W.A reunited in the aftermath of “No Vaseline,” MC Ren explains how it was still a family affair and the record was swept under the rug.
“When we got back together, it’s like really we didn’t even talk about it,” he says. “It wasn’t like we was in a room like, ‘Man you said this.’ ‘Nah, but you said that.’ It was like we just didn’t talk about it. Nobody talked about it. It was like, ‘Yo, let’s get back together and do this.’ When we got back together, it was just like we just went in there and did it. Nobody talked about the past. It’s like a family argument where everybody’s throwing stuff, fighting, then the next day, it’s like we all going out to kick it or something, then nobody mentioning the day before. So that’s how it went down. We never really tripped off of it.”