This is an installment in The Posse Project, a 12-day series where www.PHXmusic.com catches up with all 12 guys pictured on the cover of N.W.A's first album, N.W.A. and the Posse. Today we continue with Sir Jinx, a producer who went on to create the beats for some of the hardest hitting diss tracks in the history of rap. Those diss tracks were recorded by one of the guys in this photo and directed at several other guys in this photo.
Also Known As: Anthony Wheaton
Before the Photo: If there's a golden link in the chain connecting everyone on the N.W.A. and the Posse record cover, it's Sir Jinx. The cousin of Dr. Dre, Jinx was nevertheless always more closely aligned with Ice Cube. At the time the photo was taken he was in the rap group C.I.A. (Cru' in Action!). The other two members of C.I.A. — Cube and Kid Disaster — are also in the photo. They're the two guys in white wearing Flavor Flav-style clocks around their necks, right next to Arabian Prince.
In the Photo: Sir Jinx is in the top right, wearing all black.
"All that writing on the picture? I did all that," Jinx tells me. "Eric went and bought a bunch of neon spray cans. He knew I did graffiti, so I did as much as I could... If you look at the picture, and you look at me, my name is right next to me, you see 'J-I-N.' Everybody then kinda grabbed a spray can and the neon cans and wrote on the wall behind us."
After the Photo: Sir Jinx produced songs for all Ice Cube's early albums, including AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, Death Certificate, The Predator and Lethal Injection. Included in his credits are two of Cube's most controversial songs, the diss track "No Vaseline" and the Korean shop-keeper bashing "Black Korea." Jinx also produced Xzibit's 40 Dayz & 40 Nightz.
Now: Jinx recently did some studio work with Dr. Dre and keeps busy doing DJ gigs and appearing places like The Jimmy Kimmel Show and The Orlando Jones Show.
People Don't Know: N.W.A. was not originally supposed to be a 'rap group.'
At the time N.W.A. and the Posse was planned for release the group wasn't intended to be a full-time thing. Actually, N.W.A. was supposed to use the model later perfected by Wu-Tang Clan, where each member was either a solo artist or part of another group, but after the first few songs under the N.W.A. title became hits, that plan was scrapped.
"The whole idea of N.W.A. was supposed to be Niggaz With Attitudes — that were already in another group. It was just a title, like Niggaz With Attitude, N.W.A., we were Niggaz With Attitude but we all had our own jobs, our own groups."
People Don't Know: Jinx says he never had beef with Dre or Eazy, despite producing diss tracks aimed at them.
"It's all about the money, it's all about what people want to buy. I never thought bad about my cousin, I never thought bad about anybody. Cube kind of went light on him. We had to change it a few times 'cuz 'No Vaseline' was really made for [Ice Cube's solo debut] AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted but we didn't put it out there, then we didn't put it out on [Ice Cube's second record] Kill At Will. But then when they came out with 'Here's what they think about you' thing and we put it out. That song was being perfected for two years."
Nonetheles, Jinx is proud of his work.
"There was no answer to 'No Vaseline' that's the difference, to be honest with you. The best diss record is when nobody responds. When you have something like when Nas came out with 'Ether' and Jay couldn't come back after that, I think he did 'Mr. Ugly' or something like that but it didn't work. He did it to him. 'No Vaseline' was like that."
People Don't Know: N.W.A. was pretty much straight-edge in the early days.
"There wasn't anybody on drugs, we didn't drink, we didn't do weed, we didn't do coke, we didn't do nothing. Nothing! When we went on the road they used to change Eazy's eight ball to apple juice. He'd sit there and down it on stage and the crowd would go berzerk, but Eazy didn't even drink. None of us drank."
People don't know: "Eazy E" was not Eric Wright's street name. He was better known as "Rat" before he started rapping.
"His name was Rat, Little Rat, cuz he was like a mouse, his ears were big and he was little," he says. "There was no Eazy E."
The name "Eazy E" came out of necessity when Eric accidentally started rapping, Jinx says.
"What it was, was Cube had written the song for the guys from H.B.O., a group called Home Boys Only. They were trying to be like N.W.A. but one of the guys, he didn't want to do the rap. Eric rode around with the tape for a couple days in his Jeep until he started saying it, and Dre was like 'You need to go in there and say that on the mic' and then it was like a big thing. And when he went in to do it on the mic he didn't even have a rap name. '8 Ball Rollin' and 'Boyz-N-The-Hood' don't have Eazy E in it. He just didn't have a name, he wasn't a rapper, he was the CEO."
People Don't Know: The clocks Jinx, Cube and Kid Disaster were wearing were not a tribute to Public Enemy.
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"Bum Rush The Show was not out when we started wearing them, so who took it from who? They wasn't wearing no clocks or no stop watches or nothing. We got the clocks because they has ropes on them and you could hang them in the shower. The rope on them gave it that look, not the clock. It was waterproof so you could hang it in the shower and we liked the look of the rope."
Check out the other installments in the Posse Project Here: