DJ Yella is an American rapper, DJ, record producer, and film producer. He was one of the prominent members of the electro music band ‘World Class Wreckin’ Cru.’ Yella and Dr. Dre were the founding members of the band. Yella grew up listening to funk music. He is an excellent drummer. He made his debut in music with the songs ‘Slice’ and ‘Kru Groove.’ Popular rapper Dr. Dre was his friend. Sensing public interest in the new genre of music, Yella and Dre formed the band ‘World Class Wreckin’ Cru.’ The group later disbanded due to financial problems. Following this, Yella joined the hip-hop band ‘N.W.A.’ He was close to rapper Eazy-E, who was one of the founding members of the band. Even after the band split up, Yella remained loyal to him. He produced several records for ‘Ruthless Records,’ the label owned by Eazy-E. Soon, DJ Yella released his solo album, ‘One Mo Nigga ta Go.’ Following this, he retired from music. Later, he was involved in the production of porn films. This business was shut down after a few years, and Yella faded from the spotlight.
Childhood & Early Life
DJ Yella was born Antoine Carraby, on December 11, 1967, in Compton, California. He is of African–American descent. Not much is known about his parents or his educational background.
Yella was passionate about music since a tender age. He grew up listening to funk music and learned to play the drums. As a teenager, Yella performed at various clubs of Los Angeles.
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DJ Yella made his entry into music as a DJ in the clubs of Los Angeles. During those days, Yella became acquainted with rapper Dr. Dre. Yella adopted the stage name “DJ Yella.” Due to their passion for the same genre of music, the two musicians became close friends. In the early 1980s, Yella and Dre formed their electro music band, ‘World Class Wreckin’ Cru.’
In 1984, DJ Yella released the songs ‘Slice’ and ‘Kru Groove.’ ‘In 1985, ‘World Class Wreckin’ Cru’ released their first EP, ‘World Class.’ It was released under the ‘Kru-Cut’ record label. The album had several popular tracks, such as ‘Juice’ and ‘Surgery.’ Yella worked on the vocals and the drum programming.
In 1986, ‘World Class Wreckin’ Cru’ produced their only studio album, ‘Rapped in Romance.’ Yella was actively involved in the drum programming, the vocals, the percussion, the keyboards, and the mixing. After the release of the album, ‘World Class Wreckin’ Cru’ faced financial problems. Both Yella and Dre left the group, looking for better prospects.
In 1987, Yella joined the hip-hop group ‘N.W.A.’ It was an abbreviation for ‘Niggaz Wit Attitudes.’ The group was originally formed by Arabian Prince, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Eazy-E. Dre invited Yella to join the group. The band popularized a new genre of music called “gangsta rap.” The band was highly successful in the initial days of its formation.
In 1988, Yella worked on the debut studio album by ‘N.W.A,’ ‘Straight Outta Compton.’ He handled the production of the album and also worked on the drum programming of several tracks. This album was one of the most influential hip-hop records of all time. It invited controversies, too, with the lyrics of several tracks bordering on obscenity.
DJ Yella shared a good rapport with Eazy-E. In 1988, he handled the production of the debut solo album by Eazy-E, ‘Eazy-Duz-It.’ The same year, he collaborated with the hip-hop group ‘J.J. Fad,’ to produce their debut studio album, ‘Supersonic.’
In 1991, ‘N.W.A’ released their second and final studio album, ‘Niggaz4Life.’ DJ Yella was the producer of the album. He co-wrote the lyrics for several tracks of the album. Though it debuted at the second position on the ‘U.S Billboard’ chart, it was surrounded by controversies due to its notorious lyrics.
In 1991, ‘N.W.A’ collapsed due to long-standing disputes among its members. While the other band members accused Eazy-E of committing financial fraud, Yella remained by his side. He produced several records for ‘Ruthless Records,’ owned by Eazy-E.
In 1996, Yella released his first and only solo album, ‘One Mo Nigga ta Go.’ He dedicated the album to Eazy-E, who had died a year prior to the release. The album was not a huge success. After this, Yella retired from music. He started producing porn movies. Yella has produced more than 300 porn films. This business also had to be shut down after a while. Currently, Yella stays away from the limelight.
Family & Personal Life
DJ Yella is reportedly single. He is not known to have been in any relationship. He is known as a soft-spoken person who does not like getting involved in controversies.
The movie ‘Straight Outta Compton,’ which was a biopic based on ‘N.W.A,’ featured Yella as an individual interested in women and sex but also portrayed him as less aggressive than the other members of the band.