In this corner, you have one of the biggest, baddest rock bands of the late 1980s and early 1990s, L.A.’s own Guns ‘N’ Roses. In the other corner, you have one of the biggest, baddest rap groups of the late 1980s and early 1990s, L.A.’s own N.W.A. It seems like it would’ve been a no-brainer to pair the two of them together. As it turns out, that’s exactly what almost happened.
According to N.W.A rapper MC Ren, Axl Rose was a pretty big fan of the group back in the day. “We hung out with them one time,” he told Rolling Stone. “They had a show at the Forum in Inglewood, and we went to hang out with them before and after the show. We had heard that Axl was an N.W.A fan.” After the gig, Axl even tried to impress the group by throwing some bars at them, which depending on how you feel about “My World” is either a good thing, or an epically bad one. “I remember talking to Axl backstage in the dressing room and he started rapping. I can’t remember how it went, but he busted a rhyme.”
Anyway, the mutual appreciation ran deep enough that there was talk of joining forces for a tour together. “We were supposed to do a couple of shows with them, but our manager got too greedy,” DJ Yella said. “They wanted to give us $25,000 for 10 minutes, but our management wanted $50,000 so it didn’t work. We might have ended up doing a whole bunch of shows with them.”
As it turned out, Guns eventually took Soundgarden on the road with them who were exposed to the biggest audiences of their career. The Seattle’s group’s next album Superunknown went platinum several times over and the rest is history.