Fireside Chat

Lonzo Williams

60 minsFirst aired 1 Feb 2018
Courtesy of Lonzo Williams

The key DJ for electro pioneers World Class Wreckin’ Cru talks the evolution of LA clubs in the ‘70s and ‘80s, and the birth of gangsta rap.

The seminal Los Angeles ’80s electro outfit World Class Wreckin’ Cru played a key role in the development of West Coast gangsta rap in the early ’90s, especially through their work with Dr. Dre and DJ Yella. Coming up through the club promotion of DJ Alonzo “Lonzo” Williams, the Cru became known as one of the rival crews of Uncle Jamm’s Army - the pioneering party that went from high school dances to massive stadiums, birthing a whole new party sound and attitude. As a musical group, they released two albums, 1985’s World Class, on the Kru-Cut label, and 1986’s Rapped in Romance, on Epic. Over the decades, Williams has worked as author, public speaker and radio host. His 2015 memoir, N.ot W.ithout A.lonzo: The Roots of West Coast Hip Hop, was published shortly after the release of the N.W.A. film biopic, Straight Outta Compton.


Interview by Laurent Fintoni
Written and engineered by Tobias Jansen
Produced by Carmen Hofmann

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