Before Ice Cube had joined the world’s most dangerous group and changed the rap world with Straight Outta Compton, the L.A. rapper was part of a trio called Cru’ in Action! aka C.I.A. along with K-Dee (formerly known as Kid Disaster) and Sir Jinx.
When the trio debuted on the West Coast rap scene, they were known as Stereo Crew, and frequently performed at parties thrown by Dr. Dre, who also happened to be Sir Jinx’s cousin, and was part of the leading DJ crew, the World Class Wreckin’ Cru.
“Dre was the only person I knew who actually released an album, so I was excited to meet him,” Cube said in a Vibe interview. “When he heard me flow, he took me under his wing. He would be at the house making records and I would help him write whatever I could to just get in where I fit in.”
In 1986, the trio released their first single (and only record under the Stereo Crew name) “She’s a Skag” via Epic Records, but they were dropped subsequently afterwards due to poor sales. They then linked up with Grandmaster Lonzo, also part of the World Class Wreckin’ Cru, and signed to his label, Kru Cut Records.
They changed their name to Cru’ in Action!, although it was originally Criminals In Action, and dropped their next single “My Posse” produced by Dr. Dre in the classic West Coast rap electro style of the ’80s.
Ice Cube: We recorded that record six or seven days after the Beastie Boys’ License To Ill came out. And Dre was like, ‘Y’all gotta rap like these dudes, real loud and screaming and shit.’ We thought, ‘Man, this style is kind of crazy.’ Dre had us on “My Posse” fucking screaming our heads off like we were Adrock because that was the new sound; the new style. We were a little bit out of character on that songFull Clip: Ice Cube Breaks Down His Entire Catalogue | Vibe
The C.I.A.’s run didn’t last for very long. Soon after dropping “My Posse,” Dre and Cube formed N.W.A. with Eazy-E, who had just launched a new label called Ruthless Records. Along with Arabian Prince, DJ Yella and MC Ren, they would go on to become the most important West Coast rap group in history with their seminal Straight Outta Compton which changed the face of hip hop forever. Sir Jinx and K-Dee would later join Cube’s Da Lench Mob after he embarked on his solo career.