Rapper Ice Cube has deemed his former hip-hop collective NWA a "magnet" for life-threatening gangsters.

The CHECK YO SELF rapper and his bandmates - including Dr Dre and the late EAZY-E - drew attention from watchdogs when they burst onto the scene in the late '80s with such controversial fare as F*** THA POLICE. But Cube says censor-loving opposers were the least of NWA's worries - because each rapper also faced threats from hardcore gangsters.

Cube, who was the first to depart NWA in 1989, says, "We used to get that all the time. Man, all the time that group was a magnet for every tough guy in the world to come up.

"But you know through the years you learn how to deflect all the negative energy. You realise who is with you and who is not and you learn how to shake them without them even getting close enough to cause you any problems or any pains."

13/08/2003 00:14