“You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge…”
29 years ago today, NWA blew apart not just the rap world, but th entire music industry with their groundbreaking debut album, Straight Outta Compton.
The album exceeded every expectation with the singles funk-driven Express Yourself, the biting title track, and of course one of the most controversial songs of the time, F**K Tha Police. The slick production of Dr Dre, together with the old school beats and breaks of DJ Yella provided the perfect canvas for Ice Cube, Eazy-E, and MC Ren to paint a picture of the harsh realities few dared to talk about. While it may have been considered crass or seen to be promoting the gang violence that was rife on the West Coast at the time, Straight Outta Compton was written with sincerity, highlighting the struggles that young black males had to face late ’80s Los Angeles.
It would go on to sell over three million copies, influence countless artists from more than just rap music, be preserved in the National Recording Registry for its cultural significance, and earn the group a spot in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame in 2016.
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