October 8, 2008

N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton

N.W.A. released Straight Outta Compton in 1988. With its famous opening salvo of three songs, the group reflected the rising anger of the urban youth ("Straight Outta Compton"), violently protested police brutality and racial profiling ("Fuck tha Police"), and painted the worldview of the inner-city youth ("Gangsta Gangsta"). While the group was later credited with pioneering the burgeoning subgenre of gangsta rap, N.W.A. in fact referred to their music as "reality rap". Dr. Dre and DJ Yella, as High Powered Productions, composed the beats for each song, with Dre making occasional rapping appearances. Ice Cube and, to a lesser extent, MC Ren, wrote the lyrics. "Fuck tha Police", perhaps the group's most notorious song, brought them into conflict with various law enforcement agencies. Under pressure from Focus on the Family, Milt Ahlerich, an assistant director of the FBI, sent a letter to Ruthless and its parent company Priority Records advising the rappers that "advocating violence and assault is wrong and we in the law enforcement community take exception to such action". This letter can still be seen at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Policemen refused to provide security for the group's concerts, hurting their plans to tour. Nonetheless, the FBI's letter only served to draw more publicity to the group. Straight Outta Compton was also one of the first albums to adhere to the new Parental Advisory label scheme, then in its early stages: the now-iconic label then only consisted of "WARNING: Moderate impact coarse language and/or themes". However, the taboo nature of N.W.A's music was the greatest part of its mass appeal. The media coverage compensated for N.W.A.'s virtual lack of airplay and their album eventually went double platinum.
1. Straight Outta Compton
2. F**K Tha Police
3. Gangsta Gangsta
4. If It Ain't Ruff
5. Parental Discretion Iz Advised
6. 8 Ball - (remix)
7. Something Like That
8. Express Yourself
9. Compton's N the House - (remix)
10. I Ain't Tha 1
11. Dopeman - (remix)
12. Quiet on Tha Set
13. Something 2 Dance 2




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