Release Date: August 8, 1988
“You’re now about to witness the strength of street knowledge.”
That’s the introductory line to gangster rap’s pioneering album Straight Outta Compton, N.W.A’s first effort. The gang’s all here: Ice Cube, M.C. Ren, Dr. Dre, Arabian Prince, Krazy Dee and Eazy-E, who’s record label Ruthless Records produced the album, with production credit going to Dr. Dre and D.J. Yella.
While not a brilliant album, this is certainly an important one. The titular track, “Straight Outta Compton,” is a driving force that still feels powerful more than 25 years later. This is the track you can put on repeat and never get tired of.
There is definitely some homophobia interlaced throughout the album, with reference to “dykes” and “faggots”. It’s not something that should be overlooked. It’s an imperfect message.
This a very listenable album but there’s a steep drop off in energy and accessibility after the first track. There is perhaps also too much M.C. Ren. It’s okay, though. Just go back and listen to the first track, “Straight Outta Compton.” That’s all you need here.
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