#70: Straight Outta Compton, N.W.A.
I stated in no uncertain terms that this album should have The Chronic’s spot. The Chronic is a perfectly serviceable rap album, but it’s simply not as important as this one. Am I crazy? Everyone and their mother has heard “Express Yourself”!
The N.W.A., which stands for “N-Wordz Wit Attitude,” was originally composed of Mr. Dre, Arabian Prince, Eazy-E, and Ice Cube. MC Ren and DJ Yella joined just before this album came out.
Dr. Dre turned into the gift that kept on giving, going on to produce for Snoop, Kendrick, and Eminem, and Ice Cube is kind of my favorite rapper ever. Eazy-E is much maligned and is also dead (of AIDS complications in 1995, only 30 years old).
Those were the only N.W.A. names I was really familiar with, though, so I decided to figure out what the rest of the guys were up to. Results seemed to vary:
MC Ren put out an album in 2009 that apparently only sold 3,000 or so copies? Yikes.
DJ Yella went on to produce 300 porn films?!?!?!
Arabian Prince (who left the group before Straight Outta Compton was even released) hasn’t put out too much music since the late 80s, but he was on a Ministry album in 2018! That’s extremely weird! I love it.
“Straight Outta Compton” — Look! It’s the crazy motherf***** named Ice Cube from the gang called N****z Wit Attitude! Also, the respectable actor named Ice Cube from the classic road trip movie Are We There Yet?
“Gangsta Gangsta” — Life ain’t nothing but b*****s and money. Remember when Ice Cube was in 21 Jump Street? What a hustler.
“Parental Discretion Is Advised” — I’ll admit that Eazy-E is my least favorite, but maybe that’s just because I’m such a Cube fangirl. But this piano jams!
“8-Ball Remix” — Apparently, this is a remix from one of their earlier songs as N.W.A. and the Posse. I kind of love the original? This remix is cool too, though.
“Express Yourself” — YES! This is a Dr. Dre solo, at least on the album version. This retro sample is from the song “Express Yourself” by Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. Which is also a great song!
“Something 2 Dance 2” — Love a good disco beat with bombs in the background.
LEAST FAVORITE SONGS:
“Something Like That” — Yeah, yeah, yeah.
“Dopeman — Remix” — Hey, guess what, you shouldn’t abuse anyone even if you’re a drug dealer.
“Quiet On The Set” — Eh.
IS RS FULL OF IT?
YES. This album is so much more fun and MUCH more relevant than The Chronic. Sometimes my opinion changes after I listen to an album several times (see Kate Bush review re Joni Mitchell review), but this time I firmly, stubbornly stand by what I said.