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Record of the month: Straight Outta Compton by N.W.A.

Today, let’s go back to the roots of rap and present you one of the best albums of the genre: Straight Outta Compton by NWA (Niggaz With Attitude).

If you like American rap, you surely know Dr Dre, Ice Cube or Eazy-E.
Well, maybe you knew it already, but in addition to unite the three artists next to Arabian Prince and DJ Yella, the NWA band was at the origin of their successful solo career.

Let’s take a step back to the past to understand the story better.

Here we are in Compton - Seattle’s equivalent of the Bronx - year 1988. The rappers have already published an EP under the title of Panic Zone.


No need to remind you that rap singers had been evolving in a difficult context. Besides, Ice Cube looking more like a chubbier Michael Jackson than a gangsta rapper didn’t make things easier. The young generation was living in a climate of violence and drug dealing. This is the atmosphere that emanates from their first album: Straight Outta Compton. And this probably explains the dazzling success of the album within the underground circle.

The lyrics are rather insolent and violent: 'Fuck tha police', written by Ice Cube and MC Ren is a convincing example. Because of this title and its success, the band will even receive a warning letter from Milt Ahlerich, a member of the FBI.

Straight Outta Compton is also one of the first albums to be stamped with the Parental Advisory sticker.

Despite the lack of radio airing, specialized press will help the album to win the double platinum record award.


The album offers us a hammered beat accompanied by stunning funk samples from great artists such as James Brown but also from hip hop bands like Beastie Boys on the track entitled 8 ball. This record, in addition to be essential in a hip hop collection, introduced us to the first steps of the previously mentioned artists.

You got it, 'Straight Outta Compton' is a fundamental album. Even if the story of the band ended up growing messy (There was a clash between Ice Cube and the other members of the band, Eazy-E passed away...), they clearly influenced today’s rap singers such as Snoop Dogg, himself produced by Dr Dre.

If you wish to know more about these artists’ debut, watch F. Gary Gray’s movie, named the same way as the album released in 2015.

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