interview N.W.A - Straight Outta Compton | Review By: Big Jake

1. Straight Outta Compton

The song that sparked a Hip Hop Revolution, "Straight Outta Compton" starts off with the narration of "You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge," by a then unknown producer Dr. Dre. It then continues with a classic verse from an MC that would revolutionize the substance and awareness of hip hop....Ice Cube. Then going on with another classic verse, is from an MC that would be the definition of hardcore....MC Ren. It then finally ends with a verse from the West coast's first SUPER star....Eazy-E. When this song was released it was the realist and truest testimony of life in urban southern California, Radio and MTV were PETRIFIED to even touch the clean version to this song. But even without the aid of these 2 media outlets this song became one of hip hop's biggest and baddest classics...5/5.

2. Fuck Tha Police

This was the song that took N.W.A. from underground heroes to double platinum hip hop revolutionaries. When this song was released it was so controversial, N.W.A. even had the FBI breathing down their necks. Nothing really like this had ever been heard before as N.W.A. tells of how crooked cops patrolling the inner city were. Racial Profiling was almost a constant daily occurrence, excessive brutality by the police was something you just had to deal with, and even their own people would sell them out just to get in good with the white cops. Many shallow people take/took this song as ghetto propaganda to "kill all cops," but in reality it's just calling for a stop to police brutality, and was shedding light on an issue that society was either ignorant to or didn't want the general public to know. This song's significance grew greatly a few years later with the Rodney King beating and became the anthem for the L. A riots. Musically this is a master piece too. Ren, Cube, and Eazy display beautiful story telling skills and actually reverse the roles on the crooked cops...5/5.

3. Gangsta Gangsta

This is yet another classic piece. The tone of the album changes from serious street tales to playful boasting from a "gangsta" view point. Ice Cube flows about various hedonistic fantasies like robbery, sex, and drugs. Then the tone changes once again for a moment as Eazy-E starts in with even more extravagant gangsta boastings....also Eazy's intro beat on this song is quite g-funkish (which would be Dre's signature sound a few years later). This song is kinda silly, but it's all in fun and no matter how you flip it a bonified classic...5/5.

4. If It Ain't Ruff

This song is a perfect example of classic old school hip hop. Tight funky beat with an MC flowing over it with playful, but strong lyrics. The producer is Dre and the MC is Ren, and nothing else can be said here except for what else could you want?? The beat by Dre is marvelous and the rhymes Ren kicks are just top notch...5/5.

5. Parental Discretion Iz Advised

This song features N.W.A. protege, The D.O.C. and Dr. Dre's first rapping appearance on the album. Another great produced funky beat by Dr. Dre with live instrumentation (kind've like an up tempo jazz jam session) and of course GREAT MC'ing by all who appear on this track. When most people think of "Straight Outta Compton," they just think it's a brash, belligerent, scary, and heinous album. Not for the most part, as this song proves that NWA shows they can make you move and groove. This song is really about nothing in particular and is pretty much just a showcase of lyrical and musical talent, but again no matter how you look at it...it's still a great great track, not quite classic but DEFINITELY close...4.5/5.

6. 8 Ball (Remix)

What can I say? Yet another popular classic. This is Eazy's solo song on the album, even though Ice Cube wrote the lyrics to this song ("Ice Cube writes the rhymes that I say"). This song is actually a remix to the original "8 Ball" that was on "N.W.A. And The Posse." There's no significant difference other than the sound quality and a few edits. Eazy (or technically cube) raps about nothing inparticular significant other than getting drunk and doing every day hedonistic things. Which sounds bad but is hilariously entertaining (unless your some uptight "sophisticated" backpacker) There's about a million quotables in this song and it's been sampled so many times, how can this song NOT be a classic?.....5/5

7. Something Like That

Awwwww another track by the dynamic duo...Dre and Ren. Like "If It Ain't Ruff, " this song is VERY Funky and well produced for the dance floor. Also Ren's MC'ing is basically second to none. Dre also Joins Ren with a couple of verses (which sound like Ren wrote even though Dre has writing credits). The best part of this of this song BY farrrrrr is where Dre and Ren go in sync with their raps, weather it's a smart production trick by Dre or real it's tighter than virgin cherry. Again nothing much is being said here, but none is need because it's just a classic version of displaying raw talent...5/5

8. Express Yourself

::Sniff sniff: what do I smell? oooooh that's right another HUGE classic. This is kind've Dre's solo rap appearance even though Cube joins him at the end. This song is basically talking about being not afraid to express yourself in anyway, whether you have to do that with profanity (which there surprisingly is none on this track) or by being political and/or emotionally honest. One thing that is suspect on this song is where Dre says "I still express that I don't smoke weed or sess," but later on, his first CD would be called "The Chronic." Maybe it's because Ice Cube wrote the lyrics to this song, or Snoop's Bob Marley-like obsession changed his view? But anyway you flip or dissect this song it's a hip hop classic...5/5.

9. Compton's N The House (Remix)

Every West Coast fan should be thankful for this song. When this song was made EVERYTHING was East coast. Brooklyn this, South Bronx that. And some of the shit coming out from there was whack as hell but was only getting play because it was from a certain area like Brooklyn. This is Basically a track reppin Compton and generally the West coast showing you didn't have to be from New York to bring the heat. And what better way to show the heat than to have Dre on the Beat and Dre/Ren on the mic with Ice Cube Ghost writing for Dre?...5/5

10. I Ain't Tha 1

This song is hilarious. This is Ice Cube's solo Track on the album, and no he's not talking about gangbanging or being socially aware. No, no he's answering all the gold diggers of America by simply saying he ain't the one. Ice Cube finds himself going at it with a girl whose only after his doe, but he knows what's up and instead of lobster and shrimp....that bitch is getting Burger King. The track pretty much goes on like that where the chick thinks because she's fucking Cube she's going to get in on his money and play him....but cube's the one doing all the playing. Funny, Funny stuff, if you haven't heard it, you got to...4.5/5

11. Dope Man (Remix)

Knock Knock
Who's There?
In this track Ice Cube basically tells how a Dopeman (drug dealer) rules the neighbor hood. If the dope man is in need of cash ... hey all he has to do is get some fool addicted to his crack and he's got a loyal costumer for life. If he needs sex....no problem he can just get a strawberry (female addicted to crack) to "pleasure" him for a couple of crack rocks. Basically the dopeman rules his neighbor hood and is the Ghetto King. The Dopeman's an ass but he gives you what you want (which is either money or crack) so you kiss up to him. But Cube warns you not to fall for the Dopeman because you'll just become one of his addict customers "if you smoke Cain your a stupid mother fucker," then Eazy E comes in and brags about all this as he openly admits that he is the dope man. But this is bitter sweet because in the end he sales to the wrong person and finds himself at the other end of the barrel. If you're shallow you're going to think this is a track glorifying the Dopeman, but if you take the end into account it's the complete opposite...5/5.

12. Quiet On Tha Set

This song isn't quite on par with the other songs but it's still pretty solid. The beat is dope, and Ren's rhymes are dope as usual but the highlight really is DJ Yella's great Dj'ing. So there's really nothing wrong with this track AT ALL, but it's not as strong as the other tracks on here. If it was on another album (especially during this time in the 80's) it would definitely be the highlight but on here it's just a solid song...4/5.

13. Something 2 Dance 2

A lot of People dislike this track. I don't really blame them because it's VERY dated and sounds like a typical 80's dance track. But that's really the only thing bad about it, because it accomplishes it's whole intention ... something to dance 2. The beat is a good and is good as 80's dance beats get. The Samples are great. And even the lost member of N.W.A. (Arabian Prince) makes a welcomed appearance. I'm not saying this song is classic....it's far from that. But I will give it a good rating simply because it accomplishes it's goal in making want to dance. Not Classic but not as bad as people make it out to be ......4/5

This album is probably the SINGLE most influential album in hip hop history, it's influence and significance is still relevant today in ALL aspects of hip hop, and even in other music like Rock. Whether it's the "anything goes" attitude that helped later artist express their first amendment rights to the fullest. Whether it's the Dramatic boost for West Coast Hip hop to flourish. Or If it was making us more socially aware (with the aid of public enemy too of course) what was happening in ghettos and the poverty stricken areas of our country. Anyway you look at this album it helped make the way for most hip hop artists today, not only in the West, but in the South, east, Midwest and oversees too. There's a million things that can be said about this album and the impact it had and has today, but to sum it up shortly.....it's a must have in ANY hip hop....or music collection for that matter.

5/5 Dubs!


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