1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2008
With this album, Dr.Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella brought to the mainstream the soon-to-be-pariah known as Gangsta Rap, with its foul-mouthed depictions of violence, drugs, and sexism. The production pairs hard-hitting, thunder-like beats and snare kicks with uptempo funk and soul, as Cube, Dre, Eazy and Ren spit rhymes, that, even today, are offensive, insensitive, hate-ridden, exiting, entertaining, witty, and often amusing.
While songs deal with colorful subjects such as shooting at police, drugs, and punching someone in the mouth simply because you don't like them, the music retains a party-friendly, festive vibe, which is a stark contrast to the belligerent lyrics. With or without the lyrical bloodshed, Compton is still as playful and fun as a Run DMC record or even the Beastie Boys' Licensed to Ill. While comparatively benign in terms of subject matter, they were both large touchstones for Compton's sound - it sounds like a party record first and foremost. This irony is much like John Denver writing a gentle, heartfelt ballad about breaking his guitar over your head, and stabbing you repeatedly with what's left of it - lest he not blow your head off with his gat. Brutal. Hilarious.
Perhaps more ironic is that the group was not only about offending people (though it probably was a big part of the agenda), but simply telling life how they saw it. Along with the obvious "F Tha Police", a cry against police brutality, "Express Yourself," a tribute to honesty, and "Dopeman," which documents the perils of drug dealing, the album is a streetwise documentation of the harsh ghetto environment in which the rappers were raised, "the strength of street knowledge" if you will.
This album is up to the brim with classic material - the knockout left-right-left ("and you're toothless!") of the first three songs (can you really think of a better way to start off an album?), the sharp flows of "Something Like That" and "Compton's In The House", and "If It Ain't Ruff." Ice Cube is the album's star; his performance here drips with fury and hunger, though they're all in top form here and work with great chemistry to one another. As if you need to be told, one of the best albums ever.
on June 8, 2004
If you want Gangsta rap look no further than this masterpiece. The songs are violent, hateful, masogonistic, entrenching stereotypes,a nd every other thing that could be potentially viewed as a negative charecteristic. Everything that is bad is featured on this album, however for some reason this album does not either offend or disgust me the least bit. On this album are the obvious clasics: F*ck the Police, Gangsta Gangsta, Straight outta Compton, and a few others. These songs alone are the reason why this album is worth the few bucks that you shall pay for it. Furthermore the new version has a few extra tracks including the ultra masogonistic a B*tch is a B*tch, which however is a classic song and is also a display of some twisted truth.
Furthermore everything on this album is presented honestly and openly. Though it is obvious that Ice Cube doesn't kill Cops for no reason daily, the song does display honesty in the sense that it shows the problems of frusturations faced by people everyday.
High Recommened; Buy It
on May 4, 2004
Nearly anyone who knows anything about hip-hop should already be familiar with this album, but here are a few things you may not know. NWA didn't start with "Straight Outta Compton" or with the album "NWA and the Posse". NWA were the kings of the maxi-single. Maxi-singles were 12 inch records with more than the normal 2 songs. Their first one was the Eazy-E maxi-single with "Boyz in tha Hood", "Fat Girl" and "LA is the Place" in 1987. Then came the "Panic Zone", "Dope Man", "8 Ball" maxi, credited to NWA. The picture on that cover was used for the "NWA and the Posse" album, which for some reason, contained the radio version of "8 Ball" instead of the street version. Next came another Eazy-E maxi with "Eazy Duz It", "Ruthless Villian", "Radio", and "Compton's N Tha House", which was only issued on the cassette version as a bonus track. This maxi introduced MC Ren, who stepped in while Ice Cube was away at college. Cube returned for the next NWA maxi with "Gangsta Gangsta", "Something Like That", "Quiet on tha Set", and "Something 2 Dance 2". After all of these maxi-singles, they released the Eazy-E album "Eazy Duz It", followed by the NWA album "Straight Outta Compton". The sixth person on the "Compton" album cover is not The DOC as some have stated, it's Arabian Prince. He was featured on "Something 2 Dance 2", but apparently left the group during the course of recording the album. Since "Something 2 Dance 2" is arguably the weakest song on the album, and is the only song he recorded with the group, it was not a great loss. The bonus tracks on this remastered cd come from the maxi-single released after the album. These were the groups final recordings with Ice Cube. A year later they returned with their final maxi-single "100 Miles and Runnin" which contained the title cut, "Just Don't Bite It", "Sa Prize (Part 2)","Real Ni---z", and "Kamurshol"-a plug for their next forthcoming album released the following year. Those songs are bonus tracks on the remastered version of "Ni---z 4 Life", which musically speaking at least, is better than "Straight Outta Compton" so cop that one too!
on April 14, 2004
N.W.A. made their mark in hip hop, perhaps like NO OTHER group on the West Coast has or ever will again. This album is one of the greatest albums of all time, just for the sheer historical value surrounding it(they received letters from the F.B.I., they said things on this record that NO ONE thought of saying at the time, etc).Dr.Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren, and DJ Yella were THE crew in the west. This AWESOME album showed their collective strength as a forced to be reckoned with. There will NEVER be another group this tough again. Here's the review:
Album Highlights: Straight Outta Compton, F**k Tha Police, Gangsta,Gangsta, Dopeman(Remix), 8Ball, Quiet On Tha Set, and Parental Discretion Iz Advised.
Production: Thumbs up, the first of many Dr.Dre gems.
Lyrics and Subject Matter: Thumbs up, largely on the strength of Ice Cube.
Originality: Thumbs up, no one else was coming like this in 1988, from the east OR west.
The Last Word: What a BLOCKBUSTER album this is. The intensity shown on this record will NEVER be matched again, by ANYONE. N.W.A. defied the odds and released one TREMENDOUS album that'll stand the test of time. STRONGLY RECOMMENDED.
on November 15, 2003
Notice I didn't say it was the greatest hip hop album of all time; I can name 15 off of the top of my head that blow this away. But more influential than this? I can't name one; can you? This one album is responsibile for launching more careers in any musicial genre, and that includes groups like the Beatles, Ramones and Rolling Stones. When Dr. Dre announces that "you are about to witness the strength of street knowledge', you know you are about to hear something special. From the opening title track, it goes to arguably the most controversial song ever written, F*** Tha Police,written about police misconduct and brutality, and us in the urban community know full well what they are talking about. While some people may have written this off as an attempt to sell records and get attention, it was a precursor to the Rodney King beatings and L.A riots that followed a couple of years later. The album is raw, challenging and uncompromisingly full of F-words and harsh rebellion, so it was an instant favorite among suburban white males. Though you can get your fill of curses on songs like 8 Ball, Gangsta, Gangsta and Compton's In The House, it was recorded in the '80's, so the old school influence is still there with Express Yourself, If It Ain't Ruff , Quiet On Tha Set and Something To Dance To. My favorite songs are I Ain't The 1 and Dopeman, where Ice Cube gets to shine alone. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this album is that it came out in 1988, the most pure year of hip hop ever; it came out alongside classics from Public Enemy, Run D.M.C, EPMD, BDP, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick and a slew of others. It is original, timeless, classic, or in the words of Dr. Dre, "Damn that s*** was dope"!
on March 19, 2003
I downloaded a few songs from the net off this album out of pure curiousity. I have Dr Dre's the Chronic and had one (later) Nwa album a long time ago, but some of it was for humorous purposes only. Well, after hearing this album let's just say, I am hooked. The songs in question are the first four from the album, and I haven't liked a rap album this much since Public Enemy or Ice T. You see, I am very naive when it comes to rap, I know that I am primarily a metal head, but this album may do well to change some of my perspective on the rap genre. First of all, the beats are great, sort of in between the "Bomb Squad" and Dre's later "G funk" production. The ryhmes really kick a** as well, despite the protestations of them not being genuine. This album is a timeless rap album, the comparison to "Never Mind The Bollocks" is pretty dead on, because like John Lydon, Ice Cube seems to be the most intelligent of these guys. Dre is also great but it is funny hearing him saying he "Doesn't smoke weed" when he later did the album "the Chronic". Bottom line: Rap can be just as extreme and full of integrity as any other form of music, this album gets me pumped up!
on November 27, 2002
N.W.A.'s 1988 release Straight Outta Compton is the blueprint for the gangsta rap genre that exploded in the early 90's. It was also radically different in tone than anything in hip-hop at the time. Hip-Hop was mostly party records until Public Enemy came along and starting making a change by making political statements. N.W.A. music was about life on the streets in South Central Los Angeles. Their songs where tales of the gangsta lifestyle which included selling drugs, racist policemen, degrading woman and most of all violence. The streets of Compton were and are a dangerous place and songs like the title track, "Gangsta Gangsta", "Dopeman" and "F-k Tha Police" are vivid descriptions of life in the hood. The group was also notable for not just their violent lyrics, but for their immense skills. Ice Cube wrote most of the album and it contains some of his best work, Dr. Dre laid down the beats which would lead him towards the being one of the top producers in hip hop. Eazy-E set up his ruthless gangsta image that he would play out the rest of his life and MC Ren shows why he is one of the more underrated MC's in hip hop. Straight Outta Compton is a true landmark album that many have tried to imitate, but no one has been able to duplicate.
on September 24, 2002
This was the album. The one that started the "gangsta rap" genre that, depending on how you looked at it, revolutionized hip hop or killed it. That's why I love and loathe this release at the same time. When this hit big time back in the late 80's, everybody jumped on the gangsta bandwagon trying to cash in on NWA's success by "keepin' it real". Unfortunately, this meant old-school rappers who avoided the gangsta-gravy train(Eric B & Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Boogie Down Productions, etc) all got eventually lost in the shuffle to the more flashy, media-hyped gangsta rappers. Too bad, cause those other rappers were waaaay better than the flood of NWA copycats. If you want the other release in the late 80's that changed the face of rap, go see the reviews for PE's It Takes A Nation of Millions...
Anyway, having said all that, I still enjoy this release. From the hard-core funky beats, the political/message-driven lyrics, and the old-school "multiple alternating mc's" rap style of delivery, this is a great cd to have in your rap collection. The new re-mastered version supposedly has 4 bonus tracks too so it's worth a purchase. Favorite tracks: Staight Outta Compton(the definitive song of its sub-genre), **** tha Police(absolutely brutal and angry), and Compton's N tha House(inadvertently amusing because the "f" word is used so many times!). Overall, a great rap album I've enjoyed listening to through the years, but hope others don't just make this their stopping point as the 80's had many other great rap artists that did so much for this maligned genre.
on April 12, 2002
I can not think of a CD that has had so much influence on American popular culture like the NWA's "Straight OUtta Compton". THis CD came out in the late 80s, yet it influenced the entire decade of the 90s and its influence is still felt today in 2002.
There were countless rappers who tried to copy the NWA sound and style. There were hundreds of movies that borrowed elements from the NWA like "Menace II Society" and "Boyz NDa Hood"(which by the way was taken from an NWA song). Gangsta rap changed everything in American society. ANd the NWA were the originators and inventors of gangsta rap. THey put the spotlight on their hometown of Compton, California. A vicious crime-ridden neighborhood in the Watts area of South Central L.A. But what about the music? Does it hold up to the test of time? The answer is a resounding "YES"! The raps and the beats are still as fresh as they were more than a decade ago. THe anti-police anthems like "F**K da Police" and "Straight outta Compton" sound just as furious as they did in 1989. But what makes this CD the classic that it is, is the NWA themselves! The NWA was a collection of 4 of the best rappers ever: Ice Cube, Eazy E, Dr. Dre, and MC Ren.
OUt of the 4, Eazy E was my personal favorite, but everyone involved in this CD does a tremendous job. The raps, the beats, it all flows. The music stands up to multiple listenings. If you are not a rap fan you still must own this CD. This CD is a part of American history and culture. Its a CD that will be around forever. And like I said its the most influential piece of music that has come out in the last 20 years and that's saying a lot!
on February 24, 2002
Without argument, one of the greatest rap albums of all time. Grandmaster Flash is the first rapper to talk about street life, but NWA amplified it. Without tracks like Straight Outta Compton gangsta rap likely wouldn't exist today.
Pros:great beats by Yella and Dr. Dre, Eazy-E's ill voice, Ice Cube & MC Ren's great lyrics, excellent political views, the emergence of the West Coast rap style so many of us love
Cons:The beats on Something Like That and Compton's In The House are very similar in beats and lyrics, not enough guest appearances (only 2,The D.O.C on Parental Discretion Iz Advised, Arabian Prince on Something 2 Dance 2)
The new NWA album will likely not be very good because Snoop Dogg doesn't fit into this style very well. If you want my opinion, Jayo Felony's agressive style would fit in well, or Ras Kass could add a nice dose of lyricism. However, Snoop has already been added to the line up, so there's nothing we can do.
At least there's a new album coming out soon according to the Aftermath Records website. In other NWA related news, Eazy-E has a 7-track album coming out real soon, so cop that. Maybe Dre will get the rights to put an unreleased Eazy verse on the new album! That'd be ill!!!
RIP Eazy-E, we miss you homie