August 09, 2020

N.W.A. "Straight Outta Compton" (The Rap Year Book)

N.W.A. was a gangsta rap group from Compton, California. They had a few different line-ups, but the strongest version was the too-brief period when it was Ice Cube, Eazy-E, MC Ren, DJ Yella, and Dr. Dre. That's the core group behind Straight Outta Compton, which has become the most impactful album within the gangsta rap genre. N.W.A. was substantial for a handful of reasons, but they all wiggle back to the same premise: They were the first rap group that America actively tried to ignore, and then eventually tried to stop. They were railed on by politicians and members of the media. They were blocked from the radio and TV and banned from performing in certain cities. They were just too crude, too aggressive, too mean; these were the main complaints, at least. Even the cover of Straight Outta Compton, which was a photo of the group's members gathered around looking down directly into the camera very much in a manner that seemed to represent that they were either going to shoot you (Eazy-E is aiming a revolver) or had already shot you, was scary. And so they were bottlenecked.... Straight Outta Compton was a rough-cut job - recording took six weeks and it was done on a budget of approximately $8,000 - but that only seemed to confirm the rawness of the group. In less than two months, the album sold more than five hundred thousand copies, later topping the three-million-copies-sold mark following the buzz of media talking about how nobody should be talking about the group. It was the first time in history an album had gone platinum without being played on the radio... Straight Outta Compton was not the first gangsta rap record. But it was the one that fully bent the trajectory toward reporting the dejection and desolation of the inner cities of the country. And that meant it was no longer just for those populations anymore. Straight Outta Compton popularized gangsta rap in America.... - Rap Year Book. Hmm... I am not 100% sure of the album's official release date (late '88?/early '89?) but I do know a letter from the FBI was written on August 1, 1989 and the album reached the charts also in 1989. Here's some more content for the TL, which has been discussing the album the last couple of days.

Taken from Shea Serrano's The Rap Year Book. Read below...