Saturday, 18 March 2017

Straight outta Compton - N.W.A (album review)

Straight outta Compton - N.W.A (album review)

Image result for straight outta compton
year - 1988

genre - rap, hip-hop, gangsta rap.

Straight outta Compton is the debut album by legendary rap group N.W.A, this album is easily their most famous, and with good reason. Being known for redefying the sound of hip-hop this album is a clear monumental moment in controversial music, with the pro-violence fuck the police attitude the album caused a lot of controversy, especially in the strict republican households of the 90s, this album inspired youth whilst sending a message of "don't fuck with us" to the parents of these troubled teens, this obviously upsetting many adults.


putting the controversy aside, how does this album hold up? well it's produced by (then) N.W.A member - Dr Dre. he alone is considered phenomenal in the world of record producing and rightfully so. Dre created beats and rhythms on this album that still remain unbeaten in the rap and hip-hop genre, and with the dire state of the genre at the moment I doubt anyone ever will. Rap is often insulted for its lack of real musicians, relying on samples which is an understandable critique on the genre as a whole however N.W.A make perfect use of samples, most notably on "Express yourself", not only using vocal samples but also by vitalising the use of smooth rhythmic bass lines, showing that in an era where guitar led music was dominant that the use of guitar was not necessary to creating good music, having all tracks being predominantly led by the vocals, bass and drums.

The vocals are...alright, its the lyrics that actually make this album so enjoyable, with clever use of word play, rhyme and rhythm that creates a flow that is easy to get lost in.

The group also have no "skits" as tracks, which to me is a huge positive as I find the "skits" on rap/hip-hop albums to be an annoying addition, and during this era having "skits" was at the height if popularity and the fact this album doesn't use them makes me love it even more.

overall this album is enjoyable and iconic, it can't be denied, hip-hop fan or not, that this album changed music and will be remembered as the best hip-hop album of all time (maybe only seconded to Dr Dre's 2001). my only criticism of the album is the very sexist lyrics on many of the songs, it doesn't make me hate the album like it would for some, but it does act as a small annoyance to me personally, still the album should be given the utmost respect as a piece of modern music history that will never be replicated again.

Rating - 8.5/10

Best tracks - "straight outta Compton", "Express yourself", "dopeman (remix)" , "Gangsta, Gangsta"

For fans of - 2pac, Coolio, Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Biggie Smalls

By D.A Clarke

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