SongoftheDay: STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON by N.W.A.
Straight Outta Compton is the debut studio album by American hip hop group N.W.A, released August 8, 1988 on group member Eazy-E’s record label Ruthless Records. Production for the album was handled by Dr. Dre, with DJ Yella giving co-production. The album has been viewed as the pioneering record of gangsta rap with its ever-present profanity and violent lyrics. It has been considered groundbreaking by music writers and has had an enormous impact on the evolution of West Coast hip hop.
Straight Outta Compton redefined the direction of hip hop, which resulted in lyrics concerning the gangster lifestyle becoming the driving force in sales figures. It was later re-released on September 24, 2002, remastered and containing four bonus tracks. An extended version of the album was released on December 4, 2007, honoring the 20th anniversary of the original album. On April 14, 2015, Universal Music Group reissued the album on a Limited Edition red cassette as part of their Respect The Classics series. The cassette was released in time for the annual Record Store Day.
“It’s definitely the best rap record I’ve ever heard,” remarked Sinéad O’Connor. “Of course, I can see why people might be offended by the lyrics. But as a human being and not as a public figure, I’m not offended at all. I realise from reading interviews with people like Ice Cube, when they explain that they’re not talking about women in general but about particular women they know, it makes a lot of sense. I think the sound of the record is brilliant. I really like hardcore hip-hop and reggae stuff, so it’s right up my flight of stairs.”
“Rappers haven’t always referred to themselves as ‘niggers’ on record,” remarked Hip Hop Connection, placing it at No.3 on their countdown of rap’s best albums. “It came as something of a shock then that here were five politically astute black men calling themselves niggers and their women bitches at a time when Afrocentric rap was the current vogue… Straight Outta Compton sounded so exciting, insignificant details such as realism and integrity could be overlooked.”
In 2003, the TV network VH1, named Straight Outta Compton the 62nd greatest album of all time.
It was ranked ten in Spin magazine’s “100 Greatest Albums, 1985–2005”.
In 1998, the album was selected as one of The Source’s 100 Best Rap Albums.
It is the group’s only album on Rolling Stone ’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (ranked #144), and the first hip hop album ever to get a 5-star rating from them in their initial review. When comedian Chris Rock wrote an article for the magazine about the 25 Greatest Hip Hop Albums of all time in 2005, Straight Outta Compton was number one on his list.
The album is ranked the 109th best of all time by Acclaimedmusic.net.
In 2006, the album was listed in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. The same year, Time magazine ranked it as one of the 100 greatest albums of all time.
Q magazine voted it one of the ‘Top 50 Titles of 1989. Alternative Press (7/95, p. 88) ranked it #45 in AP’s list of the ‘Top 99 of ’85–’95’. Vibe (12/99, p. 164) included it in Vibe’s 100 Essential Albums of the 20th century. In 2004, DigitaArts included the album’s cover in its list of the 25 Best Albums Covers. In 2012, Slant listed the album at #18 on its list of “Best Albums of the 1980s” saying “The juxtaposition of midtempo, Cali-languid grooves and violent wordplay positioned Straight Outta Compton as the sound of the West Coast firing on New York’s Fort Sumpter in what would become ’90s culture’s biggest Uncivil War.”