This week marks the 32nd anniversary of N.W.A.’s notorious album 'Straight Outta Compton', arguably one of the most important albums in hip hop history. At the time of the album’s release back in 1988, the violent tone and controversial iconography the album elicited pushed the boundaries of what people had come to expect of rap. The album was filled with songs that challenged social norms aggressively and explicitly discussing issues of violence, censorship, anti-establishment, misogyny and sex.
N.W.A. were the group that launched the 'gangsta rap' music into the national consciousness and transformed it from nascent subgenre to a global phenomenon.
The album also introduced the world to Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, and Ice Cube, and shifted the balance of power in hip-hop from the East Coast to the West Coast.
Eazy-E, Ice Cube, MC Ren, Dr. Dre and DJ Yella took rap to another level shining light on issues of marginalized communities and individuals who are essential parts to the make-up of America. And even a quarter of a century later, this album remains relevant and poignant to current headlines.
Listen to Straight Outta Compton below.