Wednesday, December 3, 2008

103. NWA - Straight Outta Compton

I've already professed my love for Eazy E and MC Ren. Throw in my love for Ice Cube (Are We There Yet notwithstanding), and you can figure out how I feel about this album.

This came out in 1988. I was neither angry nor black but I loved this album as if I lived it. And I had to listen to it in secret, because, well, no one wants to see a 26 year old, suburban white girl attempt to rap. No one wants to see her jumping around yelling "Gangsta, Gangsta! That's what they're yellin!" Yelling it like I believed I was, you know, from tha hood.

There was something so decadent yet so profound about this album. It was daring and bold and good. The rhymes, the beats, the different voices, the passion. I thought it was an astounding album - I still do - and I had no one to enjoy it with. No one understood why I loved this so much. Many years later that the people who raised their eyebrows at NWA were suddenly adding this album to their collection. You know, right about the time Rolling Stone or some other magazine deemed it one of the Most Important Albums. It was ok to like it now. I'd hear my neighbor singing along to Straight Outta Compton as he washed his car and he'd be like "Hey, how about this Ice Cube guy, huh?" And I'd look at him all smug and say "I'm OG, baby."

I can still recite every word to Straight Outta Compton and I still feel self conscious while doing it, but at least I know I enjoy rap and hip hop as whole, and I'm not some fanny-pack wearing guy who listens to this because he thinks it makes him look cool in front of the kids in the hood, and he cringes inside every time they say the word niggaz.

Anyhow, you know why this album is really important? Because after Ice Cube rhymed jumbo with gumbo, there were no songs left to write. It was done.

Favorite song: Express Yourself
Awesome cover of Straight Outta Compton (scroll down)

1 comment:

kevin saint grey said...

Thanks for reviewing this!
I love your honesty in these reviews.
It's like rediscovering these albums all over again.