Did I Like This? (Straight Outta Compton)

I felt weird last time because of starting with Ice Cube before talking about N.W.A. I’ll try to set this right by picking N.W.A.’s debut album for today, Straight Outta Compton, released in 1988, probably the real beginning of gangsta rap.


You can read the full post here.

2 thoughts on “Did I Like This? (Straight Outta Compton)

  1. I see you associated Straight Outta Compton with Rhyme Pays, and, in part, I can see why. Compton was one of those big, influential albums for me, a real eye opener for a white kid in suburban/rural Illinois. The ideas such as the police not being friends, systemic poverty that leaves few legal options to make a buck, quick and merciless violence being a response to even the smallest of provocations, those weren’t part of my mindset before this disc. Yes, I won’t argue that Compton is responsible for the glamorization of some seriously negative aspects of life or that there isn’t some heavy small-mindedness on display from what were then a group of punk kids who didn’t know much about life beyond Los Angeles. But the rage that permeates this disc always made me associated it with Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet. Chuck D and company could articulate and express their rage more clearly and in a more mature manner, but the blinding anger that fuels both Compton and Planet are to me, at least, what really makes these discs important. (Side note: I see you said you’re an Ice Cube guy. I have always and will always argue that AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted is the greatest solo hip-hop album ever.)

    1. I see the argument about anger and you’re certainly right. But I still think this doesn’t make the content of the lyrics any better. You can explain where it comes from, but that doesn’t change its effect.
      And sorry, I never really was an Ice Cube guy, though he was one of the artists I liked back in the days. But never as much as Ice-T for example, and no one as much as Public Enemy, who are superior in every way, in my opinion. Which is also why they haven’t appeared here, since I don’t have to ask the question if I’d still like them, because I never stopped listening to their albums, unlike any other hip-hop artists from the 90s.

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