Album Review | N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton

This album was released on August 8th in the year of our lord 1988. It’s one of the most important musical projects in black history. It pretty much marks the advent of Gangsta Rap in mainstream culture. I reviewed the biopic that came out in 2015, which was pretty good. I don’t know how I’m gonna feel about the actual album itself though. The lead single is iconic, but I already know I don’t fuck with the outro. I’m obviously gonna keep an open mind though. Every song is produced by Dr. Dre & DJ Yella.

Straight Outta Compton performed by Ice Cube, MC Ren & Eazy-E
Fuck tha Police performed by Ice Cube, MC Ren & Eazy-E
Gangsta Gangsta performed by Ice Cube, Eazy-E & MC Ren
If It Ain’t Ruff performed by MC Ren
Parental Discretion Iz Advised performed by The D.O.C., Dr. Dre, MC Ren, Ice Cube & Eazy-E
8 Ball Remix performed by Eazy-E
Something Like That performed by MC Ren & Dr. Dre
Express Yourself performed by Dr. Dre
Compton’s N the House Remix performed by MC Ren & Dr. Dre
I Ain’t tha 1 performed by Ice Cube
Dopeman Remix performed by Ice Cube & Eazy-E
Quiet on tha Set performed by MC Ren
Something 2 Dance 2 performed by Arabian Prince, DJ Yella, Dr. Dre & Eazy-E

The title track is one of the most popular Hip Hop songs of all time. It’s the Gangsta Rap archetype. The opening verse from Ice Cube contains some of the most iconic rap lines in history. His verse was dope. MC Ren’s verse wasn’t as entertaining, but it was still pretty good. Eazy’s verse was hard as fuck. Please keep in mind that this review is written from the perspective of a Southern 19 year old “libtard,” so it’s kinda hard for me to enjoy lyrics about disrespecting women for the sake of being a heartless gangsta. None of the niggas with attitudes ever claimed to be gentlemen, and they sure as hell don’t sell themselves as such. The title track is good though. I like it. It’s outdated as hell, but certain aspects definitely still hold up. I’m not sure how I would feel about the song if it weren’t for Ice Cube though. He’s definitely the star in my opinion. His verse on Fuck tha Police was dope af. The scratches from Dre are great, and the beat is even better than that of the track it follows. I’m gonna be honest though… The song kinda goes downhill after Cube’s verse. It’s still a good song worth listening to, but there’s no way I’m gonna pretend to have enjoyed Ren & Eazy’s verses nearly as much as that of Ice Cube. However, as a whole I’d say the song is a step up from the intro. It’s got a great message, and the production is dope. Gansta Gangsta is easily one of the best songs on the album. It has a great beat, and some of Ice Cube’s most quotable bars.

You don’t like how I’m living? Well, FUCK you.

Ice Cube definitely maintains the spotlight, but the verse from Eazy-E was pretty decent too. If It Ain’t Ruff is the first solo track on the album. MC Ren doesn’t really get as much credit as Eazy-E, which is a shame. He’s a much better artist. I’m sure he’ll get his just due once he’s passed away though. Anyway, his flow on this track is dope af, and the content is super aggressive, as always. The production is pretty simplistic, but the scratches on the hook are dope. His flow on the final verse was really impressive. Parental Discretion Iz Advised should be Padlock Jones’ theme song. It’s a warning to all listeners that their material is not family friendly. Kinda like this website. The introductory feature from The D.O.C. is great, and every rapper in the group got a chance to shine. I never heard the original version of 8 Ball, but the remix has some of the most recognizable samples on the album. E’s definitely my least favorite member of the group, mainly because he seems to have lacked the most talent. He didn’t write his own rhymes, and his flow was pretty basic. He kinda just seems like an asshole too, if I’m being completely honest. Something Like That is pretty dope lyrically, but it doesn’t really do much to stand out sonically. The synchronized bars from Ren & Dre made me chuckle. It sounds kinda corny by today’s standards.

Express Yourself is the only solo track from Dre. The music video features a slightly altered version of the song. It’s a dope track. They did a good job of making Dre look like an authentic MC. His flow was great, and the words written by Ice Cube are super unfriendly towards “wackness” as an idea. The sample selection is ingenious too. It’s a great choice for a single. Just like with the other remix on this album, I hadn’t heard the original version of Compton’s N the House before hearing the version on the project at hand. I think it’s one of the best songs on the album though. It’s a great dedication to the city of Compton, and it has some of the best production on the entire project. I love the strong bass pattern, and the scratches are really dope. The way Ren & Dre are rhymin’ together is really cool too. Their flows are dope. It’s a really great song. I have mixed feelings about I Ain’t tha 1. I’ve never been into songs that are about disrespecting women, but it’s not like Ice Cube doesn’t have kind of a point. He’s just making it in a really disrespectful way. He raps about not being taken advantage by gold diggers. It’s a decent track. I personally won’t really be listening to it in the future, but I didn’t think it was bad. The Dopeman remix is really cool. The morbid content was really interesting to hear about, and the production is dope af. Quiet on tha Set is another great solo track from MC Ren. He’s a really good rapper. The beat is solid, but it doesn’t really stand out that much compared to some of the other songs. Something 2 Dance 2 is this album’s major dud. I wasn’t expecting to hear something so soft on this project. It was a clear attempt at making a club record, and I guess for the time it might’ve been looked at as a good effort, but this is NOT the kinda shit I wanna hear. I don’t like the glitzy production, and I wasn’t feelin’ Arabian Prince’s verses. It’s wack af, and a really lame way to end the album.

This is a good album. I don’t think it’s amazing, but I can see why this was such a revolutionary project. It caused a shit ton of outrage due to the fact that the members of the group simply had no filter. They didn’t give a fuck who their lyrics offended because they were being themselves. I value authenticity. This shit is hard as fuck. It’s dope.

Favorite Song: Compton’s N tha House
Least Favorite Song: Something 2 Dance 2


Watch the videos below for more thoughts on this album



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