West Coast Artists Reflect on N.W.A’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’
N.W.A–the iconic hip-hop group known as N—as Wit Attitude which consisted of Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, DJ Yella, The D.O.C. and Arabian Prince–put gangsta rap on the map with their 1988 debut Straight Outta Compton.
Bolstered by its give-no-f–ks mentality (see: the bold hit “F-ck Tha Police”) and a letter from the F.B.I. to block their freedom of self expression, the album eventually landed N.W.A into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nearly three decades later in 2016.
In honor of the classic’s 30th anniversary, TIDAL tapped several West Coast MCs to reflect on the game-changing project.
“N.W.A. was important to me because their music spoke of the streets that I was realizing day-to-day in real time. And also because Eazy-E made an offer to me to buy me out of my contract.”
“N.W.A influenced my perspective and my outlook on being Black in Los Angeles really more than anything musically. Being a kid and teen during their come up I watched them stand up for what they believed in and really make their voice be heard even though they knew the consequences could be deadly…that was by far my biggest take away from them. I wouldn’t be the artist I am today without their influence and I definitely wouldn’t have had the balls to do something like “Kaepernick Effect” had it not been for N.W.A paving the way and speaking out against the system and the treatment of Black people in this country.”
“Growing up as a kid in Compton, N.W.A and their impact was everything for me. I structure my music behind the raw unfiltered energy that they left behind…I’m always described as the new Ice Cube”
“Straight Outta Compton gave me a sense of pride. Seeing people from the same city as me make it out of Compton and take their music around the world was inspirational.”
“N.W.A is part of the reason why I took no bullshit from anybody. Them and the fact that I’m from that same environment. They also helped mold the artist I am today, I played all of them individually while making my first project.”
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