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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 14 February 2013
I'm the whitest guy alive, but these songs are so easy to just drive along to, bobbing my head, catching the ladies eyes in my 1.2L corsa.

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VINE VOICEon 19 April 2008
Hip-hop music was barely regarded as a legitimate music form by the late eighties, despite having been around for more than a decade. This was partly because of its almost childlike innocence and quaint rhyming couplets, as well as the viewpoint that its sampling techniques were 'stealing music.'

Then gangsta rap appeared. At the forefront, alongside the likes of Ice-T, were NWA - a rap group that managed to wrench rap out of the underground and make it something to terrify The Man - or more specifically, white people and conservatives.

Overnight, rap music went from worthless to (seemingly) a genuine threat to the way people lived their lives.

When compared to the often disgusting examples of gangsta rap in modern times, NWA's proper debut Straight Outta Compton seems almost as quaint as the likes of Sugarhill Gang when you look at it now.

Its mighty opening trio aside (we'll get to them later), the rest of the album is mostly fun-loving party rap much like their contemporaries. Aside from some bad language (even that pales in comparison to modern groups) songs like 'If It Ain't Ruff' or 'Something 2 Dance 2' simply express a love of rhyming and partying. The former doesn't even feature any profanity, but is simply a three-minute showcase for the underrated MC Ren. 'Parental Discretion Iz Advised' features jazzy live instrumentation. 'Express Yourself,' meanwhile is one of the most upbeat gangsta rap songs ever created and even features an anti-drugs message in its lyrics.

But NWA achieved notoriety not for any of these songs, but because of this album's brutal and brilliant opening salvo, the songs that changed the face of rap and virtually invented modern gangsta as we know it. 'Straight Outta Compton' was a breakneck introduction to the group; 'F*** Tha Police' their defining anti-cop statement, a truly dangerous cut; and 'Gangsta Gangsta' a tour through Compton life that's both amusing and profane.

All three songs (and indeed, the whole album) featured extraordinary production. Cantering along on pounding drum samples and squalling brass, the beats feature a weight and thickness that's often absent from modern rap; and yet to this day Dr. Dre claims he virtually threw the album together using old cassettes tapes.

For NWA, this album was both their defining statement and the beginning of the end; their second and last album was self-parodic and distasteful. Both Ice Cube and Dr. Dre would continue to push the boundaries of rap as we know it but this album remains a major part of both of their defining work. Essential for any hip-hop fan.
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on 24 August 2014
This is a great album from when Hip hop was still young. A toddler, with all it's moods and hilarity. Brilliant social commentary turned sideways and forced in your earhole. Musically, it's clever. I think this album should be in everyone's collection. It could sit next to your mumford and sons disc and take its dinner money
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on 4 January 2004
You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge. With these words begins an album of lyrical, musical and political significance.Certainly this album is far from being a great album from the point of view of its musical prowess, but its caustic melodies and dark pessimistic lyrics, conjured up the spirit of the time and gave the weakest in society a voice. In effect Straight outta Compton is the most influential collection of songs in the history of rap and that genre which we know today grew from its foundations.
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on 2 December 2015
I've got this item on CD and its an excellent album. Can't believe that its over 20 years now and first had this album on cassette.
Pure history and shows where Cube, Dre, Eazy and the others came through and their struggles.
Defo worth buying this if your into hip or gangta rap!
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on 13 November 2015
Not usually a fan of this type of music but this is a classic album of its genre and there are some stomping tracks once one ignores the explicit language - if you can't then this isn't the album for you .
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on 19 February 2015
This album contains 3 very good tracks in 'Straight Outta Compton', 'F- The Police' and 'Express Yourself' - and 1 good one in 'Gangsta Gangsta'. The rest of the tracks are OK but pretty skippable really. It's very much of it's time (late 80s) and is worth owning. This edition also contains bonus material and extended versions which might interest completists. Doesn't, in my opinion, compare to THE best Gansta Rap album of all time - 'OG' by Ice T, but is still up there simply because of the afore mentioned tracks.
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on 13 October 2015
Long time no hear, but as good as I remembered. Though this album reflects what was happening at the time the tracks still hold up well today.

My son loves it, and has now become quite the potty mouth.
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on 8 October 2013
what can one say--a dj friend played the "f@@k the police track and it put a smile on face--thinking thatll never get on british radio--and I was right!!! its good stuff but if you are offended by bad language then STILL BUY IT--and play very loud. todays rap sounds pale to this--and this is over 20yrs old !!!
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on 23 September 2002
"You are about to witness the strength of street knowledge"- and so begins rap's finest work...
At a time when rap consisted primarily of dispensible, comedic pap, two bands turned the genre on it's head. Whilst 'Public Enemy' produced three albums of sustained quality (before their shows degenerated into pantomime-esque theatrics), 'NWA' released only one truly great record. 'Straight Outta Compton' is indisputably the most important and most fully realised rap record ever made. The three chief protagonists (namely Eazy-E, Ice Cube and Dr Dre) all reached a creative peak during the recording of 'Compton'- and with production which rivals that of Public Enemy's "Bomb Squad", this is one of those rare albums which not only lives up to its hype, but far exceeds it. It is the 'Citizen Kane' of rap releases- original, immensely influential and still utterly fresh today.
The first three tracks in particular possess a potency rarely seen in rap. The violent, often crude lyrics are genuine, yet accessible. This is a record years ahead of its time, and one as important now as then- forget 'Nevermind', THIS is the record of the 90s- a cultural record, an album that defined for a generation an entire culture, a classic.
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