Today in Hip Hop History: Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton Album Cover

July 10, 1988

Legendary gangsta rap group N.W.A.​ released the lead single “Straight Outta Compton” from their debut album of the same name through Ruthless Records​ in 1988. The song contains 3 verses; the opening verse is rapped by Ice Cube​, MC Ren​ delivers the second, and Eazy-E​ the third.

The music video for the song features Dr Dre​, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, MC Ren, Krazy Dee, and DJ Yella. The video shows various parts of the city of Compton and it first aired in May 1989, directed by Rupert Wainwright. “Straight Outta Compton” was voted #19 on About.com’s Top 100 Rap Songs and ranked #6 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.

The album itself is widely considered the pioneering record of gangsta rap with its ever-present profanity and violent lyrics. It has had an enormous impact on the evolution of West Coast hip hop. In fact, there is now a film about N.W.A. of the same name set to be released this year. Straight Outta Compton has become a common phrase among hip hop culture; the major tropes in the song and video still remain relevant to this day.

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