Straight Outta Compton (OST)
The Sound of a Generation Comes Back to Scare Your Parents (Again)
By Guest Reviewer, the legendary Kriss Kinghts Esq.
So it turns out that in the 70s, 80s, and 90s the anti-establishment mob were right. The anarchists, the loony left, the ding-bat environmentalists, the counter-culture weirdos and raving conspiracy theorists. The UK was run by evil, corrupt, predatory perverts and malicious racists who had their tendrils buried deep into the core of many of the worst things happening in the world. We were kept in line by a police force made up of bigots, bullies and liars and relentlessly fed nonsense by a media run by millionaires protecting their own vested interests.
During this time the most exciting people continuing this country’s proud history of civil disobedience were musicians, poets and writers. The argument that music never changed anything is quacked out by the ignorant who don’t understand how humans work. Music adds steel and fire to mould a person and people make things happen.
In the US rap was doing what punk rock did here: chronicling the lives of normal people born into a poverty of someone else’s making and indifference. Victims cast as villains by their oppressors.
N.W.A’s take on hip hop was to add a ton of unrepentant aggression. The track Straight Outta Compton remains a thrillingly brutal piece of work. Even if you didn’t have a clue what they were going on about you could tune into the rage and defiance and in the video they look awesome. The 2015 N.W.A. biopic of the same name caught the exhilaration of the song and kept it going for over two hours. You left the cinema in a state of triumphant exhaustion. The casting is astonishing; O’Shea Jackson Jr is Ice Cube’s son and you recognise him as playing his dad instantly by the trademark indignant sneer. Jason Mitchell captures Eazy-E’s nuances right down to his occasionally buying into his own cartoon self. The provocations and ramifications of the Fuck tha Police track are spine tingling.
You possibly only need the soundtrack album if all this is entirely new to you or if you are the type of person who would like to play Funkadelic or Parliament at your pool party. The MC Ren fronted Quiet on the Set is a reminder of this underrated and sometimes overlooked rapper’s skills and you get a basic introduction to Cube and Dr Dre’s solo work. Mostly it will make you want to see the film again.
While in the UK our police seem more cuddly and accountable these days, in the US unarmed black men are still being murdered by cops. So while in 2015 N.W.A.’s unwelcome misogyny feels even more lazy and tiresome, their defiance remains disturbingly relevant.
1. N.W.A – STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON 04:17
2. PARLIAMENT – FLASH LIGHT 04:28
3. EAZY-E – WE WANT EAZY 05:00
4. N.W.A – GANGSTA GANGSTA 05:35
5. FUNKADELIC – (NOT JUST) KNEE DEEP 04:29
6. EAZY-E – THE BOYZ-N-THE HOOD 05:37
7. ROY AYERS UBIQUITY – EVERYBODY LOVES THE SUNSHINE 03:59
8. N.W.A – DOPEMAN 05:20
9. N.W.A – F*** THA POLICE 05:15
10. N.W.A – EXPRESS YOURSELF 04:23
11. STEVE ARRINGTON’S HALL OF FAME – WEAK AT THE KNEES 03:48
12. N.W.A – QUIET ON THA SET 03:57
13. N.W.A – 8 BALL 04:50
14. ICE CUBE – THE N**** YA LOVE TO HATE 03:13
15. N.W.A – REAL N***** 04:27
16. ICE CUBE – NO VASELINE 05:12
17. DR. DRE featuring SNOOP DOGG – NUTHIN’ BUT A “G” THANG 03:58
Released 8th January 2016
Dbl Vinyl – 22nd January 2016