The course of not only hip-hop history but American music in general was changed 25 years ago today, when N.W.A.'s "Straight Outta Compton" was released on August 8, 1988. The album was revolutionary for it's no-holds-barred lyrics that epitomized the life of a street thug and created a new genre: Gangsta rap. The album and the group itself also helped put Compton, California, and perhaps the entire West Coast, on the map, although not neccesarily for the right reasons. It launched the careers of Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and Eazy-E. It drew the ire of police officers, the FBI and the Secret Service, labeling N.W.A. "The World's Most Dangerous Group." In short, for better or worse, it put the national spotlight on six black kids from South-Central LA who would've otherwise just been considered another statistic.
"Straight Outta Compton" is without a doubt one of the most influential rap albums ever, some would say the most influential.
Since "Fuck Tha Police" has gotten a little tired in the last 25 years, have a listen to another classic cut from the record, "Gangsta Gangsta." And just remember kids, it's not about a salary, it's all about reality.