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Released: January 10, 1989

Rating: 4.714 (average of 7 ratings)

Genre: rap > gangsta

Quotable: “Virtually all gangsta rap remains a response to or an elaboration of this one album” – Josh Tyrangiel and Alan Light, Time Magazine

Album Tracks:

  1. Straight Outta Compton
  2. Fuck tha Police
  3. Gangsta Gangsta
  4. If It Ain’t Ruff
  5. Parental Sicretion Iz Advised
  6. 8 ball
  7. Something Like That
  8. Express Yourself
  9. Compton’s in the House
  10. I Ain’t tha 1
  11. Dopeman
  12. Quiet on tha Set
  13. Something 2 Dance 2

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 2.0
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 2.0


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 37
peak on U.K. album chart 41

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Gangsta, Gangsta (3/25/89) #70 UK, #91 RB
  • Express Yourself (8/5/89) #26 UK, #45 RB

Notes:Straight Outta Compton was released in an edited version with all of the profanity removed, and instead changed around so that the album became a parody of edited albums by using hilariously silly replacements for swears and graphic descriptions.” AH


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame/NARM’s Definitive Albums Spin Magazine’s 100 Greatest Albums Spin magazine – album of the year One of Time Magazine’s All-TIME 100 Albums. One of VH1’s 100 Greatest Rock & Roll Albums of All Time.

Straight Outta Compton
Straight Outta Compton “is one of the most seminal albums in the history of rap and greatly influenced countless gangsta rappers.” AH “N.W.A didn’t invent gangsta rap – Ice-T and Schooly D had already embraced first-person narratives focusing on the harsh realities of ghetto life – but the L.A. group made it even more violent.” AH As a result, N.W.A’s “unapologetically frightening” AH Straight Outta Compton “was the hip-hop shot heard ‘round the world.” TL

“N.W.A’s name – that’s short for ‘Niggaz with Attitude,’ in case you forgot – was the first sign that this was no ordinary group.” TL They “took listeners on an arresting journey through L.A.’s tough Compton ghetto. Critics of this highly controversial album contended that N.W.A was glamorizing Black-on-Black crime – the rappers countered that they weren’t encouraging violence, but rather were presenting an audio documentary of life as they knew it growing up in Compton.” AH

The album is awash with “wicked rhymes by Ice Cube” DC with his “unflinching ghetto reportage.” TL There’s also the “jittery, cinematic production” TL “courtesy Dr. Dre,” DC “group founder Eazy-E’s oddly menacing high-pitched snarl, and support from MC Ren and DJ Yella.” TL “It made for a true gang-bangin’ all-star team.” TL

It all comes “barreling into your face, just daring you to ignore the streets of Compton (or any American city) even one day longer.” DC “From Fuck tha Police (which earned them a warning letter from the FBI),” TL “to the angry, unflinching realism of Gangsta Gangsta, to the pro-free speech Express Yourself, this is slammin' and ruthless.” DC

“Almost twenty years later, virtually all gangsta rap remains a response to or an elaboration of this one album.” TL Unfortunately, the genre would “subsequently…be plagued by numerous soundalike MCs who lacked even a fraction of N.W.A or Ice-T’s originality. But in the innovative hands of N.W.A., it was bold, inspired and arresting.” AH

Review Source(s):

Last updated March 15, 2010.