N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton [Vinyl LP]
"Straight Outta Compton" created a revolution in gangsta rap; influencing countless acts to follow in its footsteps.
It's a common misconception to think that this was the first gangsta rap album ever. The album was originally released in 1988. Shocking narratives of ghetto street life were in full effect at this time, originally brought forth by Ice-T, and Schoolly D in 1987. But "Straight Outta Compton" is arguably the best when it comes down to history in the making. The stories held within are frightening, and riveting; thought provoking and unapologetic.
The album established gangsta rap — and, moreover, West Coast rap in general — as a commercial force, going platinum with no airplay and crossing over with shock-hungry white teenagers. Unlike Ice-T, there's little social criticism or reflection on the gangsta lifestyle; most of the record is about raising hell -- harassing women, driving drunk, shooting it out with cops and partygoers. All of that directionless rebellion and rage produces some of the most frightening, visceral moments in all of rap, especially the amazing opening trio of songs, which threaten to dwarf everything that follows.