Why N.W.A's Rock Hall Induction Salutes the Spirit of Rule-Breaking

Started by Ordinary Joel, Dec 18, 2015, in Music Add to Reading List

  1. Ordinary Joel
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    Ordinary Joel Found a new way to flow

    Dec 18, 2015
    Article Source: Billboard - http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/6813558/nwa-rock-roll-hall-induction

    12/17/2015 by Adelle Platon

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    N.W.A. photographed circa 1990.
    JEFF KRAVITZ/FILMMAGIC

    In 1988, history was made. N.W.A, the badass MCs from Compton also known as N——z Wit Attitude — comprised of Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, DJ Yella and the late Eazy-E -- kicked down the door to suburban Middle America with their politically charged debut full-length Straight Outta Compton. Gritty. Uncensored. No f—-s given. Gangsta rap had officially arrived.

    N.W.A’s bars took the First Amendment and ran with it, especially with the protest anthem "F--- Tha Police." At their 1989 show in Detroit, the city’s police department showed up to the arena with the intent of arresting them on stage andwound up cuffing them in their hotel lobby after. The FBI even targeted the Ruthless rappers, sending a warning letter to Priority Records, which housed N.W.A’s music, in the midst of the media storm surrounding the controversial track.

    Years after the group split in 1992, N.W.A is (finally) being formally recognized for their trailblazing efforts. Their recent induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame isn’t just a good look for rap (they’re the only genre reps in this year’s class of rock/pop veterans, which includes Cheap Trick, Chicago, Steve Miller and Deep Purple). It’s also confirmation that the Compton crew was on to something. Millennial rap hero Kendrick Lamar — whose song “Alright” became the unofficial anthem for the Black Lives Matter movement — paid homage to his hometown heroes and their honesty in Straight Outta Compton in a Billboard cover story earlier this year. “N.W.A did a lot more than entertain,” Lamar said in the story where he interviewed Dre, Yella, Ren and Cube. "They told the truth.”



    The gangsta rap pioneers spit -- sometimes screamed -- their truth. Their personal tales of street violence, their controversial perception of women (See: “ A b---- Iz A b----”) and their feelings about the men in blue were presented unapologetically. Even their wardrobe -- a mostly black ensemble topped with L.A. Raiders and Kings caps and heavy gold chains — became a fashion statement mimicked by their fans, which ranged from hardcore hip hop heads in American cities to a growing group of bored middle class suburban rap fans who were drawn to that gritty realness and “truth” that Lamar spoke about.

    In many ways, their album also served as a prelude to the madness of the 1992 L.A. riots that broke out following the acquittal of four LAPD officers who caught on videotape beating Rodney King. Despite the negative headlines that pervade the group's legacy (Dr. Dre’s alleged past abuse with women, the fallout with Eazy-E before his death from AIDS in 1995), their stories from the ‘hood rang louder than the cop sirens, at a time when pop was the hustle for most rappers to chase.

    The blockbuster movie Straight Outta Compton also helped solidify the group’s rock stardom this year. The big-screen biopic appealed to old school fans and N.W.A newbs alike (though the motion picture received heavy criticism for omitting Dre’s abuse allegations). Even their solo careers post-N.W.A, especially Cube and Dre, injected hip-hop's DNA with the unfiltered aggression later heard in Snoop Dogg, the late Tupac, Eminem, 50 Cent and the aforementioned K.Dot. Rock n' roll was founded on breaking the rules, and N.W.A has never been the type to follow.
     
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  2. Tone Riggz
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    Tone Riggz There's No Cure For Being A C*nt

    Dec 18, 2015
    It seems all part of some elaborate plan. Movie comes out, Dre releases "Compton" and now they're in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. I'm not saying they shouldn't be in it, but it all seems orchestrated.
     
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  3. Ricky
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    Ricky HIP-HOP CEO ™

    Dec 18, 2015
    Well deserved. Congratulations to the world's most dangerous group. :emoji_100:
     
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  4. Mike02
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    Dec 18, 2015
    I totally agree. There's no way they go in if it wasn't for that movie. I agree they were pioneers of gangsta rap but did they ever even have a hit record? Their most popular song is f--- The Police. Dre and Cube were much more successful as solo artists than NWA ever was as a group.
     
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  5. Ordinary Joel
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    Ordinary Joel Found a new way to flow

    Dec 18, 2015
    Straight Outta Compton and f--- Tha Police were their two biggest records.
     
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  6. kcsongi
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    kcsongi Aftermath Gets The Last Laugh!

    Dec 19, 2015
    and 'Express Yourself'
     
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  7. Charlie Work
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    Charlie Work Level 5 Goblin

    Dec 19, 2015
    A week before release of the 2015 biopic film Straight Outta Compton, the album re-entered the Billboard 200 at number 173; a couple of weeks later it rose to number 30 due to the popularity of the film, surpassing its original peak position back in 1989 when it peaked at number 37.
     
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