On August 8, 1988, N.W.A. released their debut studio album, 'Straight Outta Compton'.
The record went on to "change the face of music," B.J. Steiner writes in XXL Mag.
On tracks like 'F*** Tha Police', 'Gangsta Gangsta' and 'Express Yourself', 'Straight Outta Compton' challenged audiences with violent, profane street rap that caused controversy while generating huge sales: the album moved three million copies.
Here's the title track:
"'Gangsta rap' existed before N.W.A.," Steiner writes, "but they were the group that launched the music into the national consciousness and transformed it from nascent subgenre to a global phenomenon."
The album also introduced the world to Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, and Ice Cube, and shifted the balance of power in hip-hop from the East Coast to the West Coast.
When George was in L.A. last August, he took a trip to the City of Compton sign to pay tribute. Check that pic out below:
And for an excellent read on the formation of N.W.A. and the genesis of 'Straight Outta Compton', check out this 2008 piece by Terry McDermott for the L.A. Times.
It turns out it all started at a swap meet...