The Album Heard ‘Round the World: N.W.A’s Straight Outta Compton Turns 25-years Old

25 years ago yesterday, N.W.A released Straight Outta Compton and changed music forever. Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, MC Ren and DJ Yella brazenly said “F*ck The Police” (and the FBI took notice), weaved visceral tales of street life and introduced the city of Compton to the world. The Ruthless Records release (that’s been re-issued several times in all formats) also served as an introduction to Dallas, Texas MC pioneer The D.O.C., along with work from Electro-Hop titan Arabian Prince. With all due respect to Schoolly D, Ice-T and Just-Ice, this is the album that made Gangsta Rap a term used by people who had never cut a record back, driven through a ghetto or been wrongfully profiled by police. When people talk about 1988 being one of hip-hop’s most important years, this album towers as a true pillar of excellence, energy, edu-tainment.

Billboard did a track by track review of the landmark album, complete with videos of some classic songs, which you can find here and below, you can watch the unforgettable footage of Yo! MTV Raps where Fab 5 Freddie went to Compton to interview N.W.A., and gave much of the hip-hop world its first glimpse of South Central LA.  Related: How The West Was Won: An AFH Playlist Chronicling the Evolution of LA Hip-Hop (Audio)

What is your favorite song on Straight Outta Compton?