Following on from the remarkable success of the 2015 biopic blockbuster Straight Outta Compton with its honest representation of urban life in South Central Los Angeles during the late ’80s and following the lives of some of the luminaries who would emerge from the streets to go forward and influence hip-hop (and lives) forever — the official soundtrack will be released this week with the vinyl coming out towards the end of the month.
N.W.A’s 1988 original album Straight Outta Compton redefined the meaning of hip hop… It resulted in lyrics about the outlaw / gangsta lifestyle becoming the driving force.
The original album achieved triple platinum status (at a time before streaming and downloads) and achieved virtually no significant airplay or any major tour support. Yet it was not long before the N.W.A. crew and those associated with the project, such as Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, MC Ren and DJ Yella became household names.
And, of course, the N.W.A album launched the hard-as-nails and controversial ‘West Coast‘ sound which went on to dominate hip-hop for years to come.
The realistic/ antagonistic, sexual/ violent sounds of 21st century hip-hop can trace a common ancestry back thru-the-line to 1988 and the brutal ground attack launched by N.W.A Straight Outta Compton.
Priority Records released a 10th Anniversary Tribute album in 1998 Straight Outta Compton: 20th Anniversary Edition but this new 2016 soundtrack will definitely be fresh and exciting to a whole new generation.
We had a listen:
The album starts (as it should) with the banging N.W.A classic ‘Straight Outta Compton‘ — this is still so energetic. So rudimentary and essential.
“F*** Tha Police” 28 years on… yet this is still accurate (which is scary.)
The songs is, perhaps, even more relevant now — in 2016. The nation faces new and difficult questions about revelations that there are huge desparities between the percentages of black -v- white people shot dead by police whilst unarmed. (The shocking figures are as clear as daylight and it’s not too difficult to draw worrying conclusions.)
Funk and soul legends Parliament’s track ‘Flash Light‘ comes on strong on this OST album after the re-awakening of the funk-genre during 2015.
Now it’s OK to love juicy funk again… even if you’re a committed hip hop person. And this scratchy, wordy, plucky and audacious track is a great introduction into the authentic low-slung old-skool world with its great big bruising, belching bass lines and such sassy attitudes. Thank-funk that this piece was cool enough for the movie!
One of the remastered versions on the OST is ‘Express Yourself’ — which is still a song that fans don’t know too well.
It’s political as well as critical. And very positive indeed. It has a brassy sound and a motivating rhythm. And the Dr Dre’s rap focusses on the concept of “free expression” thus the ‘radio friendly’ tone (which seems ironic… but oh so smart.)
There is more funk to be heard on MC Ren’s ‘Quiet On Tha Set’ with extracts from “Funky Drummer” by James Brown— but mostly this is a fastball rap with some semi-accurate sampling that would soon appear less skilled when the Beastie Boys emerged about a year later.
The final track, ‘Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang‘ (Feat. Snoop Dogg) has classic simplicity. It is worth focusing on the Hispanic and Latin percussion influences here.
Although the voice of Snoop Dog is smoothly reassuring the whole sound will take your breath away. Yep! This is as breathy and swaying as the tallest palms on Redondo Beach.
This recording will be the essential companion piece to your DVD when you order it…
The songs still feel bold and influential and they possess that special nervous excitement that encourages, motivates and energises the spirit…
Yep, it’s true! They left a memory no one’ll be forgettin’
Words: @neilmach 2016 ©
The original soundtrack for the film, which was written and conducted by Joseph Trapanese will also be released this month: Pre Order here: Straight Outta Compton (Score)
Grab the Music From the Motion Picture here: Straight Outta Compton OST