Ten essential gangsta-rap albums

Straight Outta Compton Cover.jpg

Straight Outta Compton by N.W.A on Grooveshark

1. N.W.A -- Straight Outta Compton
Gangsta rap began with Straight Outta Compton, and in all likelihood, it will never be done more effectively. Besides the so-in-your-face-it's-subtle political message, the lyrics, anchored by heavyweights Ice Cube and Eazy-E, were so vicious and visceral, they were immediately captivating whether you loved or hated what they were saying. The impact of this album on hip-hop and America at large was monumental. The album was so popular, and perceived as so potentially corrupting, the American media had a full-blown moral panic attack. And this was the genius of the album: By representing the gang-filled parts of America that had been subjected to systemic neglect and urban decay, and causing such a stir that mainstream America couldn't help but take notice, voices for the marginalized poor gained an economic foothold in our primarily capitalist society and thus gained some measure of power -- which, despite being compromised by the consolidation of the music industry, has yet to be relinquished.





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51 comments
Jamie Nershi
Jamie Nershi

Not mr coors light slash are we there yet

Stan Salazar
Stan Salazar

The one who died first. Easy E exempt because he died from aids.

Lee Edward Miller
Lee Edward Miller

Where the hell is Body Count. They got a nationwide ban for what they spit.

Eli Baca
Eli Baca

Raekwon!! son no doubt and the entire clan

Sterling Meeks
Sterling Meeks

Exactly. It's proto-BLipster garbage masquerading as "underground hip hop."

dmc_1976
dmc_1976

Um how about Ice-T, Schooly-D, or Too $hort?

Christian Anthony Martinez
Christian Anthony Martinez

I agree no BDP and the list should have included Spice 1. Also could have 2nd 2 None or Compton's Most Wanted but hey it is Denver Westword

Sean Dolan
Sean Dolan

Geto Boys just cause it's so dammed funny

David Dinsmore
David Dinsmore

BDP is not gangsta rap. Great list otherwise, thanks.

Brendan Flynn
Brendan Flynn

when are you going to get over your rap obsession and do a list of essential death metal albums or somethin? tired of rap

Jm Martinez
Jm Martinez

Death certificate need to be in too three!

Tyler Wood
Tyler Wood

thanks for your educated opinion on gangster rap, Denver alternative weekly newspaper Denver Westword

Dana Trujillo
Dana Trujillo

I do t know I'd 2 live crew was considered gangsta rap, it was definitely during the NWA era right. And any Cypress Hill was great.

oleinikgleb7
oleinikgleb7

"There will probably never be another rapper who can paint such violent and downright offensive material with such cartoonish charisma as Eazy-E" couldn't have said it better. The writer knows his shit. Great list!

Resse3
Resse3

Finally a Westword Hip-Hop writer that has good taste in music!! AND is knowledgeable! Damn.. it's been a long time coming!

virgil1
virgil1

I'd say that Boogie Down Productions wasn't a gangsta rap album. I'd say that you are missing DJ Quik "Quik is the Name". And before you put Scarface on there, you should have put Geto Boys. other honorable mentions include Notorious BIG, Too $hort, Warren G, and you have to mention the D.O.C. as he wrote a lot of the best gangsta rap songs out there. 

dmc_1976
dmc_1976

Bro... listen to '6 in tha Mornin' and wake up.

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