August 8th marks the release date of two awesome, yet vastly different albums. On 8.8.88, N.W.A dropped Straight Outta Compton which, on the strength of its controversial west coast gangsta subject matter and raw energy, catapulted Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre into stardom and kick-started their rise to Hip Hop legends. Powered by its classic title track, “Straight Outta Compton” and the anthemic, highly controversial, and still topical “Fuck Tha Police”, the album went platinum at the time with little radio play, eventually amassing triple platinum sales.
On the strength of this album, the group became perhaps the most influential of all time, as evidenced by this “N.W.A. Flow Chart“, built by the folks at Medium.com. Ultimately, Straight Outta Compton solidified California as a musical force within Hip Hop and stands as N.W.A’s crowning achievement a full collective, as the unit would disband after touring for the album concluded.
‘Eazy is his name and the boy’s coming, STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON!’
Conversely, on 8.8.11 Jay-Z and Kanye West released a collaborative effort called Watch The Throne at the height of their respective popularity. The record touches many subjects including the fruits and burdens of success, Jay-Z’s thoughts on fatherhood, Kanye coping with being s a media villain, and of course, “Paris”. The duo’s vocals are backed by production from West himself, as well as standouts 88 Keys, RZA, and Swizz Beatz. Debuting at #1 on its way to platinum sales, the album produced several singles, including “Paris”, “Lift Off”, “Otis”, “H-A-M”, and the Grammy winning, “No Church In the Wild”.
For very different reasons, but with the common denominator of great music from Hip Hop giants, both albums proved to be very successful in their own rights. Accordingly, today we salute N.W.A as well as Jay-Z and Kanye West for their stellar contributions to Rap music.
‘Psycho, I’m liable to go Michael.
Take your pick: Jackson, Tyson, Jordan, Game 6. Ball so hard!’