EWA100 - #50. N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton

50. N.W.A - Straight Outta Compton (Ruthless/Priority. 1988. From the LP Straight Outta Compton)

Mike Dikk: “Fuck Tha Police” had more of an impact on my young ears, but “Straight Outta Compton” was N.W.A’s calling card. I’ve already mentioned somewhere in this tome of nonsense that the members of N.W.A’s post-N.W.A output is actually better than anything they ever did in N.W.A (except for maybe Eazy-E), but EVERYONE remembers the first time they heard N.W.A.
I was playing outside one day, when the Portuguese fuckers across the street were blasting “Fuck Tha Police” on their boombox. It was a serious magical moment. Up until that point, I had never heard such a blatant disregard for authority. After that moment, I heard N.W.A’s anger being blasted out of anything that played music for weeks. They made some unknown town called Compton, California, sound like the scariest place on earth, and they made swearing a motherfuckin’ art form. Never in my life did I hear anyone swear that proficiently and frequently. It was like they had some kind of motherfucker quota to fill or else they’d get fired from the Motherfucker, Shit, Ass & Cocksucker factory.
I’m sure Raven will cover the subtle nuances of “Straight Outta Compton” and how it was one of the most realistic portraits ever painted of young angry, black men trapped in an environment they didn’t create, but I’d like to use this space to exorcise some of my Daddy issues.
My Mom and Dad had me when they were both fairly young. They married and divorced before I could even remember stuff. I didn’t meet my Dad until I was around 8-years-old. It was at someone’s funeral and he gave me a toy truck. After that, I’d see him on the weekend for about a year. He lived in a nice house with an ugly woman. At one point he even had a hot tub.
Then one day he stopped calling, and it was like "whatever" to me. I was young and my mom had other boyfriends that would humor me from time to time. Then when I was around 13, he wanted to start seeing me again. I think it was a ploy to get out of paying the child support that he wasn’t actually paying to begin with. He didn’t have a nice house anymore though. He lived in his mom’s basement and dated an even uglier woman.
I never thought of my Dad as a scumbag. Morally, yeah, I guess he was a scumbag, but he was pretty cool for a Dad. When I was 13, he was still in his early 30s and he was into video games and rap music and stuff. He would even let me borrow his CDs. He let me borrown that Monie Love CD with “Monie in the Middle” on it because I would have never actually bought that, and he had this weird YO! MTV Raps compilation that had a different version of “Children’s Story” on it where Slick Rick said “Dope Machinegun” instead of “Spankin’ Shotgun”. He had a Jeep with a Boomin’ System and everything, which I guess he could afford since he didn’t pay child support.
That second period of weekend visits lasted for around ten months. It was really awkward because I didn’t call him “Dad” or anything. He was just some dude who I had to hang out with on the weekends. Honestly, he just slept most of the time because he had a night job, and I’d play Super Nintendo on his giant TV that he got from Rent-A-Center.
Lucky for me, that ten month period of seeing my Dad was during Christmas and my birthday, so it was the only year I got presents from both my mom and my Dad. If I remember correctly, it was Christmas of 1991.
That was a big Christmas year for me because I just got a CD player, which was totally impractical, since I couldn’t afford $18 CDs. I made a list of the CDs I wanted that year and hung it up on the refrigerator for my mom. I even remember writing it in brown marker. Looking back at it, the list was pretty odd. I remember the following from that list: Digital Underground’s This is an EP Release (which I got), Del The Funkee Homosapian’s I Wish My Brother George Was Here (which I didn’t get), and Tung Twista’s Runnin’ Off At Da Mouth (so glad I didn’t get that).
Outside of that Digital Underground EP, my mom basically ignored the list. She went into a record store and asked someone what rap music is popular with the kids these days. The results were mixed. I ended up with Hammer’s 2 Legit 2 Quit. I would have ended up with N.W.A.’s Straight Outta Compton too if it wasn’t for my asshole dad.
Like I said, this was '91, going on '92. Straight Outta Compton was from 1988, so I already heard it around 7 million times at that point. It would have still been cool to have it on CD though, but my dad told my mom that the CD was too naughty for me, and he kept it for himself. I never understood why my Mom even listened to him, since my mom didn’t give a shit about what I listened to or what I watched on TV because she knew I was a smart kid who wouldn’t get into monkeyshines just because a movie or CD had too much swearing, and she also hated my Dad to begin with. I guess it was the promise of my Dad buying me another CD to replace the N.W.A CD that sold her on the idea of taking the fucking thing away from me.
Now I don’t know exactly which one of the CDs my dad bought me was the replacement for Straight Outta Compton, but it was between a bargain priced Third World CD (The “Bad Boys” guys for you dudes not down wit da sick riddims, mon), a bargain priced Rhythm Syndicate CD (WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?!), or The Fresh Prince’s Homebase. All if which, I would have traded just to have the CD case and liner notes to Straight Outta Compton.
In the end, I’ve come to the conclusion that my dad just wanted that CD for himself and figured he could pawn off some gay ass Rhythm Syndicate shit to me in return for depriving me the right to own one of the most seminal rap albums of my goddamn motherfucking generation. There are literally hundreds of reasons I could hate my dad, and this little incident ranks pretty high. I’m talking like top 5 all time Douche Move territory.
I ended up breaking things off with my dad in August of '92 because he wouldn’t buy me school clothes and my mom couldn’t afford to, since she had two other smaller kids to worry about. That probably ranks number one on the all time Douche Move list. I ended up trying to get in touch with him when I was around 19 because I was in a bad way and needed money, and figured I could grab a couple hundred off of him since he never paid child support anyway, but anytime I called his job, they said he wasn’t there. He wrote me a letter a couple months after that saying he didn’t have any money if that’s what I was looking for. That was in fact, what I was looking for, so I never tried to get in touch with him again. As far as I’m concerned, I never knew my Dad, motherfuck the fag (that was another CD I got that same Christmas from my uncle who is completely awesome).

Raven Mack: 9th grade was a defining year for me. It was the year I lost my virginity, in the third base dugout of my stupid high school with a redneck chick named Cindy. I was young and ain't know much of nothing and wasn't even hard but sort of squished it in and slid back and forth for a minute and it really really sucked because, from my previous reference of Hustler magazines under my dad's bed, I thought the hole for sticking it in was way up more to the front of the female body than kinda tucked up just underneath like it is. My 9th grade health class was awesome, because it was when we learned about sex education, towards the end of the year after I had already had some sex, and also three girls in our class were already out with babies from the start, plus one other girl was pregnant. Health/phys ed was the one class where the school must've been testing No Child Left Behind policy because there was no concern for keeping nerds sequestered amongst themselves safe from the more ruffian influences, which meant I was finally in a class with dudes I got high with after school. This one dude - a smooth-ass non-drug non-drinking but not-too-smart black dude named John - sat in front of me, so we'd bullshit pretty regularly, usually on a multi-cultural pussyhound exchange... I'd let him know which big bootied white chicks could be convince a black penis was not complete disavowment of their family tree, and he'd hip me to which sisters were less apt to have cousins try to shoot me for talking longhaired whiteboy weak-ass game on the down low.
I remember when N.W.A came out and me and some other whiteboys had already been hipped to it, because what self-respecting whiteboy doesn't love tales of murderous dick-wielding negroes in shiny cars? I asked my man John about it one day before class, because I think we were already on the subject of the amazing greatness of Big Daddy Kane, and I wondered what John thought about it. He shook his head and had this sheepish smile and said, "Man, those dudes are raw," and looked uncomfortable as if it was too much for him to really want to listen to, being a man who enjoyed vagina and good times and nice faded haircut from the barber shop on Virginia Street. And it's hard to think back on a time when every black dude didn't have the stereotype of being a coke dealer thug, but also didn't carry himself as such in an oversized white t-shirt with big square fake diamond earrings. N.W.A was crazy, and awesome, and also fucked everything up for everybody. Made white people stupider, and glorified the thug for black folks.
Still, this song being #50 and Dre finishing at #74, it's some west coast bias shit going on. Sometimes expert whiteboy analysis is too white. I'm a firm believer in the yin and yang of shit, and it's fairly easy of me to say that It Takes a Nation of Millions... and Straight Outta Compton would be that yin and yang of that time. And for me personally, I'd choose two or three songs over this one as my favorite off that album, but this was the first official single, so it fits the 100 Jamz criteria better I guess.

Download: N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton

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