Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Straight Outta Compton | OST Review

Straight Outta Compton (2015) is a biopic of one of the most influential hip hop groups of the late 80s/early 90s; N.W.A from Compton, California. 
I'm not going to lie to you, this has taken me a while to write, I have never reviewed or written about hip hop, so this is very out of my comfort zone! I've done a lot of research over the past couple of weeks about N.W.A and West Coast hip hop of the 80s, because I hardly knew anything about it! 
There was so much controversy surrounding the group as many felt their lyrics glamorised gangs, drugs and crime. As Ice Cube (played by O'Shea Jackson Jr. Ice Cube's son) says in the film, 'our art is a reflection of our reality', they wrote about what they saw and what went on in their neighbourhood. 
Top 3 Tracks of the OST
Everybody Loves the Sunshine (Roy Ayers)
Watching the film, listening to the soundtrack and researching NWA showed me that Dr Dre and the rest of the group took a lot of inspiration from all kinds of genres, including soul. One scene in the film shows Dre listening to Everybody Loves the Sunshine surrounded by records of singers such as Roy Ayers and James Brown. 
They used a lot of sampling in their tracks, you can tell how well thought out they were. Their song Express Yourself is a fine example, also the track Straight Outta Compton sampled many songs, but if you know The Funky Drummer by James Brown, you can instantly recognise the drum beat from it.

Express Yourself

As I've already mentioned, this samples Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band's Express Yourself. The song has no expletives in and gives a positive message about the freedom of expressing yourself. It is probably the most radio friendly track of theirs as it has next to no expletives in.

Fuck Tha Police
The film shows that this song was written after the group were standing outside of the recording studio and were harassed by cops. This was a common occurrence and this is shown in the film. The song expressed their feelings about being mistreated by the police force for being Black.
I feel the song is still very relevant today, look at the treatment of black people in America over the last couple of years, all I have to do is mention Eric Garner and Sandra Bland - two people who were said to have been mistreated by the police force. 

As said in the movie 'speak a little truth and people loose their minds', they were honest in everything they wrote and many disliked that. 
Overall I am so glad I was given the opportunity to listen to and review this soundtrack, I have learned so much about hip hop and safe to say I am now an N.W.A fan.
This year N.W.A will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and there are rumours the group will re-unite at Coachella, without Easy-E as he unfortunately passed away in 1995. 
Track listing 
  1. Straight Outta Compton - N.W.A.
  2. Flash Light - Parliament
  3. We Want Eazy - Eazy-E, MC Ren, Dr. Dre
  4. Gangsta Gangsta - N.W.A.
  5. (Not Just) Knee Deep - Funkadelic
  6. Boyz-N-The-Hood - Eazy-E
  7. Everybody Loves The Sunshine - Roy Ayers Ubiquity
  8. Dopeman - N.W.A.
  9. Fuck Tha Police - N.W.A.
  10. Express Yourself - N.W.A.
  11. Weak At The Knees - Steve Arrington
  12. Quiet On Tha Set - N.W.A.
  13. 8 Ball - N.W.A.
  14. The Nigga Ya Love To Hate - Ice Cube
  15. Real Niggaz - N.W.A.
  16. No Vaseline - Ice Cube
  17. Nuthin' But A "G" Thang - Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg

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