Friday, August 28, 2015

Running Straight Outta Compton from the Violence

"Straight Outta Compton" is a song sung by an American hip-hop group named N.W.A. The group originally consisted of Dr. Dre, Eazy-E and Ice Cube. However, DJ Yella and MC Ren joined later. Their album, released in 1989, sold 750,000 copies before they ever went on tour. N.W.A. uses a lot of profanity in their music. On average, their songs contain 32 profane words. "Straight Outta Compton" contains 34. Today, profanity is being used more and more in everyday music, especially in rap music. Surprisingly, there were fewer curse words in music in the late 80’s and early 90’s than in today’s music. There are a variety of references to violence and crime in the song as well. Because of this, Straight Outta Compton was one of the first albums to use the “Parental Advisory” sticker.

"Straight Outta Compton" is a song documenting the ups and down of gang life in a low income community. The artists present their view of life from living in a ghetto. In one line Ice Cube says, “When I’m called off I got the sawed off, squeeze the trigger and the bodies are hauled off.” Here he references gang life in late 1980’s Compton, California. He is saying gang members are willing to back up other gang members even if it means killing some people. Currently there are gang issues in Pilson and the Little Village area. There are many known Latin Kings members in Little Village, making it a very dangerous place. In ghettos and very low-income neighborhoods there tends to be more crime, violence and gang activity. Later on in N.W.A.’s song, MC Ren references burglary and weaponry in two lines, he says “Just like burglary, the definition is ‘jackin’ and when illegally armed it’s called ‘packin’.” Both of these are very common themes throughout N.W.A.’s songs but also in the news today. However, gun violence has dropped 48% since 1993 (4 years after N.W.A.’s album release).

1 comment:

  1. Great group and analysis. I think my favorite part was that even though its an older song you still connect it to a modern setting keeping its relativity.