Well saw ‘Straight outta Compton’ last night. An interesting look into American gang culture that showed the realities of Americas war on drugs and the rise of talented artists who tried to reflect the reality of ghetto life. Initially the release of NWA’s music was a shock for most fans of Hip Hop who had only heard a glimpse of this style with Schooly D.
Personally I am not a big fan of gangster rap but when it was released it was definitely a new wave of raw lyrics and talent. The last album I owned was Ice Cubes initial solo album ‘Americas most wanted’ and then my taste in music changed. The validation NWA gave to African Americans was huge, it showed their culture and attitudes. So many artists jumped on board from all parts of America. What drew me to Ice Cubes initial release was his collaboration with Public Enemy on ‘Burn Hollywood burn’ a really blasting track that helped bring change as the landscape changed to show African American heroes as opposed to minor roles.
I feel teenagers in Australia could never have related to the realities of American culture in regards to the ghettoes but what NWA brought to the table was the culture of music and rebellion. Anyone can relate to that if they are so inclined. I don’t feel that the level of violence and destruction was ever evident in Sydney as to the struggles in Compton. Anyone who was inclined to be violent was just going to be that way and how to deal with that was a separate problem but there isn’t the gun issue in Australia and there are only small pockets of problem areas. There are drug gangs in Sydney that are armed but they are in small pockets here and there normally shooting each other it isn’t endemic. Australia is a very safe country and I am glad we could use music culture as a way to rebel rather than through the absurdity of guns and violence. With NWA it was all about the music and even though it was not politically correct it was great to listen to.