Editors’ Notes Straight Outta Compton booms with an energy so palpable and raw, no one is spared from its concussive buckshot. Dr. Dre builds upon Public Enemy’s sound-bombing template, adding live guitar to form a seamless, rhythmic whole. Ice Cube and MC Ren paint vivid scenes overlooked by the nightly news, while Eazy-E is cold-blooded in voice and command. While the album has its critics—“Gangsta Gangsta” was condemned for its nihilism, and the F.B.I. launched an inquiry over “Fuck Tha Police”—it’s also a thrilling, unforgettable ride that changed the course of rap music.

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