Straight Outta Compton, 20th Anniversary Edition | Ruthless/Priority
By BEN WESTHOFF  |  December 17, 2007
4.0 4.0 Stars
Twenty years later, Straight Outta Compton holds up better than most of the East Coast albums released around the same time, perhaps because it paved the way for the gangster stylings that inform the charts today. Dr. Dre’s production still sounds urgent, Eazy-E’s bravado is still unparalleled, and Ice Cube reminds us why he’s the best West Coast rapper ever to grab a mic. Nicely remastered, and boosted by covers (Snoop and C-Murder’s “Gangsta Gangsta” and WC’s “If It Ain’t Ruff” are especially good), the disc showcases a group who weren’t too far away from imploding. One wonders what Eazy must have thought about Dre’s self-empowerment track “Express Yourself,” in which he raps: “I still express, yo, I don’t smoke weed or sess. ’Cause it’s known to give a brother brain damage.” It’s a near miracle that these guys ever got together in the first place.
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