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POP MUSIC | Album Review

Rappers Pay a Powerful Tribute to N.W.A's Seminal Recording

*** VARIOUS ARTISTS "N.W.A Straight Outta Compton 10th Anniversary Tribute" Priority

November 29, 1998|SOREN BAKER

Arguably the most influential rap record of all time, N.W.A's "Straight Outta Compton" is still as relevant today as when it came out 10 years ago. Pop music heavyweights such as Master P's No Limit Family, Mack 10 and scores of others are direct descendants of the landmark crew and have recycled the themes and story lines contained in the revolutionary collection.

N.W.A members Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, MC Ren and Yella popularized the violent, profane, sexually explicit style of rap that others, such as Schoolly D had pioneered. On this tribute album, artists such as Snoop Dogg, Silkk the Shocker and Big Punisher cover most of the songs included on the original. As enjoyable as the results are, some of the lesser-known rappers featured here lack the vocal charisma or intensity the members of N.W.A displayed a decade ago. Still, several of the treatments match the brute force of the originals. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony slows down its rapid-fire flows on the anthemic "---- Tha Police," while Westside Connection member WC adds his gritty flair to "If It Ain't Ruff."

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless otherwise noted.

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