They were labeled “The World’s Most Dangerous Group” and took to the title with their heads held high and their rhymes packed tight.
N.W.A. shifted the course of hip-hop and rap in the late 80s and on through the early 90s by giving outsiders a front-row view of street knowledge pulled straight from their personal realities.
Their 1988 debut, Straight Outta Compton put West Coast rap on the map and, now the Library of Congress announced the album as the latest sound selections headed for their National Recording Registry for preservation. The hardcore album, which regained popularity following the 2014 film Straight Outta Compton, is among the 25 historical recordings viewed as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” for the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution.
A taste of their influence and the controversy surrounding the album is documented in the below 1988 interview: