I first learned of N.W.A. when they showed up on "MTV Raps" one afternoon. They hit the scene like a gut punch. They held nothing back and created the original "Gangster Rap" controversy that went right up to the White House.
The movie they just put out "Straight Outta Compton" is a pasteurized look at their history, but it still packs a punch. Thinking back on how many folks that condemned them and wanted them put in jail when the railed about police brutality ("F#ck the Police" — listen to it here) and talked about Rodney King is kind of shocking.
That was my biggest takeway from the film… just how far our culture has shifted to being open to their point of view. N.W.A., while mixing their message with violence and anger, hit a nerve that now rings true to many more people.
Here's a trailer for the movie:
And here's an interview with Ice Cube and his son who played him in the film: