Artist: N.W.ATitle: The Best Of N.W.ARating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Sidik Fofana
A quick search on amazon.com will reveal that an N.W.A greatest hits CD has been done over a decade ago. So, to what do we owe this sudden Priority release? Dre is still gainfully employed off his Pro Tools. Cube is still living fruitfully off his Hollywood papa bear roles. MC Ren has been in the booth twenty or so years strong and Eazy is resting in peace, sipping all the forty drops that the homies poured out for him. Maybe The Best of N.W.A (Priority) is the result of secret contract loophole at Priority. One can only speculate.
When it comes down to the pecking order of emcees, the N.W.A members do not stand as the most complex. To put it bluntly, their lyrical content was all but satirical at times. On “Dopeman,” Eazy-E raps, “Police on my tail/ I don’t like jail/ Got a forty ounce in my lap and it’s cold as hell.” To the untrained ear, those words almost sound like a Saturday Night Live skit.
Even the platinum weaver himself, Dr. Dre was still somewhat in the cradle during N.W.A’s golden age. On songs like, “8-Ball,” he tends to favor the straightforward drum and bass approach and had not yet developped his affair with funk and Roger Troutman’s “Computer Love.”
Nonetheless, praise is due to N.W.A for being the esteemed pioneers that they are. As the C-section doctors of gangsta rap, N.W.A gave birth to a new gang culture curriculum. Whether it was west coast geography, “Straight Outta Compton,” reverse feminism, “A B*tch Iz A B*tch,” or anti-law enforcement 101, “F*ck Tha Police,” N.W.A put the angry black man’s mind on a platter and served it to greater America.
The beneficial thing about the The Best of N.W.A is that it also includes trac”s from the group’s later catalogue circa 1999. On “Chin Check,” NWA shows how it evolved from the chaotic drum-heavy hoodlum to the hydraulic Cadillacs and palm trees colored video star that get hoorahs in the boardroom today. Still, The Best of N.W.A blesses just Priority Records and not the average Hip-Hop consumers. Chances are if you have been an N.W.A fan before 2007, you already have a greatest hits CD. If you’ve been a fan from the jump, chances are you don’t need a NWA greatest hits CD. If neither case applies, here’s your chance to catch up.