Straight Outta Compton has been on the tip of the nation’s tongue, since it debuted on August 17. After raking in over $170 million and debuting at number one for three weeks in a row the notorious group has maintained its media presence for various reasons. Whether you praise NWA for speaking out against police brutality or you shun them for their misogynistic lyrics, there is a lot to learn from the most dangerous group. Below are 5 lessons in street knowledge N.W.A has taught us in their song titles alone.
“Gangsta Gangsta”- Being assertive and confident is a key to success. NWA taught us this when they went head to head with the police at a concert in Detroit. Officers warned the crew not to perform their hit F— the police, due to its racially charged violent lyrics against authority. Luckily, the boys knew their rights and performed the hit anyway. While they were arrested and hit with a fine, it was a pivotal moment in Hip Hop.
“Fuck tha police”- There will always be someone who bets against you in life but you can’t let that stop you. For N.W.A MTV was another thorn in their side. N.W.A was initially rejected by MTV and had to fight to have their music video in rotation. The group’s persistence is what ultimately got their video air time, despite earlier reviews that their video was too violent. In reality, the group was simply reporting on the relationship between Black civilians and police in Compton, a reality that mainstream media neglected.
“Cash Money”- Financial Literacy is imperative for everyone. Ice Cube understood this concept when he walked away from a $75,000 check given to him by the group’s manager Jerry Hiller. Cube understood his worth and that he was being underpaid. He knew that in business and life that the first offer is not always the best offer.
“Express Yourself” – Expression is a powerful tool. You may never reach your fullest potential without exerting self-expression. N.W.A flourished by being genuine and encouraged others to do the same. During a time when the nation neglected Compton, N.W.A used their platform to encourage people to never be ashamed of who they are or where they come from.
“Alwayz Into Something”- Never keep all your eggs in one basket, most successful people have several sources of income. N.W.A patented this mantra. Easy E went from being the super star in the group to signing other big acts from Snoop Dog, Bones Thugs and Harmony and Tupac. Ice cube invested his money into TV and film, while Dr. Dre became the first billionaire in Hip Hop after selling his headphones Beats by Dre to Apple.