🎵 How Good Are They Really 🎵 N.W.A./Dr. Dre

Good morning and welcome to the first installment of an exciting week of HGATR double bills!

Orbital score well:

Leaderboard
Artist Rating
Aretha Franklin 4.64
Nina Simone 4.57
A Tribe Called Quest 4.56
Kraftwerk 4.50
Neil Young 4.48
Miles Davis 4.42
Alice Coltrane 4.42
Talking Heads 4.39
R.E.M. 4.38
John Coltrane 4.37
Beastie Boys 4.36
Otis Redding 4.34
The Velvet Underground 4.33
David Bowie 4.31
The Beatles 4.31
Pixies 4.30
Leonard Cohen 4.30
The Cure 4.28
Boards Of Canada 4.28
Björk 4.27
Mogwai 4.24
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds 4.22
Marvin Gaye 4.21
Tom Waits 4.20
Aphex Twin 4.18
PJ Harvey 4.17
Stevie Wonder 4.17
Nirvana 4.15
Joy Division 4.15
Radiohead 4.13
The Supremes 4.13
Pavement 4.12
Prince 4.11
Wu-Tang Clan 4.11
Cocteau Twins 4.11
Orbital 4.11
Nick Drake 4.10
De La Soul 4.10
The Stooges 4.10
Elliott Smith 4.09
Yo La Tengo 4.09
Pulp 4.08
Public Enemy 4.08
Sonic Youth 4.08
Sleater-Kinney 4.08
Kate Bush 4.07
OutKast 4.07
Portishead 4.03
Super Furry Animals 4.03
Black Sabbath 4.03
Simon & Garfunkel 4.02
Joanna Newsom 4.02
MF DOOM 4.01
Sufjan Stevens 4.01
The Knife 4.01
Run The Jewels 4.00
Sharon Van Etten 4.00
New Order 3.99
Bob Dylan 3.97
Kendrick Lamar 3.97
Low 3.96
Robyn 3.96
Grandaddy 3.96
The Beach Boys 3.93
Jimi Hendrix 3.93
LCD Soundsystem 3.92
Joni Mitchell 3.89
Massive Attack 3.89
Frank Ocean 3.86
Spiritualized 3.85
Bruce Springsteen 3.84
Deftones 3.84
Siouxsie & The Banshees 3.83
Underworld 3.82
The Kinks 3.82
At The Drive-In 3.82
Guided By Voices 3.82
The Clash 3.77
Dolly Parton 3.77
Pet Shop Boys 3.76
Modest Mouse 3.76
Blondie 3.73
Bright Eyes 3.71
Rage Against The Machine 3.71
The National 3.68
Paul Simon 3.68
The Ramones 3.67
Spacemen 3 3.67
ABBA 3.66
Kanye West 3.65
Arcade Fire 3.64
Mercury Rev 3.63
Blur 3.61
The Magnetic Fields 3.61
Beck 3.59
Elvis Costello 3.59
The Smiths 3.57
Beyoncé 3.54
Yeah Yeah Yeahs 3.54
Eels 3.52
Carly Rae Jepsen 3.51
Daft Punk 3.50
The Chemical Brothers 3.49
Bob Marley & The Wailers 3.48
Jeff Buckley 3.47
The Flaming Lips 3.46
Hot Chip 3.44
Idlewild 3.42
George Michael 3.41
Madonna 3.40
Manic Street Preachers 3.39
Fleetwood Mac 3.39
Queens Of The Stone Age 3.39
Big Thief 3.39
The Postal Service 3.38
The Notorious B.I.G. 3.37
TV On The Radio 3.37
Toots & The Maytals 3.35
The White Stripes 3.34
Supergrass 3.32
Hole 3.31
Squarepusher 3.31
Iggy Pop 3.31
The Smashing Pumpkins 3.30
Suede 3.30
Steely Dan 3.29
Elton John 3.28
The Pogues 3.28
Kylie Minogue 3.27
The Specials 3.26
Vampire Weekend 3.26
Doves 3.26
Death Cab For Cutie 3.24
James Brown 3.23
Sugababes 3.22
Thin Lizzy 3.22
Hall & Oates 3.21
Rihanna 3.19
The Prodigy 3.18
Led Zeppelin 3.16
Ash 3.16
The Streets 3.16
Pink Floyd 3.15
Pearl Jam 3.15
Taylor Swift 3.14
Jay-Z 3.14
Arctic Monkeys 3.14
Goldfrapp 3.14
Interpol 3.12
TLC 3.12
Lana Del Rey 3.11
Los Campesinos! 3.10
The Rolling Stones 3.09
Iron Maiden 3.06
Placebo 3.06
The Charlatans 3.06
Destiny’s Child 3.05
Primal Scream 3.04
The Divine Comedy 3.04
The Strokes 3.03
Elvis Presley 3.02
AC/DC 3.00
The Bee Gees 2.99
Weezer 2.97
Amy Winehouse 2.95
Girls Aloud 2.93
Frank Sinatra 2.92
2Pac 2.91
Elbow 2.91
The Stone Roses 2.90
The Doors 2.89
Franz Ferdinand 2.89
The Mars Volta 2.89
Ariana Grande 2.88
Tool 2.88
Lizzo 2.86
Belle And Sebastian 2.85
Britney Spears 2.85
Metallica 2.81
Green Day 2.81
Madness 2.80
Slipknot 2.80
The Jam 2.75
Basement Jaxx 2.75
Oasis 2.71
Whitney Houston 2.69
The Verve 2.67
Slayer 2.65
The Sex Pistols 2.63
Lady Gaga 2.61
Queen 2.60
Billy Joel 2.57
Foo Fighters 2.57
U2 2.55
My Chemical Romance 2.54
Justin Timberlake 2.52
Biffy Clyro 2.48
Dire Straits 2.43
The Beautiful South 2.43
Meat Loaf 2.43
Bloc Party 2.41
Cher 2.40
Michael Jackson 2.39
Eminem 2.38
Mariah Carey 2.32
Coldplay 2.31
IDLES 2.29
Rancid 2.26
Guns N’ Roses 2.26
The Killers 2.22
The Who 2.22
Blink-182 2.21
Muse 2.20
Robbie Williams 2.20
Katy Perry 2.18
Bon Jovi 2.11
No Doubt 2.10
Christina Aguilera 2.09
The Offspring 2.08
Moby 2.06
Adele 2.05
Kings Of Leon 2.01
The Libertines 1.99
Red Hot Chili Peppers 1.90
The Spice Girls 1.81
Stereophonics 1.74
Kasabian 1.57

Today’s subjects…

N.W.A.

image

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

0 voters

DR. DRE

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

0 voters

1 Like

N.W.A. ALBUMS

  • Straight Outta Compton
  • Efil4zaggin

0 voters

N.W.A. SINGLES

  • Panic Zone
  • Straight Outta Compton
  • Gangsta Gangsta
  • Express Yourself
  • 100 Miles And Runnin
  • Alwayz Into Somethin
  • Appetite For Destruction
  • The Dayz Of Wayback
  • Chin Check

0 voters

DR. DRE ALBUMS

  • The Chronic
  • 2001
  • Compton

0 voters

DR. DRE SINGLES

  • Deep Cover
  • Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang
  • Fuck Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)
  • Let Me Ride
  • Natural Born Killaz
  • Keep Their Heads Ringin’
  • Been There, Done That
  • Zoom
  • Still D.R.E.
  • Forgot About Dre
  • The Next Episode
  • The Watcher
  • The Wash
  • Bad Intentions
  • Kush
  • I Need A Doctor
  • Talking To My Diary
  • Talk About It

0 voters

:raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed:
:raised_hand_with_fingers_splayed:

2 Likes

remember being properly blown away by this lyric as a youth

This is a gang, and I’m in it
My man Dre’ll fuck you up in a minute
With a right, left, right, left you toothless
And then you say goddamn they ruthless

pretty sure the first time I heard SOC was through my mate Tim’s boom box at the skate park, the idea of that makes my whole body cringe

5 Likes

I just want say thanks to @Funkhouser because he clearly did not forget about Dre.

17 Likes

This is possibly the hardest one to score yet. First half of SOC is incendiary and the title track is one of the greatest songs of all time, but the second half is largely shite. Would probably rate them a 3 accordingly but it feels weird giving one of the most influential hip-hop acts of all time an average score.

Abstaining from Dr. Dre because of the horrible things he has done as a person, but worth noting that despite some incredible singles none of his albums are filler-free. Both The Chronic and 2001 are fairly overrated (I dont really know how Compton is rated).

Are we getting an Ice Cube poll on a different occasion or can we stick one in here?

3 Likes

Struggling with this element a bit. I’m not a big fan of gangsta stuff, and I don’t like G-Funk at all, so yeah, massively influential and more or less wrenched a whole genre onto a different course, but not one I enjoyed. This is one where my subjective view of the music would score a lot less than an objective view of their place in history.

That said, it’s impossible to deny the visceral thrill of Straight Outta Compton or Fuck Tha Police, plus 100 Miles And Running is a banger, so in conclusion I don’t know.

4 Likes

Gonna take Dr. Dre for his production work as well as his own LPs and it’s a 5/5. The man’s beats still sound so good, they set the benchmark for rap production. The albums are classics for the way they sound, and for their highlights, if not necessarily the back to back quality of the tracks. Doggystyle is the real masterpiece of production. From 1986 to about 2004 there’s so much gold, I mean, the list could go on forever, there’s dozens of incredible tracks

The Firm: The Album - Phone Tap - YouTube

Gonna give NWA a 4/5. Obviously it’s a 5/5 for influence, the best tracks are 10/5, but I think Straight Outta Compton is one of the most overrated hip hop albums in history. Short and patchy, with incredible highlights. Niggaz4Life is pretty underrated due to be completely depraved, but going on the music I don’t really feel I can give them a perfect score. Lots of great stuff though:

3 Likes

Ice Cube is a 5/5.

6 Likes

Horrible person, large percentage of his music is shit.

1/5.

1 Like

Gone for a 3 for NWA and a 4 for Dre.

Recognise the impact and the legacy, barely ever actually listen to NWA though and Dre’s production is largely on stuff I’m not fussed about either. I’m not a West Side guy really.

My fave NWA adjacent track

1 Like

4s!

Yea, not sure with this. N.W.A are obviously incredibly important but those alums aren’t that good.

Dre is an amazing producer but his albums are patchy as hell but the highs are so high.

One of my favorite memories from backpacking was in a locals nightclub in Ecuador, the DJ played the Next Episode and the crowd went nuts and the entire club stopping in their tracks, throwing their hands in the air and singing “Smoke weed every day” at the end was as funny as it was heartwarming.

TL;DR.
I don’t know.

3 Likes

Helped launch Kendrick so worth a point for that alone really

Doesn’t look like this thread is going to gain much traction

Yeah. Both NWA and Dre are more than valid entrants but feels like there’s not much beyond to say beyond “hugely influential and important but don’t actually listen to them that often”

1 Like

When I was 19 and moved out of home for the first time a mate called round in the afternoon and had a record shop bag with him. He’d bought the import vinyl of Straight Outta Compton. Like the kind of circles you move in at that age a few more mates called round 3 or 4 of us I forget but we put the record on my turntable.

… and I will really never forget the first three tracks of the record, the impact, like an explosion. Sure, we’d heard Public Enemy and they in many ways are better but NWA were pushing open the final door, not pushing it, kicking it off its hinges. We listened, gobsmacked. Like a first viewing of Reservoir Dogs or something this felt like it was going into new territory, going further than anything before it. Feels quaint to call it shocking now, but I guess it was, shocking and thrilling to paint that imagery with sound, so stark and clear.

Straight Outta Compton does, unfortunately fall flat and cannot maintain that explosive run of the first three tracks. the album doesn’t become a dud, but they cannot keep that pace and power up. I don’t know why. Despite this it is a Classic album as its peaks are so bold.

Their 2nd album was delayed or banned for a while I recall. I found a copy on import in the Plastic Factory in Birmingham for about £9 which was ludicrously expensive back then, but I had to buy it upon seeing it. The sound and production on that record was like nothing I’d heard before. Parallels with Rick Rubin and Slayer maybe but… better? Probably. Now the weird thing about Efil4zaggin is that it always felt like a Zappa record to me. It is so rich in sound and so dark in approach. The music in it is so well done. If do not take it at face value it is a great album. If you listen to what they are saying at face value unfortunately it is a masterclass in misogyny.

I read an interview with NWA in Sounds I think around this time and the interviewer said they were like a Hip Hop Sex Pistols, to which Eazy E replied, who are they, I always remember that and it made me feel they just made the records as they were records they were born to make. I like this in any artist, any genre, when you feel that.

I saw them live at a half full Birmingham Hummingbird right after Ice Cube left and Eazy E was so lost, barely rapped and just stood there looking lost giving t-shirts away from the stage, he looked afraid. Dre kept that show moving and it was the first time I realised he was the one pulling the strings.

The Chronic is, again, a Classic album, so dark and full of blunted attack. It’s nasty but it works. Dre on The Chronic really does play a key card with the introduction of Snoop Doggy Dogg. The first time I saw Snoop on a Dre video on MTV he was just standing there looking awkward for an age… then he started to rap and, well, Hip Hop changed again right there. The sound has barely dated at all.

This is repeated to an extent on 2001 but for me to a lesser extent and since then it feels like Dr Dre has faded into business from music a little but you’d never fully write off a real comeback. I have heard Compton (2015) but it feels a little flat and nowhere near as essential as the other records cited.

I’m going to go with a 4 for NWA and Dr Dre because there are flaws that cannot be ignored. If they (NWA or Dre solo) had given a little more thought to their construction and some seriously questionable content they’d be 5’s, there is real talent there for sure and at times they changed the boundaries which more artists should push towards.

12 Likes

Both would have probably been a 5 when I was a kid first getting into hip-hop but I don’t think their music has aged well apart from the production.

The whole G-Funk thing and Dre’s beats were loads better than most of the simple 808 sounds that were happening in the 80’s and really pushed the genre forward so Dre himself can have a 3/5 and NWA a 2/5

Ice Cube solo would be a 4 though. His first 3 albums are all bangers.