Spitting rhymes that precursor the #BlackLivesMatter Movement, N.W.A. was not afraid to unleash the ugly truth on police brutality. Their music was the voice of the people, giving fans a glimpse of America’s worst nightmare.
With the events in Ferguson and Baltimore acting as mirror images to L.A.’s tumultuous past, artists like Janelle Monae and Kendrick Lamar have stepped up to the plate and used their artistry to voice the pain of individuals that have been burdened by injustice.
Although the amount activism in hip-hop has unified both fans and artists, the culture has not seen a “keep it real” group since N.W.A.
While the shadow that the Compton-based group cast is prominent, people need that voice more than ever – a martyr who isn’t afraid to keep it real and unfiltered while maintaining mainstream success.
Coining their music as “reality rap,” N.W.A. invited hip-hop heads to see life beyond New York City’s five boroughs. Their willingness to share their encounters with police brutality made it easier for the group to connect with those who experienced the struggles of growing up in an area that was feared by most and respected by few. Songs like “Straight Outta Compton,” “F**k Tha Police,” “100 Miles,” and “Runnin’” allowed N.W.A. to encourage entire community remain strong while educating those unaware of the abuse.
The honesty and power behind the group’s lyrics marks the group as one-of-a-kind. Their contribution to music continues to be the voice against police brutality, and an inspiration for those who are speaking out against it.
With conscious hip-hop on the rise, the quest to fill the void left by N.W.A. has encouraged the culture to find someone voice the reality of the current generation, and solidified their spot as the originators of “reality rap.”
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