You’re probably thinking, now what are the odds of Wayne having three back to back West Coast classics occupy my 18, 19, and 20 favorite album of all time slots (with my known East Coast bias to boot)? Well, believe it, it’s 100% legit!!
Dope. Strong shock value. Controversial. Those three things come to mind immediately when I think of this album to this day, and it worked. Coming three years after the seminal “Straight Outta Compton” album (also after the “100 Miles & Runnin EP”) and with Ice Cube no longer part of the group, N.W.A. returned with a vengeance in 1991 with their last studio album, although it wasn’t referred to as such at the time. Although Eazy-E and MC Ren still delivered their signature lyrics (with a little more aggression this time around), the real star of this album is Dr. Dre’s production. In what would be a small bit of foreshadowing to “The Chronic” the next year, Dre continued to get better behind the boards, as his sound was as polished (and gangstafied) as ever on this album.
This album reads like the tale of two, as the first half was vintage N.W.A., hardcore to the bone, controversial as ever, and not caring what anyone thinks. The “Prelude” is one of the hardest intros to start an album, and from there you get straight classics in the form of “Real N***** Don’t Die”, “N***** 4 Life”, “Appetite For Destruction” (one of my favorite N.W.A. songs), “Alwayz Into Somethin”, and “Real N*****”.
Starting with the extreme storytelling vibes of “One Less B****”, then other cuts like "Findum, F***em, & Flee", and "She Swallowed It", the second half was controversial as hell and it clearly wasn’t for everyone. This portion more or less details their "adventures" with the opposite sex. Mostly due to the production and the sheer entertainment of the lyrics (that’s what it is at the end of the day), I can listen to it without taking it too seriously. It was also designed to make you laugh and your jaw drop at the same time. It succeeded with flying colors. Good thing a hardcore track like "Approach To Danger" and the sentimental "Dayz of Wayback" end this album of a high note, respectively. Even though this was the last N.W.A. album, they went out with a complete bang.
Rating- A newly awarded 5 stars. Had to go the full monty on this one.
5 favorite songs- Alwayz Into Somethin, Appetite For Destruction, Real N***** Don’t Die, Real N*****, & Approach to Danger