Straight Outta Compton
Like only a very few, select musical acts, the hip-hop group N.W.A. burned very brightly and for a very short time. They created a single masterpiece, the album Straight Outta Compton (1988), and henceforth changed the way things were said and done. Dr. Dre created beats that were more than the simple two-four snaps used by Run-DMC, LL Cool J, and the Beastie Boys; they were musical. The title song has a tumbling quality, with a single syllable dangling off the edge of every line. It feels like a frantic chase. Then there's "F--k tha Police," a song that scared everyone when it was first spun. When was the last time music was truly frightening? A group like this deserves a powerful movie, and the one they got, F. Gary Gray's Straight Outta Compton, is almost, but not totally, there.