By far the most inflammatory and controversial track on Straight Outta Compton was "F**k Tha Police," an angry response to racial profiling and police brutality. The song begins:
Comin' straight from the undergroundAllegedly inspired by a run in some group members had with the policy due to their drive-by paintball shootings, the song provoked FBI scrutiny of the band and their record label for seeming to endorse violence against police officers.
Young n***a got it bad cuz I'm brown
And not the other color so police think
They have the authority to kill a minority
F**k that shit, cuz I ain't tha one
For a punk muthaf**ka with a badge and a gun
To be beatin on, and throwin in jail
We could go toe to toe in the middle of a cell
F**kin' with me cuz I'm a teenager
With a little bit of gold and a pager
Searchin' my car, lookin for the product
Thinkin' every n***a is sellin' narcotics.
Also on the album was "Express Yourself," the one song to showcase Dr. Dre, who initially DJ'd for the group. (The video is here.) Perhaps ironically, Dre disparages smoking marijuana on the track, "cause its known to give a brother brain damage." Years later, however, Dre would celebrate drug use, and marijuana in particular, as a solo artist and record producer. His first solo album was titled The Chronic, and one follow-up, 2001 has a marijuana leaf emblazoned on the album cover.
While N.W.A. was relatively short-lived, it launched several highly successful rap careers. Not only did Dre record successful rap albums of his own, he co-founded Death Row records and discovered rap phenoms Snoop Dogg and Eminem, among others. Eazy-E, who is generally credited with bringing the group together, did not fare so well. His solo efforts exuded jealousy of his former colleagues' success, and he eventually died of AIDS in 1995.
Perhaps the most interesting post-N.W.A. career is that of Ice Cube, author or rapper of some of the group's most inflammatory and politically charged lyrics (including those from "F**k The Police"). He was the first to leave the group over a financial dispute. He then released controversial solo albums of his own, including AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted. Ice Cube subsequently went on to a successful acting career, starring in a wide range of films, including "Barbershop" and "Three Kings," as well as family-oriented fare, such as "Are We There Yet?" and "Are We Done Yet?" Its an interesting outcome for the man who recorded "F**k Tha Police" nearly twenty years ago.