Since the N.W.A biopic “Straight Outta Compton” debuted in theaters two weeks ago, it’s triggered a ripple of surprising consequences. First, Dr. Dre released a whole album inspired by the flick, then he (finally) issued an apology to Dee Barnes and “the women [he’s] hurt,” and then came news of other rappers planning their own big-screen origin stories.
And in another astonishing aftershock, the increased interest in N.W.A has now translated into unprecedented — and long overdue — chart success for the group that originally changed the rap world almost three decades ago.
The movie’s title cut, “Straight Outta Compton,” shot to No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, giving the group their first-ever Top 40 hit and earning the “Hot Shot Debut” tag. The track was originally released as a single in July 1988, a whole 27 years ago.
Aside from the song, N.W.A’s album of the same name is currently sitting at number four on the Billboard 200 albums chart, while Dr. Dre’s Compton holds the third spot.
Shockingly, the group never had a single break into the Hot 100 during their original run, even though Straight Outta Compton sold three million albums and their sophomore LP, Efil4zaggin, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. However, that has less to do with N.W.A’s influence and popularity, and more with radio stations’ hesitation at the time to play their explicit singles. Finally, it seems, the World’s Most Dangerous Group is getting their due.