One of music’s most provocative yet pivotal supergroups, N.W.A, found a new home in the nation’s capital. According to TIME, the Cali natives’ debut album, Straight Outta Compton, will be preserved in the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry.
The soundscape passed the establishment’s test of its cultural and historical depiction, especially in relation to the fabric of America and society’s handling of racial injustice, police brutality and the criminal justice system. The news site adds that in present time, 475 various recordings have been canonized within the index.
On August 8, 1988, N.W.A rocked not only the music industry, but the U.S. with their no-holds-barred lyrics. The soundscape, which was heavily written by Ice Cube and MC Ren, featured hit songs like “F**k tha Police,” “Express Yourself,” and the title track. The group’s rise to prominence was also depicted on the silver screen in 2015, directed by F. Gary Gray, and they were later inducted into the 2016 class of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ice Cube took it back to the early days of N.W.A, specifically the freedom they received by being honest within their lyrics. “It was always about free speech, being able to express yourself, whether people like it or not. That’s the great thing about being in this country, is to be able to speak your mind and not be censored,” he said.
Other classic melodies that made the cut include “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge, “Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland and The Wiz musical. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, shared the elation behind this year’s 25 inductees, Los Angeles Times reports. “This year’s exciting list gives us a full range of sound experiences,” Hayden said. “These sounds of the past enrich our understanding of the nation’s cultural history and our history in general.”