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1
The 100 Best L.A. Rap Songs

95. World Class Wreckin Cru “Surgery” (1984)

Album: Single
Label: Kru-Cut Records
Producer: Lozno Williams

To understand “Surgery” you really need to look at the purple-tinted illustration that adorned the original 1984 Kru-Cut 12-inch, which sold 50,000 copies independently. Dr. Dre—outfitted in O.R. scrubs, a look that unfortunately didn’t catch on in Compton—performs a surgical procedure on a set of turntables, as a pair of assistants hand him necessary implements.

One guy offers a mixer, while a female nurse monitors an IV drip directly into the electronics of the turntable (you can hear the sound of that drip in the music). A man in a NASA suit observes them from behind glass, smoking a pipe. Not telling what’s in the pipe, but this was 1984, so use your imagination. The Wreckin’ Cru obviously did.

Even now, “Surgery” is still an admirably surreal piece of work. Surgery turned out to be the perfect metaphor for L.A. electro, because Dre’s cuts and production touches were the product of steady, precise handiwork, and yet you still felt like you were looking down at a pile of throbbing innards. No pop-locking in the ER!

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