24. N.W.A. "Straight Outta Compton" (1988)
Producer: Dr. Dre, DJ Yella
Album: Straight Outta Compton
Label: Ruthless, Priority
Why haven't any of the great university marching bands attempted a rendition of "Straight Outta Compton?" Please don't tell us it's because it happens to be a song about the magnificent of the AK-47. It would be perfect for one of those big Southern state college bands, the ones with 300 people, that sometimes proffer crushing arrangements of Lil Scrappy songs.
The first apotheosis of Dre's production knowledge, "Straight Outta Compton" stacks percussive segments from at least five different works of funk-Ronnie Hudson, Wilson Pickett, Funkadelic, the Gap Band, and an obscure D.C. soul outfit called the Winstons—and yet it functions as a wholly cohesive attack: A cyclical typhoon of gutbucket drums and ungodly fanfare. Says Eazy: "Give a little gust of wind and I'm jetting, but leave a memory no one'll be forgetting." It's enough to give you visions of a N.W.A. halftime show.