Among many other things, NWA forced “a major [music] industry rethinking of consumer taste patterns” (83).


Reading/Viewing Guide

“The Day the Niggaz Took Over” appeared on Dr. Dre’s first solo album, The Chronic, which is easily one of the most influential albums in rap history. The album is credited with inaugurating the G-funk  style, turning gangsta into rap’s most dominant sub-genre, and pushing into the background the earlier, “conscious” rap of groups like KRS-One and Public Enemy.

But the history is not quite so simple. Matthew McDaniels’s Birth of a Nation 4*29*1992 is a 60-minute documentary about the Black community’s responses to the acquittal of the LAPD officers who beat Rodney King. “The Day the Niggaz Took Over” opens by sampling angry voices from these protests,  which link the “riots” to the wider tradition of the African American Freedom Struggle as well as challenges to White supremacy in South Africa.

The fact that this appears on The Chronic highlights a  point made by Quinn in chapter 7:

“In times when discourses of personal agency supplanted those of structural causes, G-funk lyrics rarely referred to wider structural determinants. But there can be no doubt that an acute awareness of such political realities informed gangsta’s aggressively individualist bluster” (169).