N.W.A was revolutionary, and not just because of their mark on music. The group’s signature hit -- the one that had Tipper Gore calling press conferences and the FBI writing them ominous letters -- was “Fuck Tha Police.” And it was more than just a song: When four LAPD officers were acquitted of beating Rodney King on video in 1992, and riots broke out, the track became the unofficial motto, spray-painted on walls around South Central L.A. That real-world impact is one of the biggest takeaways from 'Straight Outta Compton,' the new movie about N.W.A. and easily the best hip-hop biopic to date.
A year ago, everyone was worried about Mac Miller. In May 2014, a few months after splitting from Rostrum Records, the hometown indie that helped make him a star, the 23-year-old Pittsburgh rapper self-released the mixtape Faces, which chronicled his depression and how “a drug habit like Philip Hoffman will probably put me in a coffin,” mentioning cocaine, codeine cough syrup and even angel dust.
From her lilting accent to what she calls an "all day long" tea habit, folk-soul singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas is London to the core. But her gorgeous second LP, 'Blood,' is a global affair, inspired in part by the 25-year-old's international travels and background. La Havas breaks down the many places and spaces behind the album.