In the wake of the release of the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton, the iconic rap group’s music takes over Billboard charts.
On the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart dated Sept. 5, N.W.A notches its first top 40 hit, as “Straight Outta Compton” debuts at No. 38 (the survey's highest debut of the week). It’s not only the first top 40 hit for the act, but its first Hot 100 entry ever. Although first released in 1988, “Compton” is allowed to enter this week's Hot 100, as older songs are eligible to chart if ranking in the top 50 and showing notable gains in sales, streaming and/or airplay.
The bow is spurred by publicity generated by the hit film of the same name, which bowed in theaters on Aug. 14 and has earned $111.1 million at the U.S. and Canada box office through Aug. 23. The song sold 35,000 downloads in the week ending Aug. 20 (up 127 percent compared to the previous week) and tallied 5.7 million domestic streams (up 123 percent), according to Nielsen Music.
The track also debuts at No. 7 on Rap Streaming Songs, No. 9 on Hot Rap Songs, No. 11 on R&B/Hip-Hop Streaming Songs, No. 13 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and No. 20 on the overall Streaming Songs chart.
On Hot Rap Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, N.W.A also collects a debut with “F**k Tha Police” (also released in 1988), which bows at Nos. 20 and 25 on the lists, respectively.
N.W.A member Eazy-E also scores his third Hot 100 hit, as “Boyz-N-The-Hood” (from 1987) debuts at No. 50. It also launches at No. 14 on Hot Rap Songs and No. 18 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. It immediately becomes Eazy’s highest-charting single on the latter tally, surpassing the No. 30 peak of “Just Tah Let U Know” in 1995.
In terms of albums, N.W.A-related titles occupy 10 slots on the Billboard 200 chart, led by the group’s Dr. Dre at No. 3 with his new set Compton. Right behind him at No. 4 is N.W.A’s own Straight Outta Compton, which flies 30-4 (a new peak).
Eazy-E’s Eazy-Duz-It reenters at No. 32, Dr. Dre’s The Chronic rises 75-38, Dre’s Dr. Dre — 2001 moves 62-55, N.W.A’s Greatest Hits returns at No. 93, the group’s Ice Cube reenters at No. 99 with Death Certificate and at No. 118 with Greatest Hits, N.W.A’s The Best of N.W.A: The Strength of Street Knowledge also climbs back on at No. 119. Ice Cube’s 1990 album Amerikkka’s Most Wanted rounds out the N.W.A parade at No. 150, as it returns to the tally.
In total for the week ending Aug. 20, N.W.A’s album sales grew 234 percent to 47,000, while its song downloads soared 208 percent to 95,000. In terms of streams, the group collected 14.6 million clicks for the week (up 114 percent).