'Straight Outta Compton,' by N.W.A.

Combining Dre's stripped down, funky beats with Eazy E, Ren, Cube and co.'s forceful raps, N.W.A. were as much a musical act as a living controversy. Crafting classic anthems like 'F--- Tha Police,' 'Dopeman' and 'Express Yourself,' this West Coast classic went platinum without airplay and established several hugely successful careers, but, more important, it made gangsta rap a commercially viable medium.