1. 1988. N.W.A. releases Straight Outta Compton
It was on this date in 1988 that “gangsta rap” hit the mainstream as N.W.A. released their debut album Straight Outta Compton. Even though there were a total of six people associated with the group at one point or another, the founding members were Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E and later MC Ren and Yella. This style of rap had normally only existed in smaller underground circles and it was far too explicit and controversial to be played on the radio. But that didn’t stop them, as N.W.A. would go on to revolutionize hip-hop music, paving the way for countless artists such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem. Straight Outta Compton would eventually reach triple platinum status. Unfortunately, the group split up by 1992 ND Eazy-E passed away in 1995. Ice Cube and Dr Dre both went on to have extremely successful solo careers.