Straight Outta Compton and N.W.A have dominated hip-hop news in recent months, and rightfully so. The biopic touches on their rise to stardom, the socio-economic conditions that birthed them, as well the political implications of being N.W.A. However one aspect of the film that wasn't explored enough, or at least as much as I would have liked, was the prominence of G-funk during the late eighties and early nineties. Perhaps this was intentional given that G-funk is synonymous with Dr. Dre and West Coast gangsta rap.

The G-funk sound and sub-genre derives from P-Funk, which was pioneered by artists such as George Clinton, Parliament and Funkadelic. Songs such as 'Atomic Dog', by the former, have been sampled dozens of times and often by the same producer, a testament to how inventive both the inspiration and the inspired are.

The main components were the obvious samples from the P-Funk era, the melodic synthesizers, a lazy laid-back flow and the odd Roger Troutman guest appearance, as heard on 'California Love'. It's no mere coincidence that the G-funk sound originates from California - funk was a popular sound in the late seventies/early eighties and producers such as Dr. Dre had little access to musical instruments, so they relied on old records to sample. It's a similar story for rap producers across the world and it was Dre's ear for sounds that sparked a movement that still lives on today. Artists such as Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince incorporated the sound on their hit 'Summertime', as did Biggie Smalls on tracks such as 'Big Poppa'. They weren't West Coast rappers but they were inspired by a sound that had been adopted by a group that rocked a nation.

Tracklist:

  • Digital Underground - Same Song
  • Computer Love - Zapp and Roger
  • Temptations - 2Pac
  • Safe and Sound - DJ Quik
  • Nuthin' But a G Thang - Dr Dre ft Snoop Dogg
  • Atomic Dog - George Clinton
  • The N*gga Ya Love To Hate - Ice Cube
  • Kendrick Lamar - You Ain’t Gotta Lie
  • Gz and Hustlas - Snoop Dogg
  • Gangsta Gangsta - N.W.A
  • Candy - Cameo
  • All About U - 2Pac
  • Dogg Pound Gangstaz - Tha Dogg Pound
  • MC Eiht - Straight Up Menace